Heaps: 3 unsung heroes emerge on the Seahawks’ defense

Sep 29, 2020, 12:20 PM

Seahawks L.J. Collier...

Second-year Seahawks DE L.J. Collier is shaking off his disappointing rookie season. (Getty)


The Seahawks’ defense through three games has been, to put it mildly, a bit uneven.

Pete Carroll Show: Metcalf’s mistake, ups and downs of Seahawks’ D

On the one hand, Seattle is second in the entire NFL in run defense, allowing just 66.7 yards per game on the ground. Despite that, the Seahawks rank dead last in the league with 497.3 total yards of offense allowed per game, a distinction that is completely owed to the 430.7 passing yards they’re allowing on average.

For the sake of comparison, no other team is allowing more than 350.3 passing yards per game, and the Atlanta Falcons are the only team besides Seattle averaging over 300 passing yards allowed.

So how are the Seahawks still undefeated? Russell Wilson and the offense gets most of the credit there, but there have been some unsung heroes making big plays on defense to preserve Seattle’s wins. Three jumped out in particular to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps in Sunday’s 38-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Let’s take a look at who the former Seahawks quarterback identified and what he had to say about each player.

DB Ugo Amadi

Amadi, a second-year fourth-round pick out of Oregon, finds himself in a key role following the season-ending injury to nickel cornerback/safety Marquise Blair. He’s an easy pick as one of Seattle’s standouts on defense against Dallas, making seven tackles, including six solo, and two passes defensed.

“Ugo Amadi stepped up and played big,” Heaps said. “He did a great job playing nickel (cornerback) and I also thought he did a great job in different spots playing safety when they brought Jamal Adams on pressure. Ugo Amadi had an outstanding day.”

DE L.J. Collier

Seattle’s 2019 first-round pick had a disappointing rookie season, but he’s shown early on this year why the Seahawks picked him ahead of several other defensive line options, both with defending the run and rushing the passer.

“Look at L.J. Collier. Talk about twitch, you talk about flash plays,” Heaps said. “L.J. Collier stood out a couple different times in the run game and in the pass game. I thought he had a pretty excellent day.”

DE Alton Robinson

The name of Robinson, a fifth-round pick year out of Syracuse, came up time and time again leading into and during training camp as a potential steal out of the draft. Curiously, he was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Seahawks’ season. He turned heads when he got his opportunity Sunday, however, even registering his first career sack on a key play that directly preceded safety Ryan Neal’s interception that sealed Seattle’s win.

Robinson finished the day with three tackles (all solo), two tackles for loss and the sack.

“The player I thought should have been on the active roster and contributing from the very beginning was defensive end Alton Robinson. He made plays in this game that I saw him make in practice and in the couple of team scrimmages that they had, so it was kind of a head-scratcher to me why he was inactive the first two weeks,” Heaps said. “I think he’s made a role for himself and clearly has shown that he’s a guy who should be not part of the starting lineup but heavily in the rotation of that defensive line because this guy can make some plays.”

You can hear Heaps’ full comments in the Four-Down Territory segment of Monday’s Tom, Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

710Sports.com’s Brandon Gustafson contributed to this report.

Moore’s 10 Takeaways: Short-term, long-term solutions for Hawks’ D

Jake and Stacy

Seahawks Drew Lock...

Stacy Rost

Seahawks Practice Snapshot: Good day for QB Drew Lock and offense

Stacy Rost details the latest from Seahawks practice as they're just days away from beginning the preseason against the Steelers on Saturday.

2 years ago

Michael Bumpus Stacy Rost...

SeattleSports.com Staff

New Seattle Sports show: ‘Bump and Stacy’ with Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost

The next chapter of middays on Seattle Sports begins Monday with the debut of Bump and Stacy, co-hosted by Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost.

2 years ago

Seahawks Sean Desai...

Brandon Gustafson

What new assistants Desai and Scott revealed about Seahawks’ defense

Jake Heaps breaks down some encouraging comments from new Seahawks defensive assistants Sean Desai and Karl Scott about the defense.

2 years ago

Seahawks Broncos Drew Lock...

Brandon Gustafson

Should Seahawks be OK going into 2022 with Smith or Lock at QB?

Are the Seahawks really comfortable with Geno Smith or Drew Lock as the starter? Jake Heaps thinks that isn't "an ideal situation."

2 years ago

Jake Heaps Stacy Rost...

SeattleSports.com Staff

Seattle Sports’ Jake Heaps announces departure from Jake & Stacy show

After four years with Seattle Sports, Jake Heaps will be leaving the Jake and Stacy show to enter a new chapter in his career.

2 years ago

Seahawks 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo...

Stacy Rost

3 things Seahawks fans should know about potential Jimmy G trade

The possibility of the Seahawks acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has picked up steam this week. Stacy Rost examines its viability.

2 years ago

Heaps: 3 unsung heroes emerge on the Seahawks’ defense