Seattle Seahawks

With Doug Baldwin ailing, Seattle Seahawks need immediate WR help

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USA Today

With Doug Baldwin ailing, Seattle Seahawks need immediate WR help

Seattle's glaring need for a wide receiver just became even more magnified. 

Doug Baldwin, who has already undergone knee and shoulder surgeries this offseason following an injury-riddled year, will also undergo hernia surgery in April, as confirmed by coach Pete Carroll while at the league meetings in Phoenix, Ariz.

Carroll told reporters there that he didn't know when Baldwin would return to the field but appeared confident that the team's stalwart veteran would make it back.  

"In one respect there's never been anybody that's tougher and more able to come back from whatever challenges have been," Carroll said. "He's been extraordinarily adept at figuring out how to return from and understand the circumstances of being banged up. So if he could, he will. If he could do it, he will. I have no doubt in that. But it's a been a challenging offseason for him. He's had a lot of stuff he's been working on. This latest one is going to take some time again. Whatever he has to do we're going to follow and support and believe in it. If anybody can do it he can get it done."

Entering this offseason it appeared clear that Seattle would be in the market for a wide receiver given Baldwin's banged up body and uncertain future with two years remaining on his contract. Now that it appears that he will have hernia surgery that could prevent him from being ready for training camp in July, it is all the more likely that the Seahawks will select a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Seattle has passed on signing a free agent receiver, so far. There still remains some interesting names out there, such as former Seahawk, Jermaine Kearse, as well as Kelvin Benjamin, Demaryius Thomas and Rishard Matthews

Kearse, 29, has reportedly said that he would love to return to Seattle where he started on two Super Bowl teams before being traded in 2017 to the New York Jets, along with a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who played just one year in Seattle before signing with Minnesota last year.

Last week Kearse appeared on KJR-AM radio in Seattle and was asked by former Seattle teammate Cliff Avril if he would want to return to the Seahawks. 

“Yeah. Look, I would love to play back in Seattle,” Kearse said. “Obviously, things have to work out on its own and things have to be right.

Kearse would seem to be a perfect fit and shouldn't cost too much cash to acquire him. 

Benjamin appeared to be headed for superstardom after his rookie season in Carolina before a knee injury ended his second year, he got out of shape and his career became to decline. He spent last season in Buffalo and Kansas City and wasn't very productive. But he is a big target at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and at 28 should have some football left in him.

Thomas, 31, would be the best choice on the board if not for him tearing his Achilles in December with Houston and being charged with vehicular assault in February. So, maybe that's a hard and fast no on Thomas. 

Matthews had a rough 2018, catching just three passes in three games with the Titans before requesting and receiving his release. He landed with the New York Jets a few weeks later and that didn't go well, either. But he did play quite well in 2017 and 2018 with the Titans, amassing a combined 1,740 yard and 13 touchdowns.

Seattle has the 21st pick in the upcoming draft and there are several intriguing receivers that could be available there. Listed as maybe going off the board in that area on several mock drafts are Hakeem Bulter (Iowa State), A.J. Brown (Ole Miss), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Stanford), D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss), Parris Campbell (Ohio State) and N'Keal Harry (Arizona State). 

Because of past maneuvering, Seattle has just four picks in the draft coming in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds. Seattle general manager John Schneider made it clear at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that it would be unlikely that Seattle would draft just four players. That means trades are coming. 

Seattle could easily trade out of the first round and acquire additional picks with one going toward a wide receiver in maybe the second round. 

Seattle has solid depth at receiver behind Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. David Moore progressed nicely in his second season last year and Jaron Brown caught five touchdown passes. But even with Baldwin healthy, the Seahawks must consider adding a young receiver through the draft. With Baldwin ailing, the Seahawks really have no choice. 

Whatever the route to be taken, Seattle must address this area regardless of how confident Carroll is that Baldwin has the heart and work ethic to return from his series of offseason surgeries. Because, while he might indeed return, it might only be a matter of time before he goes down again. 

