Seattle Seahawks

Former Duck Ugo Amadi 'blossoming,' playing key role in Seahawks playoff run

Former Duck Ugo Amadi 'blossoming,' playing key role in Seahawks playoff run

When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Ugo Amadi in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they knew one thing to be true: Amadi was rare. 

The Oregon football standout became the first Power 5 player since 2015 to return two interceptions and a punt for a touchdown in the same season. He was also chosen from a pool which included then Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, as the recipient of the prestigious Lombardi Award.

Amadi’s versatility as a Duck also took center stage: He started 13 games at safety in 2018, moved from cornerback to safety in 2017 and became Oregon’s primary punt returner during his senior year.

Now, a year removed from his collegiate career at Oregon, Amadi is taking his game to new heights with Seattle, where he’s earned his place at nickel cornerback. 

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wishes he would have turned to the rookie sooner.

“He’s doing a good job,” Carroll said of Amadi on Wednesday. “I’m really glad we made the commitment a few weeks back to get him in there to allow him to grow. I wish we would’ve done it a little bit earlier. We would’ve seen him develop faster because he’s really kind of blossoming.”

It hasn’t come easy for the 22-year-old out of Nashville, Tenn.

Amadi battled for the team’s starting nickelback position in training camp, but Seattle opted to go with veteran Jamar Taylor instead. Taylor, however, was released in Week 10 and Akeem King moved into that role until Week 15 against the Panthers. He’s since played 72 snaps in the slot over the past four games.

It took 15 weeks for Amadi to carve out his niche in the Seahawks defense, but it appears he has finally found it at nickel. So, what’s next for Amadi?

Despite seeing only 17 defensive snaps at nickel in Seattle’s Wild Card victory over the Eagles, his role could continue to flourish this Sunday when the Seahawks travel to icy Green Bay to take on the Packers.

Carroll holds Amadi in high regard and ultimately believes he has the instincts necessary to make an impact. 

“He understands the position well,” Carroll said. “He understands the disguises of it. There’s a lot of intricacies in the nickel spot. He’s a really bright kid and he’s handling it really well. He’s in a good place to make plays.”

Phillip Dorsett calls Russell Wilson ‘the best deep ball thrower in the NFL’

Phillip Dorsett calls Russell Wilson ‘the best deep ball thrower in the NFL’

Phillip Dorsett knows Russell Wilson’s off-script Houdini magic is something special. 

It’s why the new Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2015, is looking forward to catching balls from arguably the best downfield passer in Wilson this season. 

“I personally believe he’s the best deep ball thrower in the NFL,” Dorsett told Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen of Sports Radio 950 KJR. “You can see it week in and week out with DK [Metcalf] and Tyler [Lockett]. I’ve been sitting back, taking advantage of the NFL Game Pass (being) free so I’ve just been watching games and you can see it every possession.”

Dorsett said he’s watched several Seahawks games and is impressed by Wilson’s late-game heroics. 

“His deep ball ability and then the way he plays. You can just see it. He’s a magician,” Dorsett said. “I feel like honestly, he doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves. He’s a great quarterback and the way he does what he does under the center back there is amazing. He’s a magician. He’s Houdini and he can make every throw.

“It’s a blessing that I get to play with him, and I can’t wait to get there and work him.” 

Wilson conjured up several last-minute miracles last season. The Seahawks tied an NFL record with 10 wins last season by a one-score margin, but not even Wilson could deliver magic in the frozen tundra in the Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers. 

Dorsett, alongside receiving threats Lockett and Metcalf, will give Wilson another speedy weapon at his disposal. He will compete for the No. 3 spot against David Moore, John Ursua, and Malik Turner this spring. 

The 5-foot-10 wideout started 14 games for New England last season, catching 29 passes for 397 yards from Tom Brady and tacked on a career-high five touchdowns. Dorsett has 124 career receptions for 1,634 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Seahawks’ Weekly Challenge: Meditation with Seahawks Dancer Maggie

Seahawks’ Weekly Challenge: Meditation with Seahawks Dancer Maggie

Training the mind is equally as important as training the body. It doesn’t matter if you are on the field or off the field, an athlete or not, mental health is vital for everyone. 

With the #stayhome initiative in full force due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health is as important as ever.

The Seattle Seahawks and sports psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais are releasing weekly challenges to sharpen the mind during this tough time.

My job with the Seattle Seahawks is to train their minds. To be mentally strong. To help them be their very best together. — Dr. Michael Gervais

On Wednesday, Dr. Gervais released this week’s weekly challenge: meditation to sharpen the mind during this time. He had a little help from Seahawks Dancer Maggie in this week’s lesson on meditation. 

