JAKE AND STACY

Amadi to play more aggressive defense for Seahawks after ‘timid’ 2019

Apr 11, 2020, 1:53 PM
Seahawks CB Ugo Amadi...
Seahawks CB Ugo Amadi wants to be more aggressive on defense in 2020. (Getty)
(Getty)

Something you’ll often hear with first-year players in any sport is that they have “rookie moment” or make “rookie mistakes.” In the case of Seahawks 2019 fourth-round pick Ugo Amadi, a defensive back from Oregon, he was so worried about having one of those gaffes on defense last year that he did something he doesn’t normally do – he played apprehensively.

Seahawks draft profiles: Could Seattle take DEs Gross-Matos or Okwara?

“I feel like, especially on defense, the opportunity I got on the field, I feel like I never wanted to make a mistake,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy.

Don’t expect that same mindset for 2020. Amadi is projected to be Seattle’s starting nickel cornerback, a role that he didn’t get extended looks at until late in the season and the playoffs.

“Now that I’ve made a mistake, I can play a lot faster now,” Amadi said. “I feel like I was playing timid and when I’d see things, I wouldn’t go right away like I did in college. But I feel like with a year under my belt, I’m going to be able to react instead of thinking and then reacting. I was just trying to play everything safe and I feel like next year I’m going to be a lot more confident to be more aggressive, especially on defense.”

While it took some time for Amadi to get acclimated on defense, he was one of the Seahawks’ top special teams players. He especially excelled on punt coverage as a gunner. His special teams success was surprising to many, Amadi included.

“On special teams, I was shocked. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do what I did on special teams this season,” he said. “I did it in college but I wasn’t doing in college what I’m doing now, so I was actually shocked on what I was able to do because honestly, during camp I was barely getting any reps and I feel like that Vikings play I made in preseason really set the tone for my season and put a voice in the coaches’ ear that I could be a serious threat on special teams.”

That Vikings play Amadi brought up was in the preseason, where he delivered a big, perfectly timed hit on a punt.

Being a core special teams player, Amadi spent a lot of time in practice working on plays like that.

“I was making all these plays going this fast and it’s really hard to do,” he said. “Just looking at it, it may look easy, but me being on the field doing it was very, very hard. I practice extremely hard to tackle and that’s all we did every day in practice is trying to tackle in the open field on special teams.”

And while Amadi has shown he can excel on special teams, he wants to be great on defense. To get to that point, he’s making sure to take advantage of playing for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

“To be honest with you, I love every bit of (playing for Carroll),” he said. “Every moment we have, everything.”

Carroll has had a lot of success at both the NFL ranks and in college, and Amadi is grateful to be playing for a coach with such a great track record who also happens to be a former defensive backs coach who has coached future Hall of Famers at both the collegiate and pro levels.

“Getting drafted there, I was always a big USC fan, especially when Pete Carroll was there and when I got the opportunity to be coached by him, I embrace every moment I have with him,” he said.

Listen to the full conversation, which includes how he’s handling the shutdown, being a dad and more at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom Wassell, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost on Twitter.

More Seahawks offseason coverage

Wyman: Breaking down projected Seahawks pick DT Justin Madubuike
Moore: Ranking the Seahawks’ draft success round by round
Do the Seahawks need to take a receiver in this receiver-rich draft?
Heaps: Despite moves, Seahawks’ defense has not improved from 2019
Seahawks 2020 offseason tracker

Jake and Stacy

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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months ago
Mariners Penn Murfee...
Brandon Gustafson

What jumps out about Mariners’ Penn Murfee, who’s been one of MLB’s best relievers

Scott Servais joined The Dugout and shared some quick thoughts on Mariners breakout rookie relief pitcher Penn Murfee and his 2022 season.
2 months ago
Amadi to play more aggressive defense for Seahawks after ‘timid’ 2019