How Ugo Amadi inadvertently landed at Oregon because of a wrong phone number

How Ugo Amadi inadvertently landed at Oregon because of a wrong phone number

Ugo Amadi didn’t always know he wanted to go to Oregon. 

In fact, the John Overton High School in Nashville, Tennessee standout, who initially committed to Ole Miss, had a roundabout way of landing in Eugene, Oregon. 

On the Talkin’ Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann, the now Seattle Seahawks safety explained in great detail how he unexpectedly ended up in an Oregon uniform.  

That was a very, very stressful moment in my life. That’s where I hit adversity. A lot of stuff went down. I was committed to Ole Miss and then I was supposed to graduate early, and enroll early at Ole Miss. But when I had graduated high school, which was in December 2014, they didn’t want me to come in early. So I’m already at home, not doing anything but working out because I’m not in school anymore. They’re like we don’t want you to come in early, I’m like nah—I don’t want to sit at home in January and wait until June to enroll. I was like it’s alright and I just decommitted from there. -- Ugo Amadi 

Not even days after Amadi decommitted at Ole Miss, LSU head coach Les Miles and former defensive coordinator John Chavis showed up at his hometown in a suit and tie. They wanted Amadi to become a Tiger. 

“Later on that day, they came to my house,” Amadi recalled. “They talked to my parents, they’re all like “Yeah, you want to come and be a Tiger?’ They said you can play special teams, defense for us, all that stuff. And then some days go by and I ended up committing to LSU, the day of the Music City Bowl, the day they played Notre Dame in 2015.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Amadi found out following the game that Coach Chavis was leaving and after a few days of getting his voicemail, Chavis slid into his DMs with a scholarship offer to Texas A&M. 

At only 17, Amadi was faced with a difficult decision. Follow Coach Chavis to Texas A&M or explore other options. He chose the latter…and here’s where the curveball comes in. 

While working out one day, Amadi’s trainer said he knew Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh’s assistant. He asked the four-star cornerback if he wanted him to reach out and a text was sent. 

The text, however, didn’t go to Harbaugh’s assistant, but instead John Neal, Oregon’s defensive backs coach. 

He said for some reason, it’s Coach Neal at Oregon, and then Coach Neal DMs me, gives me his number—this is when they’re getting ready for the Rose Bowl... After the Rose Bowl, they ended up offering me a scholarship and their media guy sent me a Twitter video of what University of Oregon looks like and it was like a 360 kind of video, you can move your phone and see the whole stadium. It was crazy. And then they sent me my initial letter of intent and then I signed at Oregon. I didn’t take a visit or anything, it’s kind of like a blessing in disguise. -- Ugo Amadi 

Blessing in disguise is a perfect way to put it, but Amadi arriving at Oregon is no coincidence. 

In his illustrious four-year career in a Ducks uniform, Amadi was a five-time game captain and shared Oregon’s 2018 team MVP award with Justin Herbert. Over his final two seasons, Amadi amassed six interceptions, highlighted by three pick-6s, and forced four fumbles.

He took home the Lombardi Award his senior year, an honor given annually to the best college football player regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency.

We catch up with Amadi on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks about his first year as a pro, how he’s preparing for competition this offseason and his favorite Oregon uniform combo. You can listen to the full podcast with Amadi here.

Ugo Amadi peels back curtain to Seahawks virtual offseason program

Ugo Amadi peels back curtain to Seahawks virtual offseason program

Pete Carroll has raved about the Seahawks virtual offseason program. He did so on a Zoom call with local reporters a month ago and again this week in an interview with Doug Farrar.

“We killed it during the offseason in a way I couldn’t envision it going as well as it did,” Carroll told Farrar. “It went great, and we accomplished a lot, and we’re smarter than we’ve ever been. The transition we make now will be huge. Who would have thought that we could come out of the offseason and say that this was an extraordinary offseason – learning and teaching and concepts, and then all of the social stuff and personal stuff we dealt with has been so challenging, but necessary. Hopefully, we’re really going to make a turn here that’s extraordinary. There’s so much happening, even though we’ve been sitting at home! It’s just amazing.”

