Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson gives TED Talk on the power of neutral thinking

Russell Wilson gives TED Talk on the power of neutral thinking

The 2020 TED Conference has been shifted to being online due to the COVID-19 pandemic which includes a talk from the NFL's highest-paid quarterback, Russell Wilson.

During the conference's second session, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback virtually gave a talk on the power of practicing neutral thinking in trying times.

“Mindset is a skill. It can be taught and learned. I started 10 years ago training my mind,” said Wilson, who is trained by mental conditioning coach, Trevor Moawad, author of It Takes What It Takes. 

Earlier this year in an interview with KIRO Radio’s Seattle’s Morning News, Moawad talked about how he helps Wilson maintain a mindset conducive to success, including always focusing on the ensuing action rather than past events. 

“You have three bad quarters, you’ve thrown four interceptions, you own that,” he said. “But the next seven minutes are going to be based on what you do, not what you did.”

I have a choice, right now, in the midst of the storm, to decide to overcome. - Russell Wilson during his speech

Wilson also discussed how getting too hung up on the highs or lows can have consequences that affect the future. He would know having experienced both: winning and losing a Super Bowl, getting married, divorced and then married again, and losing his father. 

“Positivity can be dangerous, but what always works is negativity,” Wilson said. “I never want to live in negativity, so I stayed in neutral … that’s where I’ve been living ever since.”

He doesn't want anyone to get confused. Wilson's not a robot. He still feels emotions, but he's trained his mind to not allow him to act emotionally. 

“Does it mean I don’t have any emotion? Absolutely not,” Wilson said. “But you have to stay focused on the moment. It’s OK to have emotions, but don’t be emotional.”

Wilson echoed that sentiment when he spoke to NBC Sports Northwest for the Headstrong documentary last fall about the importance of mental health.

[RELATED: Headstrong: Russell Wilson on his approach to goal setting]

“The easiest way to start, in my opinion, is to one, write out where you want to go," Wilson said. "What’s my end destination? Then I think about where I am currently, right now. Then I think about the necessary steps to get there.”

We can all learn a thing or two from the Seahawks' greatest player. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner. 

Seahawks could join NFL teams allowing season ticket holders to opt out of season

Seahawks could join NFL teams allowing season ticket holders to opt out of season

There’s a very real possibility that CenturyLink Field could be half-empty or vacant when the NFL begins the 2020 season. 

After NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 NFL teams requiring them to reimburse any ticket sales if fans are unable to attend games, several NFL teams have motioned to allow season ticket holders the option to opt out of attendance. 

All clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club.

Over the weekend, the Titans sent a letter to season ticket holders giving them an option to apply existing payments for this season toward next year or receive a refund for any money that’s already been paid. All remaining installments on payment plans have also been suspended as of July 1. 

With a possibility that games will won’t happen at Lambeau Field this year, Green Bay Packers season ticket holders can choose to “opt-in” or “opt-out.” For those who choose to opt out, their 2020 payment can be refunded in full or credited to 2021. 

The Houston Texans also provided their season ticket holders with a number of options. In short, Texans fans can keep their seats, defer the cost of their tickets to 2021, or get a refund for payments that have already been made in 2020 with payments resuming in 2021. 

Back in April, the Seahawks said they would work with season ticket holders individually to accommodate those who need personalized payment plans, including deferment. However, no updates have been released since.  

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks with host Joe Fann and Seahawks DB Ugo Amadi 

What we do know is that the Seahawks are working toward reducing their stadium capacity to fulfill the state’s social distancing requirements. Depending on how coronavirus concerns play out in the state, the stadium could be at half capacity with empty rows and vacant seats. Someone would ultimately have to decide which season ticket holders can attend certain games. 

As for the team, they’ll have to also adjust to the potential of playing in front of empty seats or half-full stadiums rather than the roaring 12s.   

“Everybody needs to be wide open and ready to adapt and all of that and all aspects of our lives right now, and certainly as we approach the season,” Pete Carroll said earlier this spring. “We are going to have to be prepared. There’s still a great opportunity to show the game to our fans through media resources. But if that’s the way it is, it will be a different experience.”

Patrick Mahomes dethrones Russell Wilson as NFL's highest-paid player

Patrick Mahomes dethrones Russell Wilson as NFL's highest-paid player

Russell Wilson made headlines last April when he announced his record-breaking deal with the Seattle Seahawks while lying in bed with Ciara. 

“Hey Seattle, we got a deal…Go Hawks,” Wilson said in the video

The Seahawks franchise quarterback became the highest-paid player in the NFL after agreeing to a four-year, $140 million extension. The deal, which runs through 2023, included a $65 million signing bonus, a no-trade clause and $107 million in guaranteed money. 

But Wilson could only be on top of the NFL for so long-- 16 months to be exact. 

On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs agreed to terms on a 10-year extension that will keep the quarterback in Kansas City through the 2031 season. 

