Seahawks nickel CB Ugo Amadi’s play should have your attention
It’s clear the Seahawks’ defense has turned a corner from its dismal first half of the season.
After the Los Angeles Rams scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half of a Week 10 game, Seattle shut out LA the rest of the way, then held the Arizona Cardinals to just 21 points in Week 11 and topped that Monday night with only 17 points allowed to the Philadelphia Eagles (the last eight of which stemmed from a fluky Hail Mary touchdown).
There are a lot of factors deserving of praise in the Seahawks’ defensive turnaround, whether it’s the addition of veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap to the pass rush, safety Jamal Adams growing more comfortable in Seattle’s system or a number of key players returning from injury.
One of those players to come back from missing time is perhaps falling under the radar, but 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps wants to make sure he gets his due.
“Which Seahawks player deserves more credit? It’s very simple to me – Ugo Amadi,” Heaps said.
A fourth-round pick out of Oregon in 2019, Amadi assumed the nickel cornerback position after fellow second-year defensive back Marquise Blair had his season ended with a torn ACL in Week 2. Amadi himself missed two games – a Week 8 win over the 49ers and a loss at Buffalo the following week – due to a hamstring injury, but it’s worth noting that his return for Week 10 against the Rams coincides with Seattle’s improving play on defense.
“He was out with an injury, came back and he has been fantastic,” Heaps said during Wednesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy. “He has been lights out in terms of his man-to-man coverage and the physicality that he brings on the edge in the run game. I think Ugo has done an outstanding job.”
Due to the nature of his position, Amadi isn’t stuffing the stat sheet. His entire line from Monday was two assists on tackles, and for the year he has 35 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, four passes defensed (two each in Week 3 and Week 4) and a forced fumble. Heaps sees more impact that what is included in a box score, though, especially when compared to last season when nickel cornerback was a shaky position for Seattle.
“We’ve talked about great nickel corners that this Seahawks team has had. We almost talk about them in great reverence, like this is a special position in Pete Carroll’s defense – and it is. If you don’t have a nickel corner you can trust then they play base defense for the majority of the time, and we all saw how that panned out last year for them,” said Heaps, pointing to a Seahawks team that ranked 26th in the NFL in total yards allowed and 27th in passing yards allowed.
Heaps believes it will take all of one play for people to start taking more notice of Amadi.
“The one thing that he hasn’t gotten yet that I can’t wait for him to get is an interception,” Heaps said. “I think people will really start to recognize that and give him the praise that he deserves once he finally gets that interception. But I’m saying it right now, he is one of the true unsung heroes of this defense.”
You can hear Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Click here for podcasts from the show.
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