Nickel corner Ugo Amadi, as a guest on the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast, was kind enough to pull back the curtain and shed some light on what the team accomplished over the course of the spring. He explained that the coaching staff did a fantastic job maintaining a strong level of productivity in the meetings despite not being able to have everyone in person.

There were full team meetings and separate positional meetings each day via Zoom.

“The talks were the same. The meeting was the same,” Amadi said. “The coaches spoke to us the same way. I felt like they tried to keep it as real as possible, and I feel like they did a really good job at that.”

While there will be some catching up to do physically, it sounds like Seattle accomplished everything from an install standpoint.
“We’ll definitely be ready to hit the ground running,” Amadi said. “We’ll be ready to go.”

Each player was given the same workout regimen from the Seahawks strength and conditioning coaches, but they were allowed to accomplish each task at their own leisure. Everything was on the honor system outside of a minor fitness test, according to Amadi.

As you’d expect, Carroll found ways to create lighter moments and competition to keep everyone engaged. Will Ferrell joined one meeting to roast newly signed tight end Greg Olsen and Steve Kerr was a special guest one day while “The Last Dance” was airing.

There were a few trivia challenges as the rookies were tested on Seahawks franchise history as well as Carroll’s famed three rules.

“He finds any little way to find competition, whether it’s offense vs. defense or between position groups,” Amadi said. “We find ways to compete at all times, and it makes it fun.”

Amadi’s favorite part of the offseason program was a Madden tournament that Carroll organized. The second-year corner made it to the championship by blowing out David Moore 56-0. Amadi said he used the Seahawks and Moore used the Ravens. In that game, Amadi used his own player to intercept Lamar Jackson.

His title run fell short as he lost to Shaquem Griffin, 35-29, in the championship game.

There’s no doubt that all 31 other teams would tell you they had an equally productive virtual offseason program. However, there’s reason to believe that the Seahawks could have an edge in that regard. The stability and creativity of Carroll combined with Seattle’s tenured veterans should allow the Seahawks (the rookies especially) to feel as prepared as possible for when camp opens on July 28.

Ugo Amadi reveals his favorite Oregon football uniform swag 

Ugo Amadi reveals his favorite Oregon football uniform swag 

Long before Ugo Amadi stepped on the field at Autzen Stadium decked out in Ducks swag, he knew of Oregon football’s reputation for eccentric, tricked out, statement-maker uniforms, and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on one.

Little did Amadi know, he’d own about 60 Oregon uniforms over his four-year career with the Ducks. 

“It got to a point where I didn’t know which ones were my favorite uniforms because all of them look good. It was so tough,” Amadi told Joe Fann on the latest episode of Talkin’ Seahawks. “And then my senior year, we got to choose our uniforms, what we wanted to wear each weekend because Cristobal let us have fun with it man, it’s just crazy. The uniforms are ridiculous.”

Ridiculous is right. Whether we’re talking about the all-white stormtroopers or the green-on-green slick unis from the 2015 Rose Bowl, Oregon has been at the forefront of innovation while annihilating opponents. 

We discuss The Uniform Craze That Revolutionized College Football in our NBC Sports NW podumentary on the Sports Uncovered podcast feed

Amadi says the Oregon equipment room is a secret spot for hidden treasures. Inside, you can find the black and pink 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness jerseys and other vintage uniforms that players have never returned to claim. 

He wouldn’t leave his favorite combo behind though. Amadi says one highly-touted uniform paired with black winged helmets is his most cherished. 

I like the Jordan and Oregon collab they did with UCLA. I like that collab the most. But we had a lot of good uniforms. Even the Ducks uniform we wore against Colorado my sophomore year, that was really good too. I feel like Oregon likes to be different and that’s what I’m like, I like to be different, I like to standout. -- Ugo Amadi 

While Amadi’s days at Oregon are now in the past, the Seattle Seahawks safety says there’s one stylistic choice he still wears as a nod to his college team, who always strived to be offbeat. 

I always wear the action green gloves just so my family can tell me apart from other people, just look at my gloves. Everybody else wear their white gloves, but I like to wear the action green. -- Ugo Amadi 

Hear more from Amadi on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks podcast as he looks to his second season in Seattle and discusses how he’s adjusted to the unusual NFL offseason and learning from All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. 

Ugo Amadi fueled by Divisional Round bout against Davante Adams

Ugo Amadi fueled by Divisional Round bout against Davante Adams

It’s always interesting to see how a young player responds to his first real taste of adversity. Each player, no matter how talented, has their own “welcome to the NFL moment.”

Ugo Amadi’s came in the Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers. Amadi, a 2019 fourth-round pick by the Seahawks, had earned the starting nickel job by that point after biding his time for much of the season. In addition to being a special teams standout for most of the year, particularly as a gunner on punt coverage, Amadi had some promising moments at nickel.

But he struggled against the Packers. Davante Adams tormented Seattle’s secondary all game long with Amadi being victimized on a few occasions. Green Bay’s superstar wideout racked up eight receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

“I’m glad you brought that up because that’s something I can’t forget,” Amadi said on the latest episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “I’m constantly thinking about that all the time.”

Amadi said he watches that game film regularly and as recent as Tuesday night. He has found the balance of using the game as fuel and as a source of motivation rather than lamenting on his shortcomings in that particular contest.

“Whenever you don’t play well, it’s hard to watch it,” he said. “Everyone wants to watch themselves doing good, but it’s hard for them to watch themselves doing bad. I’ve watched that game and play so many times.”

The play that Amadi is referring to is the Adams’ third-down reception that sealed the win for Green Bay late in the fourth quarter. On 3rd-and-8 from the Packers 22-yard line, Aaron Rodgers found Adams down the right sideline for a back-breaking 32-yard gain.

Amadi was in single coverage against Adams on the play.

“I was thrown in the fire, and it was tough,” he said. “I knew who I was going against, but all of my offseason training has been all about that. That’s something that I can’t forget. That’s something I’ve been preparing for – my technique, my feet, my hands, my eye coordination – all that stuff.”

He’s spent his offseason working at being more confident and stronger at the line of scrimmage. Amadi has also put in considerable work on the mental side of the position. Understanding how down and distance as well as personnel impacts a team’s (and receiver’s) tendencies and pre-snap route recognition have been particular points of emphasis.

“It’s checking off all those things just to help me out and put me in a better position,” Amadi said.

Earlier this offseason, Pete Carroll said that nickel job is Amadi’s to lose in 2020. That doesn’t mean Amadi won’t have competition. There will be others vying for the role, and if Seattle doesn’t feel comfortable with any of their options, the Seahawks could once again opt to remain in base defense at a higher rate as they did in 2019.

Every indication is that Amadi is well aware of the opportunity he’ll be afforded once training camp opens on July 28 and what it will take to earn considerable playing time in his second NFL season.

“I’ve always had that mentality, that my job is always at risk every day I come to work,” he said. “For me personally, I need to make sure I’m just as sharp as everybody out there and make sure that my iron is just as sharp as everybody out there. I’ve got to come back in shape and know the playbook.

“I’ve got to do everything right. There is no room for error for me. I’m only worried about myself, the man in the mirror.”

--

You can listen to the full podcast with Amadi here.

Former Ducks standout Ugo Amadi delivers meals to Tennessee healthcare workers

Former Ducks standout Ugo Amadi delivers meals to Tennessee healthcare workers

Ugo Amadi’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee holds a special place in his heart. 

