Seattle Seahawks

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.

Jamal Adams calls joining Bobby Wagner, Seahawks defense a ‘cheat code’

Jamal Adams calls joining Bobby Wagner, Seahawks defense a ‘cheat code’

On Wednesday, Bobby Wagner told reporters about a Jordan Brand trip to Monaco in which he and Adams discussed the potential of playing together someday. A day later, Adams recalled the same conversation in his first presser with Seattle media.

“He’s all about ball, and I respect that so much about him,” Adams said of Wagner. “He’s a hell of a leader.”

Adams wasn’t bashful about taking things a step further.

“Bobby is a hell of a guy. We talked about it a while back saying, ‘What if we played together?’ How I would describe us linking up and me being a part of Seattle is it’s a cheat code,” Adams said. “It’s really a cheat code.”

A cheat code, huh? That sounds like a massive step forward for a defense that ranked 18th in DVOA, 22nd in points allowed and 26th and total yards allowed last season. The only thing that kept Seattle’s defense from being a complete liability was the fact that it ranked third with 32 takeaways.

There is reason to believe that Adams, while maybe not being a literal cheat code that vaults the Seahawks defense to an elite status, can provide a sizeable boost that gets the group into the top half of the league.

The safety is already a bona fide superstar and has made the Pro Bowl in two of his first three seasons while being named All-Pro once. His impact should be felt on all three levels of the defense: His pass rush ability (he had 6.5 sacks in 2019) will buoy the defensive line, he should free up Wagner in the middle of the field given the attention he’ll command and Quandre Diggs should be the benefactor of a few tipped passes as a result of Adam’s play in front of him.

How Adams is used and what the degree of his impact will ultimately be is sure to be one of Seattle’s top storylines when the regular season rolls around.

Seattle Seahawks make or break players in 2020: DL L.J. Collier


Seattle Seahawks make or break players in 2020: DL L.J. Collier

(This series focuses on the x-factors/wildcards on the Seahawks roster who will make or break Seattle’s 2020 season.)

There will be a contingent of fans who roll their eyes at the mere sight of this headline. That faction has already written off the Seahawks 2019 first-round pick.

While I’ve maintained all offseason that you can’t label anyone a “bust” after just one year, it’s not like Collier offered any reasons for optimism as a rookie. He played in 11 games, recorded just three tackles and was a healthy scratch seven times (including both playoff games) in what ended up being essentially a redshirt year.

“That’s a curious situation for a first-round pick at the team’s most needy position,” Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune said on a recent episode of the Talkin’ Seahawk Podcast. “They have to get more out of him if they’re going to go anywhere.”

To Collier’s credit, he suffered an unusual ankle sprain at the onset of training camp last summer and was never truly able to get back to full speed. But to reiterate Bell’s point, it was a bit bizarre that Collier couldn’t even crack the gameday 46-man roster.

The Seahawks pass rush was notably awful in 2019, and injuries made it a thin group along the defensive line. One would think that even Collier at 70-80%, given his draft stock, could have provided even a small boost.

And yet, it was apparent that Collier wasn’t part of each week’s gameplan when he was seen getting extra work in after practice with the practice squad players.

“They couldn’t afford a redshirt year on the defensive line and pass rush, certainly not from their first-round pick,” Bell said.

Both Collier and John Schneider have said the right things this offseason. But the jury remains very much out on whether or not Collier will be able to make an impact in 2020. That said, the Seahawks defensive line is expected to utilize a deep rotation and so there are snaps to be earned if he can bounce back with an impressive training camp.

Un-retired free agent WR Antonio Brown suspended 8 games by NFL

Un-retired free agent WR Antonio Brown suspended 8 games by NFL

Antonio Brown has been suspended for eight games by the NFL for violation of the NFL's peronal conduct policy, Robert Klemko of the Washington Post reported.

