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Content: RENTON  William Karlsson Jersey  , Wash. (AP) Bobby Wagner reacted as though he was hoping the question would come. With all the changes on the Seattle Seahawks defense – the leaders, the voices, the veterans no longer around – will there be a new focus on a group of linebackers that at times has seemed underappreciated? ”It has always been about the guy in the middle,” Wagner said emphatically. ”So for me, it’s not no different because that’s how I look at it, but from the outside maybe it is different because those guys are gone and you guys are looking for someone who is going to be that leader. Y’all ain’t got to look. You’re looking at the guy right here. I will be that guy and we’re going to be fine.” And with that, any question about who the leading voice is on Seattle’s defense was quickly answered. For most of the past half-decade, Seattle’s highly regarded defense was defined by the secondary with the catchy nickname and the flashy personalities. From there, attention often shifted to the defensive line and the type of chaos Michael Bennett and others created on – and sometimes off – the field. Then there was Wagner and fellow linebacker K.J. Wright. They have been regarded as two of the best in the league at their positions and sometimes have received that level of recognition. But they were often relegated to a secondary role on their own team in terms of recognition even with Wagner being voted first-team All-Pro three times and Wright being a Pro Bowl selection. ”The attention has gone elsewhere, I guess,” Wright said. ”Nothing will change. We’ll still be the bad-ass linebackers on this team. We’ll still lead the way. Stuff will still be run in order. We’ll still make plays and it’ll be fun out there.” Seattle’s offseason defensive overhaul saw Bennett  Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey  , Richard Sherman and Sheldon Richardson find new homes; Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor step away from the game due to neck injuries, and Earl Thomas hold out in search of a new contract. There are changes everywhere across Seattle’s defensive alignment, with the exception of the linebackers. Wagner has been calling Seattle’s defense from the moment he arrived in the NFL and became a starter as a rookie. His partner the entire time has been Wright. With the departures, those voices they’ve used together for the past six seasons will be even louder. ”Yeah, they had the name, they got a lot of the attention and now the attention may shift to the linebackers,” Wagner said. ”But we pride ourselves on being the guys that lead this team and that has been my mindset since I stepped in. I had coach Norton teach me the way.” Ken Norton Jr. has returned to Seattle to be the defensive coordinator. He was a mentor for Wagner and Wright as the linebackers coach when both arrived in the NFL. Now he’s returned with an even bigger imprint on what Seattle does defensively. ”He’s the linebackers guy and he put that responsibility more on us. He calls on me in the meeting room to answer most of the questions, calls on Bobby to answer the questions because he knows that we’re all on the same page,” Wright said. ”He knows that we’re the guys that can share our leadership abilities, share our knowledge of the game. He’s putting that on us.” There may also be some schematic tweaks that give Wagner and Wright more freedom defensively. Wright said he believes the adjustments will make Seattle more fundamentally sound defensively and the linebackers could be the benefactors. ”I think this defense is hungry,” Wright said. ”We have a lot to prove. Myself  Tim Schaller Jersey  , the secondary with all the guys leaving, the (defensive) line with the guys leaving. It’s going to be fun because you’ve got guys who want to come and show who they are.” — OXNARD, Calif. (AP) Ezekiel Elliott never has offered much about his state of mind at training camp a year ago when the star running back of the Dallas Cowboys faced the possibility of a suspension over domestic violence allegations. So let his position coach explain the difference now that the drama is gone. ”You go at this time last year, he’s very stressed out,” running backs coach Gary Brown said. ”Wasn’t himself. Looked big. Now he looks happy and jubilant and lean and just going out there and having some fun. So it’s a completely different Zeke than it was last year.” The six-game suspension was announced while the Cowboys were in California last year. Elliott’s legal team sued after the club had returned to Texas, sparking a two-month court fight that finally ended with the 2016 NFL rushing leader serving the ban halfway through the season. Elliott had an uneven start last year before looking more like the rookie sensation who helped lead the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13 wins alongside quarterback Dak Prescott, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year on that playoff team. Then Elliott ran out of legal options , the Cowboys lost three straight games and Dallas ultimately missed the postseason at 9-7. There isn’t any waiting and wondering now. ”I am just ready to go out there and prove myself and be the running back I am for this team,” Elliott said in his first meeting with reporters at camp. ”And go out there and have a good year.” The suspension wasn’t the only thing that had Elliott in the headlines last year. There was video of him pulling down a woman’s shirt during a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas. The NFL cited that incident in its letter detailing his punishment while saying it didn’t play a role in the outcome of a yearlong investigation conducted despite prosecutors in Ohio not pursuing the case. Elliott also was linked to a fight outside a bar not long before the team reported to California last July, although his name didn’t appear in the police report detailing the incident. This offseason came and went without any significant headlines. ”I am being more cautious, more focused on my game  Authentic Brock Nelson Jersey  ,” said Elliott, who turned 23 last week. ”And focused on having a good year.” After leading the league with 1,631 yards rushing in 2016, Elliott had the best per-game rushing average last season at 98.3 yards. His 2,614 yards through two seasons are the most in franchise history, ahead of NFL all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith and another Hall of Famer, Tony Dorsett. The Cowboys aren’t making any secret about building their offense around him. Dallas dumped Dez Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown receptions, in a cost-cutting move in the offseason. They believe the passing game with Prescott is best-suited feeding off Elliott. That’s why the Cowboys were as interested as Elliott was in a quiet offseason for the former Ohio State star. ”It’s important for him, it’s important for his teammates, it’s important – obviously – for our franchise and what people’s thoughts are on him  Youth John Tavares Jersey  ,” executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said. ”I think it was huge that he was able to really get his hands around what this is all about – the challenges that are out there. Hopefully it’ll continue.” With Bryant and 15-year tight end Jason Witten gone, Elliott mentions leadership every time he talks to reporters now. While acknowledging that vocal leadership doesn’t come naturally for him, he’s shown some signs in position drills at camp. ”I think he’s grown into it pretty well,” Brown said. ”Obviously he’s not a vocal leader. But I think he leads by example. When guys see him finishing the way he finishes and working the way he works, that speaks louder than his voice.” As for Brown’s ”happy” thoughts about Elliott, the 2016 All-Pro will whoop and holler from time to time while carrying the ball to end zone even after the whistle blows during practice. ”I think he’s in good spirits,” backup running back Rod Smith said. ”I’ve seen what he went through last year and seeing him to be able to overcome all of that and just to see him now just having to worry about nothing but football, it’s a beautiful feeling.” Owner Jerry Jones supported Elliott’s legal fight even though it kept the issue lingering over the team when a quicker resolution might have given the Cowboys a better chance at a playoff push late in the season. ”I just think he looks veteran-ish,” Jones said Sunday. ”I think he looks confident. I think he’s getting good hard work in. Fundamental work. He just looks sound to me. I’m glad to see him get that solid work in.” —   Cheap Green Bay Packers Jerseys