Commanders LB Bobby Wagner Embracing 'Coach on the Field' Role With New Team

Washington Commanders linebacker Bobby Wagner has always been a coach on the field type of player, and that's not changing in his new location.
Aug 29, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) talks with
Aug 29, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) talks with / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Washington Commanders have a lot of young blood on the roster and a lot of new faces in the locker room so it's no surprise they sought out a few older veterans to bring that 'coach on the field' presence to the team.

One of those veterans, linebacker Bobby Wagner, might turn out to be the crown jewel of this year's Commanders free agency class despite the fact he's only here on a one year contract.

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Before joining Washington, Wagner spent 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks with a one-year stint playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 injected in there. During that time, even as a younger player, Wagner personified that 'player coach' trait, and doesn't envision that role changing with his new team and in his 13th NFL season.

"I think it's kind of the same thing. I think at the end of the day, the older you get, the more experience you have, the more people want to hear from you and want to hear your scars," Wagner told Kay Adams on Up & Adams. "And I think that's, as a player that's been around for a long time, that's your job is to share those scars and so you've been around the game for a long time so you can understand and kind of be that bridge between the player and coach. There's a lot of great coaches on the staff, but being able to have a guy that can relate the message to the players as well is great. But I think we have a lot of talent and we have a great scheme and it's really about us being on the same page and bringing that scheme to life. They did a lot of amazing things in Dallas and we hope to bring some of that if not better here."

As you can imagine, Wagner has played with a lot of teammates over the years, and has helped mentor a lot of them to becoming better versions of themselves in the process.

Another new member of the Commanders roster this year that a lot of people are excited to see is fellow linebacker Frankie Luvu. Wagner can be counted among those who are anticipating what 2024 will look like for the new Washington linebacker.

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu (49) looks
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu (49) looks / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

"Frankie Luvu is somebody that I worked out with back when we were in Seattle," Wagner told Adams when asked about who he cannot wait to work with. "We worked out in the off-season. Then he went and played for the Panthers for a long time and then we got an opportunity to finally play together. So that's the first person that comes to mind being able to play with him. I've watched him from afar, watched his growth. He's been an amazing player in this league, so I'll have to say him."

Luvu entered the NFL with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and played three years there before heading to the Carolina Panthers for the last three. Before that, he was a standout linebacker for the Washington State Cougars from 2014-17 while Wagner was with the Seahawks.

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Washington has a long history of not living up to its potential defensively and both Wagner and Luvu are anticipated to be players that help turn things around for the once-proud organization.

Despite the fact this Commanders rebuild is in the very early stages of construction there are at least two reasons to be excited about what is coming in the short term and how it might lead to great success in the long run.

Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.

David Harrison


David Harrison has covered the NFL since 2015 as a digital content creator in both written and audio media. He is the host of Locked On Commanders and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. His previous career was as a Military Working Dog Handler for the United States Army. Contact David via email at or on Twitter @DHarrison82.