Brown played for the Patriots for one game in 2019 before being released. He's since retired and then un-retired three times before Friday's news came down. As Klemko reported, the clock on the suspension wouldn't begin until he signed with a team. Any team who added him would be doing so for a late-season playoff run. Brown would be able to participate in training camp.

The suspension stems from a number of off-field instances and could be made longer depending on whether or not new evidence is found in an open civil case in Florida. As part of the terms of the suspension, Brown will have to continue his counseling and treatment program.

Seattle has done their homework on Brown and has reportedly considered signing the embattled wide receiver. It seems much more likely that the Seahawks turn to Josh Gordon instead (assuming he's reinstated).

Now that teams know exactly what they're getting themselves into with Brown from a suspension standpoint, it'll be interesting to see if anyone takes the risk. There's no doubt that Brown is an all-world talent. But given his history and antics both on and off the field, it seems like the risk would be too extreme for most clubs.

The 49ers were in the back of the Seahawks mind when they traded for Adams

The 49ers were in the back of the Seahawks mind when they traded for Adams

The Seattle Seahawks were just inches away from missing out on an NFC West title-clinching win against the 49ers in Week 17.

One of the biggest advantages Seattle knows the 49ers have over them is at the tight end position. 

George Kittle is a difference-maker that can change the flow of the game, and the Seahawks knew that they needed to improve in the safety department to match up better with Kittle to slow him down.

That is why Seahawks GM John Schneider did what he had to do in order to get Jamal Adams from the Jets.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Gregg Bell to dissect the Seahawks offseason].

Over the past few days, the Seahawks have been criticized for giving up too much for the star safety. Schneider believes, however, it was a necessary move for his team to match up with Kittle, and the other dynamic athletes in the NFC West.

We needed to get faster on our team this year, especially on defense, and I feel like we have done that. If you look at the National Football League now, especially our division, with all the crossers and talented tight ends that we have, it's important Ugo [Amadi] and [Marquise] Blair and [Quandre] Diggs and now Jamal, it's a really good group. We also have Lano Hill who two years ago was playing ... at a very, very high level three games in a row and then had a very serious hip injury. He's had a really nice offseason so we're looking forward to seeing him as well.

The price of bringing a young, game-changing talent like Adams into the organizations when they will have to pay up for after the season.

But with Russell Wilson is in his prime, the best thing to do right now for him is to surround him with the talent of his caliber.

Adams is an athletic, versatile safety who excels in a number of roles. His arrival in Seattle undoubtedly helps make the matchup more even between the two teams now.

John Schneider gave a lot to get the best in the game at safety because the 49ers are the best in the NFC West at the moment. 

The Seahawks hope Adams can give the 49ers a run at being the best in the NFC West next year.

Only time will tell.

You can watch the full interview with Seahawks GM John Schneider with Peter King here.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Gregg Bell to dissect the Seahawks offseason].

Jamal Adams ignored agent's wishes, called Quandre Diggs immediately after Seahawks trade

Jamal Adams ignored agent's wishes, called Quandre Diggs immediately after Seahawks trade

Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs go way back to their days on Sixth Street. Now, the two Seattle Seahawks have the opportunity to be the most dangerous safety pairing in the NFL. 

It’s something the two Texas natives have been talking about since Adams took a recruiting visit to Austin seven years ago. 

"I was going to the University of Texas, obviously looking for the school I wanted to go to, and Quandre was there,” Adams said. “Quandre really wanted me to come very, very bad, he was my host. We had a great time on Sixth Street—I’ll never forget it, we had a great time.”

Despite Adams choosing to go to LSU, where he compiled 209 tackles, two sacks, five interceptions and two forced fumbles in 36 games with the Tigers, he and Quandre stayed in touch.  

“Me and Quandre have been close ever since, even when he was in Detroit, we talked literally every day,” Adams said. “He’d hit me up and say ‘I like that play you made,’ I’ll hit him and say ‘you ballin’ out there.’ We always talk. He’s like a brother to me. We’ve known each other for a very long time. We always talked about ‘what if we played together?’”