The two study breathing, taking slow deep breaths and focusing on enjoying the exhale. Then, the focus switches to color and how it affects the mind during meditation.

It’s a very interesting study to say the least.

You can listen to the full meditation routine below:

You can also follow along with Dr. Gervais' work with his Compete to Create campaign along with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

We really have found a way to put our curriculum together in a way to create an educational platform where we can help people find their best. We’ve realized that we really do have a mentality and an approach and a philosophy that we can share with people. That’s really what Compete to Create has become. -- Pete Carroll

[RELATED]: Pete Carroll, Michael Gervais making widespread impact with Compete to Create

Russell Wilson’s stepson Future shows off his quarterback skills

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@dangerusswilson

Russell Wilson’s stepson Future shows off his quarterback skills

The ongoing COVID-19 quarantine has given families a little extra time to spend with one another. Russell Wilson is certainly taking advantage of that. 

In a video shared to Twitter on Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback got in a sweat sesh in with his stepson Future. The duo almost looks identical in the gym, but just wait until you see Future’s skills on the football field. 

“Bonding Time! #HardWork w/ Future Fun ballin’ today! The Best Teammate!” Wilson tweeted.

What can you say? It runs in the family. 

Future is only five years old, but he’s already proven to be quite the athlete, and dancer. In a TikTok video shared by Ciara, Future and his mom team up for the “Hit Yo Groove” dance challenge. 

Nothing passes the time like some quarantined dancing.  

View this post on Instagram

Me N My Baby Boy. 💙🤣#HitYoGrooveChallenge

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

While the Wilsons have been spending a lot of quality time with family, they’ve continued to find ways to give back to the community. The couple announced Tuesday that they have partnered up with Wheels Up on an initiative that has a goal of providing 10 million meals to those in need.

They’ve also donated 1 million meals through Food Lifeline, a group that distributes to over 300 food banks, shelters and programs through Western Washington. 

“We want to encourage everyone out there to join us in whatever way that you can, big or small,” Ciara said. “Everything makes a difference, everything we do together makes a difference."

Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

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USA Today Images

Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

Buddy Baker’s parents were married 51-plus years and healthy individuals when they contracted COVID-19. 

On Sunday, they passed away six minutes apart. 

It’s a heartbreaking story with a tragic ending, but the NFL sports agent feels he needs to act now and help others.  

“We usually look for a positive thing to be an inspiration,” Baker said. “We hope that what’s happened to us and our family inspires others to start needing and unifying with each other to make the right choice and the challenging choice.

“It’s going to take all of us getting together and deciding we’re going to stop the spread of this virus.”

Watch his full message below: 

Baker, the president and CEO of Exclusive Sports Group, LLC, represents dozens of NFL stars, including Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin. He also serves as agent to former Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. 

Baldwin shared Baker's powerful message in a post on Twitter. 

We are sending lots of well-wishes to Baker and his family during this difficult time. 

Buzz: Everson Griffen has interest in signing with the Seahawks

Buzz: Everson Griffen has interest in signing with the Seahawks

You, me and everybody else in Seattle is sick of the pass rush merry-go-round that continues to spin while we sit at our respective homes in quarantine.

Each day we get a new rumor or report to keep fueling the fire of whether or not Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, Yannick Ngakoue or Matt Judon might eventually be members of the Seahawks.

On Tuesday, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press had some interesting thoughts on Griffen. The former Vikings pass rusher posted 8.0 sacks in 2019 and is now looking for a new team in free agency. According to Tomasson, Griffen "definitely has interest" in signing with Seattle. Joining the Seahawks would allow him to reunite with Pete Carroll, who coached him in college at USC.

The interesting note is that, according to Tomasson, Seattle's interest in Griffen hinges on whether or not the team is able to re-sign Clowney. Should that be the case, it would indicate that Seattle is only in the market for one marquee free agent pass rusher. That wouldn't necessarily close the door on a trade for Judon or Ngakoue, though. It could be that the Seahawks are hoping to land one of Griffen/Clowney and one of Ngakoue/Judon. Seattle cleared a little more than $5 million in cap space on Tuesday by cutting Ed Dickson and Tedric Thompson. They could save another $8.5 million by cutting Justin Britt. They could also get creative and create cap space by restructuring contracts. Point being, Seattle could find a way to land two of the aforementioned players should they want to.

It all remains speculation at this point outside of the obvious fact that Seattle is in grave need for a top-tier pass rusher to pair with Jarran Reed and Bruce Irvin (among others). John Schneider and Pete Carroll know this fact. The wait continues to see which player(s) they're able to land.

Former Oregon Duck TE Ed Dickson released from the Seahawks

Former Oregon Duck TE Ed Dickson released from the Seahawks

More shifts in the Seattle tight end room in this NFL offseason.