It’s where he grew up, made a name for himself on the John Overton High School football team, and where he found out he would be taking his talents to Oregon over offers from LSU, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Duke, amongst others, as a four-star cornerback. 

It’s also where his sister works today as a part of Tennessee Valley Healthcare. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amadi began to realize the challenges and unrelenting work healthcare workers like his sister face daily. 

To express his appreciation, the Seattle Seahawks safety recently spent a day at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center and passed out meals to the frontline workers. You can watch the entire video of his visit here

I'm so blessed and fortunate to not only have a platform but to also be able to give back to the community. I want to thank my family, Slim and Husky, AHAUTE cookies for helping give back to the Alvin C York VA hospital. Without them this wouldn't be possible. I was able to feed the frontline workers at the hospital and spread awareness about racial injustice that's at the forefront of our country. I want Healthcare workers to know that they to have a platform and can help make this a better environment for black people. -- Ugo Amadi 

 

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

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I'm so blessed and fortunate to not only have a platform but to also be able to give back to the community. I want to thank my family, Slim and Husky, AHAUTE cookies for helping give back to the Alvin C York VA hospital. Without them this wouldn't be possible. I was able to feed the frontline workers at the hospital and spread awareness about racial injustice that's at the forefront of our country. I want Healthcare workers to know that they to have a platform and can help make this a better environment for black people. I also want to give a special shoutout to @legacyphilanthropy & @annakonsmo they did an amazing job behind the scenes that made this event turn out perfect! If anyone needs assistance with community service or life skills , these are two people I highly recommend! #happyjuneteenth #GoVote 📸 @justin.renfroe

A post shared by ⚡️Ugo Amadi⚡️ (@uamadi7) on

This isn’t the first time the 2018 Lombardi Award winner has participated in community outreach projects. As a member of the Oregon Ducks, Amadi took the lead in organizing a group of teammates to visit a local woman battling cancer. 

The Nashville native had a successful career at Oregon before being selected by the Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Amadi played 51 games in four years in a Ducks uniform and helped lead Oregon to a Redbox Bowl victory as a senior. He was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive back. 

Amadi is entering his second year with the Seattle Seahawks and is a strong candidate for the team’s starting nickel corner spot this upcoming season.

[RELATED: Seahawks nickel Ugo Amadi isn’t competing against anyone other than himself]

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]

Antonio Brown is working out with Russell Wilson in California

Antonio Brown is working out with Russell Wilson in California

Every offseason, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heads down to Southern California and invites his wide receivers, amongst others, for organized passing sessions to prepare for the upcoming season. 

Wilson recently hosted second-year receiver DK Metcalf for a workout, before the NFLPA recommended players suspend private workouts due to COVID-19. Now, it appears the Seahawks franchise quarterback has another wideout in for a visit. 

If you take a look at Antonio Brown’s latest Instagram posts, you’ll see that he’s been training on the Russell Wilson property. If it’s not obvious on first glance, these next screenshots are a dead giveaway. 

In one video, Brown is stretching with resistance bands and a Seahawks helmet sits directly across from him. 

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Then, if you look at the logo in the middle of the field, it matches Wilson’s Nike logo, which is a combination of his initials and jersey number. 

You can see the same logo in Wilson's latest video with a robot defender. 

So, who exactly is throwing to Brown in the video? It's Wilson as confirmed in a post from Brown himself.

The workout between the quarterback-wide receiver duo comes as no surprise, especially considering recent rumors linking the Seahawks to the talented wide receiver. 

NFL Network’s Mike Silver recently reported the Seahawks were having internal discussions about adding Brown to the roster, and why wouldn’t they do their due diligence if Wilson wants him in Seattle.  

"They are absolutely interested in having him potentially as a late-season addition," Silver said.

Adding Brown would definitely solidify the Seahawks as contenders and give Seattle arguably the best trio of wide receivers in the NFL, alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. 