On July 26, just hours before news of the Seahawks blockbuster trade broke the Internet, Diggs’ phone rang. It was Adams.  

“He was one of the first people that I called when I did find out that I got traded,” Adams said. “It was Saturday and my agent was like ‘man, don’t tell anybody, like that you’re getting traded to Seattle,’ and I was like alright, then I called Quandre and said man, ‘It might go through, it might go through.’"

The Seahawks traded for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, snagging him from the Jets. To facilitate the deal, they packaged two future first-round picks, a 2021 third-round pick, and veteran Bradley McDougald. 

With McDougald off to New York, Adams will slide into McDougald’s spot in the starting lineup alongside Diggs, giving Seattle one of the best safety tandems in football. 

Adams couldn’t be more elated to call Seattle his second and hopefully final NFL home.  

[RELATED:Jamal Adams is all-in with Seahawks, plans on retiring in Seattle]

“I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk. When I got the call, honestly, I broke down in tears of joy,” Adams said. “This is my calling. This is where I need to be.”

Adams and Diggs can officially put their talks of playing together to bed as it's now reality. But there’s no way we couldn’t dig up photos of the dynamic duo in their early days, especially since Adams hinted that they exist.  

“If you honestly go on Google, you might see a picture of a guy with no facial hair and he’s young – he’s probably about I want to say 17.” 

We did, and the result was priceless. 

Seahawks newcomer Jamal Adams scoffs at notion he’s just a ‘box safety’

Seahawks newcomer Jamal Adams scoffs at notion he’s just a ‘box safety’

There’s been a lot of handwringing over the price the Seahawks paid to get Jamal Adams.

The overall sentiment from the numerous detractors of the trade is that two first-round picks is too steep a price in general, but especially for a strong safety. Quarterback (which goes without saying), left tackle, wide receiver, edge rusher and corner are all generally accepted as positions of greater value.

But there are exceptions to every rule. There are players so multiple that they can give you a little bit of everything while doing it at the highest level. That’s Adams.

“At the end of the day, you have to realize that everybody is going to have an opinion about something,” Adams said on Thursday via Zoom call. “If I have to go out there and continue to do what I do, continue to learn. That’s what matters.

“People that really know ball and watch ball and know me, the whole ‘box safety’ word – it doesn’t even matter. You just turn on the film, I do a bit more than just stay in the box. I’m excited to go out there and compete.”

And that’s true. ESPN’s Mina Kimes tweeted earlier in the week that Adams has lined up more at defensive line and linebacker than he has at safety over his first three NFL seasons. That versatility is what’s led to his combined 12.0 sacks, 23 quarterback hits, 25 passes defended, six forced fumbles, 273 tackles and 28 tackle for loss from 2017-19.

Adams said he grew up admiring Bob Sanders, Troy Polamalu, Sean Taylor and Ryan Clark (among others). His goal was to somehow mold himself into a hybrid player that had traits of all four.

“I wanted to create that one person out of all those guys,” Adams shared. “I always took bits and pieces of their game and tried to add it to mine."

That’s what he’s shown since being selected sixth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU. Adams is already a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro.

He likes to think of himself as a hunter. That goes for when he’s rushing the passer, dropping back in coverage or pursuing the run.

“Anytime I hit the field, I’m hunting,” Adams said. “It’s how I was always raised as far as, on and off the field, if you want something in life you have to go get it. No one is going to give it to you. Nothing is handed out. Everything is earned.”

He took that sentiment to the extreme during the Zoom call. Adams told reporters that he’s going to have to come in and compete for a starting job with the Seahawks. The modesty was a nice touch, but his spot is very much secure.

Adams’ presence gives the Seahawks a standout pairing at safety alongside Quandre Diggs as well as the added star power Seattle’s defense desperately needed. Now it’s up to Pete Carroll and the rest of the defensive coaching staff to take advantage of their new weapon.