The terms of Mahomes' extension were not immediately released; however, Schefter calls the deal the “richest contract in NFL history.”

The deal is reported to be worth $450 million in total with an injury guarantee of $140 million, per Schefter. Mahomes' $45 million per year will be the highest annual salary in league history. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero report the number is now worth $503 million. 

Mahomes has thrown for 9,412 yards with 76 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 31 regular-season games.

In five playoff games, the Chiefs QB has thrown for 1,474 yards with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks with host Joe Fann and Seahawks DB Ugo Amadi 

This is the first NFL deal to go beyond the 2020s and will keep the 2018 MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP with the team until he is 36 years old. 

In terms of annual salary, Wilson previously held the record as the league’s highest-paid quarterback with a per year average of $35 million. He previously surpassed Aaron Rodgers’ average annual salary of $33.5 million as part of a $134 million extension he signed in August 2018 with the Green Bay Packers.  

Since becoming the Chiefs starting quarterback in 2018, Mahomes has cemented himself as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks. Now, he’ll get paid like one too. 

Darrell Taylor recruits Jamal Adams to join Seattle Seahawks

Darrell Taylor recruits Jamal Adams to join Seattle Seahawks

Jamal Adams wants out of New York. 

The All-Pro safety, who is signed through 2021, has reportedly demanded to be traded by the Jets if a new deal isn’t done before the regular season.

He reportedly gave the Jets a list of seven preferred destinations and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Adams would welcome a trade to the Seattle Seahawks. 

So would Seahawks 2020 second-round pick Darrell Taylor. 

Over the weekend, B/R Gridiron shared a photo of Adams with a slideshow of possible landing spots. Taylor screenshotted the slide showcasing Seattle’s defense and delivered this message to the two-time Pro Bowler.

“Come on @PresidentMal.”

Taylor isn’t the first Seahawks player to drop Seattle’s name in the Jamal Adams sweepstakes. Quandre Diggs also chimed in on the idea back in March. 

Adding Adams to a loaded secondary with Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar (pending armed robbery charges) at corner and Adams and Diggs at safety could give Seattle a legit Legion of Boom 2.0.

Since the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams is the only defensive back with 10-plus sacks, 20-plus quarterback hits and 25-plus tackles for loss, per NFL Research. His 6.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for loss in 2019 were each career-bests. 

While Jadeveon Clowney watch continues over 100 days after free agency began, Adams could be that “wow” acquisition the Seahawks need to bolster the secondary for years to come. 

[RELATED: Report: Jadeveon Clowney offered $15 million to return to Seahawks]

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks with host Joe Fann and Seahawks DB Ugo Amadi 

Seahawks CB Ugo Amadi raves about Bobby Wagner’s mentorship

Seahawks CB Ugo Amadi raves about Bobby Wagner’s mentorship

Bobby Wagner is the undisputed leader of the Seattle Seahawks. We’ve known this for quite some time now, but Ugo Amadi recently explained just how far Wagner goes on an individual basis to be a mentor to Seattle’s younger players.

“I can call him anytime,” Amadi said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “He’ll take care of me and answer any question I have for him. When I first got drafted, he was the first person in the locker room to introduce himself to me.”

At the start of the preseason, Wagner urged Amadi to come to the facility early each day. Wagner arrives at 6:00 a.m., two hours ahead of the first meeting of the day at 8:00 a.m. Amadi began to join him, using the time to watch film and get his body ready for the day ahead.

The rookie saw immediate dividends. In the third week of the preseason, he delivered an impressive hit on punt coverage that went viral.

“See? That’s what happens when you come in early,” Wagner told him. “Good things happen for you.”

Amadi was fully bought in after that.

Their early mornings were also coupled with late nights following East Coast road games. Rather than go home when the buses arrived back at VMAC, Wagner and Amadi (and sometimes DK Metcalf) would stick around and get into the cold tub to help their recovery process. There were times, including after a playoff win against the Eagles, when they didn’t go home until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.

Wagner also tasked Amadi with picking a collection for current or former NFL defensive backs that he admired and wanted to emulate his game after. The idea was that if he could pick out players with similar traits to his own, he’d be able to use their success as a way to visualize where he wanted his career to go.

Amadi picked three players: Tyrann Mathieu (Amadi’s favorite player since college who has a knack for getting to the ball), Ed Reed (for his natural feel for the ball) and Earl Thomas (for his open-field tackling).

“I had never done that,” Amadi said. “Nobody had ever taught me ball like that.”

Wagner encouraged Amadi to read more and even went as far as to buy him a few books. The linebacker also got his understudy involved in community service. It’s evident when talking to Amadi that he’s got a good head on his shoulders. There’s a strong chance that he starts at nickel corner for the Seahawks in 2020.

Should Amadi continue his upward trajectory, he knows it will be due in large part to Wagner taking him under his wing.

“Bobby, man, he’s special,” he said.