But there are still several hurdles in Brown’s way and considering the fact he is facing a potential suspension that stems from sexual assault and rape allegations, it’s a road the Seahawks may choose to avoid rather than take. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest former Seattle Seahawks legend Steve Largent].

NFL cancels Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason

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USATI

NFL cancels Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason

It was rumored a few weeks back, but now it's official: The NFL has cut the preseason in half, from four games down to two. Pro Football Talk reported the adjustment on Wednesday.

Mike Florio added that it's Weeks 1 and 4 that have been eliminated from the preseason. The Seahawks were slated to host the Raiders and visit the Vikings in those weeks, respectively.

The writing was on the wall for this decision following the cancellation of the annual Hall of Fame game. The NFL is hoping that the regular season can still go on as scheduled despite the continued concerns surrounding COVID-19. Traning camp for all 32 clubs is scheduled to start on July 28.

We will keep you posted with any future announcements in this regard over the course of the next month leading up to camp.

Russell Wilson ditches Seahawks teammates for tech-fueled defender 

Russell Wilson ditches Seahawks teammates for tech-fueled defender 

When you can’t work out with your Seattle Seahawks teammates, do as Russell Wilson does and hire a robot. 

As the Seahawks franchise quarterback prepares for the upcoming NFL season, he’s been seen throwing routes to second-year receiver DK Metcalf and staying in shape on the beach.

But considering the NFLPA’s recommendation to halt in-person workouts with teammates, Wilson has found a more inventive way to prepare for the 2020 NFL season. 

In a video shared to social media Tuesday, Wilson is seen dodging a robot dummy coming in on the pass rush. The robot is known as MVP Sprint, a remote-controlled padded training dummy that weights 160 pounds, runs as fast as 16 mph and trains on grass and turf. The device costs $3450, according to the mobile device’s website

The transition from real life teammate to cyborg football player after both Wilson and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady drew criticism for their decision to not adhere to the NFLPA’s guidelines. 

While the robot is no Jadeveon Clowney, the tech-fueled defender will certainly do the job until Wilson can reconvene with his teammates when training camp begins in late July.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest former Seattle Seahawks legend Steve Largent].

NFLPA urges players to halt in-person, private workouts

NFLPA urges players to halt in-person, private workouts

Obviously, the sports world is navigating uncertain waters due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But that is not stopping a handful of players from conducting their own individual workouts and workouts with their teammates.

New Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady has been doing so for quite some time now and even Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and breakout rookie DK Metcalf have been running routes.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Seahawks legend Steve Largent].

Also to note, Josh Gordon, who was released by Seattle back in December, has been working out with former teammates Bobby Wagner, Metcalf, and San Francisco corner Richard Sherman.

[RELATED]: Possible landing spots for Josh Gordon

On June 20, NFL Players Association doctor Dr. Thom Mayer advised players to stop activities immediately, while the NFL and the players association figured out how to move forward:

Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months. — Dr. Thom Mayer

Wilson and Metcalf were running routes three days after Dr. Mayer and the NFLPA released that statement.

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith also voiced his concern over two of the top quarterbacks in the league exposing themselves at a higher risk by holding these in-person workouts with others. 

[RELATED]: NFLPA President, Browns center JC Tretter implores fellow athletes to know their rights

According to Alistair Corp of SB Nation’s Field Gulls, “Should Wilson, Brady, or any other player contract COVID-19 while taking part, they could land on their team’s non-football injury list, meaning they would not be paid until they were able to come off the list.

“Additionally, in a worst-case scenario, they could be forced to pay back some or all of their signing bonus for the 2020 season. For a Brady or Wilson, the forfeited money may not be a huge deal. But for a player on the edge of the NFL, landing on the NFI list could have a massive, lasting impact.”

A lot is riding on the shoulders of Wilson and Metcalf this upcoming season after a breakout rookie year for Metcalf. So it makes complete sense why they are continuing to build their relationship on and off the field. It’s just a matter of doing so safely.