Jamal Adams is all-in with Seahawks, plans on retiring in Seattle

Jamal Adams is all-in with Seahawks, plans on retiring in Seattle

Upon requesting a trade from the New York Jets on June 18, Jamal Adams laid out a list of eight teams as preferred landing spots.

The Seattle Seahawks were on that list.

“I felt like Seattle was a first-class organization from top to bottom,” Adams said via Zoom call on Thursday with local reporters. “When you think about coming into a situation like this … an organization with Russell Wilson, with Bobby Wagner on the other side, with Bruce Irvin – so many guys that came before us or that are still here – K.J. Wright.

“These are guys who have seen it all. They’ve been to the big dance. They’ve won the big dance. That’s what it’s about, being around a lot of Hall of Famers, a lot of potential Hall of Famers.”

Adams spent a little more than a month with his career in limbo before the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire him on July 25. Even though the ambiguity of his employment was of his own doing, there was still plenty of stress that came with that uncertainty.

The safety expressed an obvious sense of relief now that everything is resolved.

“I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk. When I got the call, honestly I broke down in tears of joy,” Adams said. “This is my calling. This is where I need to be.”

It’s a bit of an odd situation being the new guy in a locker room when you just actively sought to leave your previous team. Adams said he believes everyone in Seattle knows he’s all-in with the Seahawks, but he’ll still be sure to prove it to them anyway.

“I’ve had quite some conversations with a couple guys – not all of them yet – but these guys know," Adams said. "I’m here to play ball. That’s just how I am. I’m not a distraction in the locker room. I’ve never been in trouble in my life.

“Anybody who has been my teammate or knows me knows that I’m far from a problem. All I want to do is win and bring the best. I’m an energy guy. I’m a juice guy. I love to have fun. That’s just who I am.”

Adams is entering his fourth season and has agreed to play this year under his rookie deal. There’s a common understanding, though, that he’ll want a new contract next offseason rather than play out 2021 on his fifth-year option.

The reigning All-Pro initially sidestepped a question about his future before unequivocally stating that he wants to remain in Seattle long term.

“Absolutely, man. The plan is to retire here,” Adams said. “That is my plan. Those things handle themselves. All you’ve got to do is go on the field and perform and do the right things on and off the field.”

That’s good news for the Seahawks given they’re equally all-in on Adams. There’s no question that Seattle has to keep him around after giving up two first-round picks, a third-round pick and Bradley McDougald just to acquire him.

Adams holds all the cards in future negotiations because of that fact. But that’s a tomorrow problem. For now, as evidenced by Adams’ obvious energy and excitement on the Zoom call, both sides are ready to enjoy the honeymoon phase.

Seattle Seahawks make or break players in 2020: LB Jordyn Brooks


Seattle Seahawks make or break players in 2020: LB Jordyn Brooks

(This series focuses on the x-factors/wildcards on the Seahawks roster who will make or break Seattle’s 2020 season.)

There are two narratives that are likely exhausting to most Seahawks fans: Seattle’s meager pass rush and the team’s inability to hit on first-round picks.

In regard to the latter, Jordyn Brooks is next in line to try and buck that trend. He’s actually going to be Seattle’s last hope to be a standout first-rounder for a while given the Seahawks dealt their next two top picks away in the Jamal Adams trade.

Nobody expected the Texas Tech linebacker to come off the board at pick No. 27 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Brooks was highly productive in college, leading the Red Raiders with 108 tackles and 20.0 tackles for loss in 2019. However, most draft experts gave him a second-round grade due to his perceived lack of coverage skills.

The combination of that perception, Seattle’s draft misfires in recent years and the fact that Brooks was taken over LSU’s Patrick Queen (a player nearly unanimously seen as a better prospect by media experts) means that fans might not have much patience with the Seahawks rookie.

That, of course, is to no fault of his own, but it doesn’t change the reality of his situation as he enters his first NFL training camp.