10-year veteran Ed Dickson has been released by the Seattle Seahawks.

The news was first reported by National Insider for NFL Network Ian Rapoport:

The 32-year-old, 10-year veteran signed with Seattle on March 16, 2018, but unfortunately his career in Seattle was plagued by the injury bug. He did not play in 2019.

This news may not come as much of a shock due in part to the Seahawks signing Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen during the offseason, Will Dissly returning from injury, Jacob Hollister stepping up big time last season, and Luke Wilson returning to Seattle. 

In 2018, Dickson caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.

Dickson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round (No. 74 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent four years in Baltimore before the Carolina Panthers picked him up in March 2015.

Dickson earned First-Team All-Pac-10 honors during his senior season at the University of Oregon. He was Oregon's second-leading receiver in 2009 and helped lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense and ranked second in total offense, looming as the Ducks' lone representative on the league's first-team all-conference contingent.

NFL officially adopts expanded 14-team playoff format

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USATI

NFL officially adopts expanded 14-team playoff format

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: The NFL has adopted an expanded 14-team playoff format that will go into effect immediately.

Starting in 2020, each conference will now have a seventh seed. That team will play the No. 2 seed in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. In addition to two extra games on Wild Card weekend (now three on Saturday and three on Sunday), the biggest change is that only the No. 1 seed in each conference will get a first-round bye.

The change is an obvious money grab, but the expanded playoffs should be a home run as far as TV ratings are concerned. Nobody is going to argue with more football, and, as Rapoport noted, in most cases the added playoff teams will have double-digit wins. There is now an added urgency to claim the No. 1 seed while more clubs will be in the playoff race until the bitter end. The result should be fewer teams resting starters in Week 17.

Quinton Dunbar draws comparisons to ‘a young Richard Sherman’

Quinton Dunbar draws comparisons to ‘a young Richard Sherman’

When the Seattle Seahawks acquired Quinton Dunbar in a trade with the Washington Redskins last week, the team got more than a veteran cornerback in the deal.

Former Redskins defensive backs coach Ray Horton says Dunbar resembles a Seahawk of the past, who was a catalyst in Seattle’s most successful run in sports history.

“To me, it would be Richard Sherman,” Horton told Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. “Because of his style of play, the hands, the anticipation, the (being a) former wide receiver, the competitiveness. Really that’s what you are getting is a young Richard Sherman. And this kid is hungry. He wants to be good.”

Dunbar played wide receiver in college at Florida, before making the switch to corner when he became a pro. Sherman, on the other hand, made the shift while in college at Stanford. The two also share similar body types. Dunbar is 6’2” with 32” arms, while Sherman is 6’3” with 32” arms.

Sherman went from former fifth-round pick to a five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks.

Dunbar, an undrafted free agent, landed with the Redskins and carved his role as a full-time starter, before a hamstring limited his season to just 11 games in 2019. He recorded four of his nine career interceptions last season.

“He’s a joy to work with,” Horton said. “He works hard, he pushes himself, and he pushes his teammates. But there’s nothing wrong with that kind of a player. You want that kind of a player.”

“You are getting that type of player – they are going to love this kid.”

Dunbar says he’s admired Sherman and the Legion of Boom secondary for years.

“Man, I know everything about them. I grew up, I was still in college watching those guys,” Dunbar told 710 ESPN. “I wasn’t a DB at the time, but the Legion of Boom, watching Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, who, when I made that transition, I watched a lot of film on Richard Sherman and things of that nature. I know they’ve got great history there and I’m just looking forward to being part of that secondary and helping out all I can.”

While Sherman and Dunbar share a number of similarities, Dunbar will set to carve his own legacy in Seattle. He’ll start by competing with Tre Flowers for the Seahawks starting job in the secondary.

Report: Seahawks to release S Tedric Thompson

Report: Seahawks to release S Tedric Thompson

A week ago, it was reported that Tedric Thompson had been given permission to find a trade partner. Getting anything in return always seemed farfetched for the Seahawks, but it was worth a shot.

Now ESPN's Josina Anderson has reported that Seattle plans to release Thompson on Tuesday.

Cutting the former 2017 fourth-round pick saves Seattle just over $2 million in cap space. That doesn't necessarily indicate that there's another move coming down the pipeline in the immediate future, but it confirms that Thompson wasn't in the team's plans for 2020.

The Seahawks are set at safety with Quandre Diggs at free safety, Bradley McDougald at strong safety and 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair waiting in the wings.

Thompson opened 2019 as the team's starting free safety but struggled mightily in six games before going on IR with a shoulder injury. In three seasons with Seattle, Thompson appeared in 29 games (16 starts) and posted three interceptions and 80 total tackles.