Quandre Diggs’ message to Americans: ‘Just put a freaking mask on’

Quandre Diggs’ message to Americans: ‘Just put a freaking mask on’

As the state of Texas continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, Quandre Diggs is certain one simple measure could help slow the rapid spread of the virus in the state. 

In a recent interview with SI, the Seahawks safety criticized Americans resistance to wearing face coverings, particularly in his home state of Texas, where cases have soared in recent weeks. 

As a country, as a whole, I feel like we're just a cocky country that feels like we're invincible, but we have the most cases in the world. At some point, we need to take that cockiness down, and I think we need to get humbled a little bit and let people know that, 'Hey, continue to wear your mask.' I feel like the mask mandate should have been in effect the whole time.

If you were going to open up stuff, at least make the mask mandated when people are going to have to go out so you can't spread it. But when you make it a choice, then you give people the choice not to wear it, then of course the choice is going to be like, "Oh, I forgot my mask at home, but I don't need it." It's just one of those things. -- Quandre Diggs

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks with host Joe Fann and Seahawks DB Ugo Amadi 

Diggs has been critical of Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to reopen the economy for some time. During a press conference on May 21 with local media, Diggs expressed concerns that the Lone Star State was opening up too fast. 

Since Memorial Day, statewide cases have seen extraordinary increases, making much of Texas a national hotspot for COVID-19. On Sunday, the state set a new record for hospitalizations with 8,181 cases, 291 more than the previous day. 

While the Governor has now declared a statewide face mask mandate, at least 12 Texas counties have said they will not be enforcing the order. 

It’s cockiness. It’s the absolute cockiness of America, of Americans, to think, ‘I don’t need a mask.’ I don’t understand it, there’s nobody taking away your freedom, you’re still able to go walk a street, you’re still able to go into the store — just put a freaking mask on, it’s not that serious. -- Quandre Diggs

Diggs is looking out for more than the people in his community. He is also trying to protect those in his family, like his 11-month old daughter Ariya. 
“I don’t want to bring anything into my house,” Diggs said. “Babies don’t normally have the best immune system, so I want to stay as clear and free away from it as I can.” 

As the NFL attempts to begin a 2020 season unlike any other, players like Diggs are worried about everything from hygiene and treatment to travel protocols and game-day procedures. 

One talking point remains undecided: the preseason. So far, preseason weeks 1 and 4 have been removed, but the NFL and NFLPA may be moving to cancel the entire preseason as they grapple with how to properly handle the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the league. 

NFL may require fans to sign COVID-19 waiver to attend games

NFL may require fans to sign COVID-19 waiver to attend games

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted each industry nationwide, including many sports leagues that have been searching for ways to continue play.

The NBA, WNBA, MLS and NWSL seasons were all suspended in favor of returning in bubbles without fan attendance allowed at any games. 

March Madness and all spring NCAA athletics were canceled. 

Meanwhile, the NFL appears to want fan attendance this upcoming season and "is considering requiring fans attending games this season to sign liability waivers shielding the teams from COVID-19 lawsuits," per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.  

One league source told Kaplan that the waiver would be signed electronically. 

Kaplan reports that NFL teams are preparing for various scenarios ranging from having no fans in stadiums and full attendance a la business as usual.

With the coronavirus pandemic reaching new heights in the United States, having fans in NFL stadiums this upcoming season would be irresponsible, according to many health experts. 

Oregon governor Kate Brown recommended that all mass gatherings be canceled or heavily altered through September, and Oregon ranks as having the 12th fewest coronavirus cases, according to the New York Times, with 10,088 total cases. Brown's recommendation came in May before Oregon saw record-spikes in recent weeks. 

Meanwhile, Florida, the home state to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has 200,013 total cases, including a record of 10,059 new cases reported on Sunday. 

The NFL wants Florida, who nearly had more new cases in a day than Oregon has had in months, to be able to host over 65,000 people at least 24 times this upcoming season. There's no way to frame that other than a severe lack of safety for not just the fans, but the players and staff that will be at risk at those events. 

At President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, all attendees were required to sign a waiver similar in fashion to what the NFL is proposing internally. The director of the Tulsa Health Department said on Thursday that it's too soon to link the rally, which 6,200 people attended largely without wearing masks, to new spikes in the county. But, Tulsa county has recorded more than 1,300 new cases in the first eleven days since the rally including a record 259 cases on June 23. 

Now, the NFL season won't happen for months, and the league can always look to delay the season if they need to. We don't know what state the country will be in with regards to the coronavirus pandemic by September, but it appears unlikely that life will return to "normal" by then. 

The virus "mostly spread[s] by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze," per the CDC. Having tens of thousands of fans screaming in unison, especially with four teams playing inside domes, would put everyone in attendance at risk. Especially when 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic. 

For the league to discuss having fans in attendance this season, along with preparing for a life without cheering faithful in the stands, is what the league should be doing. Trying to force fans to sign away liability so they can give the league money while putting themselves at risk is irresponsible.

What decision will the NFL make? That remains to be seen. 

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.