“They have whiffed so mightily on first-round picks in recent years that it would be a colossal failure if he isn’t starting right away, perhaps even by Week 1 but certainly by mid-season,” Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune said on a recent episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

Brooks deserves the benefit of the doubt that he’ll be able to earn gameday reps sooner rather than late. His prototype build and athleticism (he’s 6-0, 240 pounds and ran a 4.54 40-yard dash with minimal prep time for the Combine), coupled with his production in college, is why the Seahawks saw him as a perfect fit for what they seek in a linebacker.

But where will he get those reps? John Schneider intimated that Brooks could challenge K.J. Wright for the starting WILL linebacker job immediately. That’s the outcome Bell envisions.

“I think he’s going to start Week 1,” Bell said. “I think he’s going to be the weakside linebacker. I think they’re going to use him as the speed guy and move K.J. Wright to strongside.”

Brooks figures to be the long-term starter alongside Bobby Wagner with Wright entering the final year of his contract. Seattle’s defensive leader is yet to have the chance to get to know Brooks given the lack of an offseason program, but that will change in the coming weeks.

“I spoke to him a little when he got drafted,” Wagner said of Brooks on Wednesday. “I was able to be in the (virtual) meeting rooms with him. A lot of it was just going over the defense, and so we didn’t get to talking much (one-on-one). I haven’t been around him that much. I’m hoping that we get through this first phase and get a chance to get around him.”

Brooks is the definition of a wildcard, but he has the ability to elevate Seattle’s defense if he can get up to speed and produce as a rookie.

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ranked as the No. 2 player in the NFL Top 100

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ranked as the No. 2 player in the NFL Top 100

Russell Wilson may have never received an MVP vote in his career but his fellow players give him his well-deserved recognition.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback was ranked as the second-best player in the NFL in the 2020 edition of the NFL Top 100, a ranking of the league's best 100 players as voted by NFL players.

Here's what those that have had to go up against Wilson had to say about the greatest player in Seahawks history.

“He’s a guy that can get very creative after the first option is not there. It’s hard to tell what’s a designed and what’s not by design, " said Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris, who led the NFL in interceptions in 2019. 

“He’s like a chicken in the chicken house, man, he’s just running...”  added Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith.

“He’s unguardable," says Tamba Bay wide receiver Mike Evans.

“He’s almost a running back except with a killer arm. You can have an avalanche coming towards him and somehow he does that little half-circle spin," recalls Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.

In 2019, Wilson was one of the favorites to win MVP before Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens ended the season as the league's best record at 14-2. Jackson who beat out Wilson for the 2019 MVP Award, also was ranked as the NFL's best player in the NFL Top 100. 

The Seattle signal-caller finished the regular season with 4,110 yards passing, 31 touchdowns and only five interceptions with a completion percentage of 66.1%. He also ran 75 times for 342 yards and three touchdowns. 

Jackson threw for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns, and just six interceptions while running for 176 times for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. 

While Jackson definitely deserved to win MVP in 2019, is he really better than Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson? The Seahawks have made the postseason in all but one season under Wilson, including two NFC Championships and one Super Bowl. Additionally, in the six postseason appearances with Wilson under center, the Seahawks have won at least a game five times.

Contrast that with Jackson who has made the postseason both of his years in the league, but has yet to win a game, including losing to the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans at home in the Divisional Round last year. 

In two postseason games, Jackson has averaged 279.5 yards passing on 51.14% completion, 1.5 touchdowns, and 1.5 interceptions per game. Wilson averages 240.8 yards passing on 62.26% completion, 1.53 touchdowns and 0.73 interceptions per postseason game. 

If the game is on the line in a win-or-go-home scenario, do you want Wilson, who has led 21 comebacks and 28 game-winning drives in his career, or Jackson who has led one comeback and three game-winning drives? 

In the mind of Russ' teammates and the 12s, there's no doubt who you'd choose. Just ask D.K. Metcalf.