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.
Seahawks CB Ugo Amadi raves about Bobby Wagners mentorship originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest