After taking over as the Seahawks primary nickelback spot in his first season, Amadi is poised to be the leading candidate for the starting nickel corner in 2020. In Seattle's last three games, Amadi played 55 defensive snaps, produced five tackles and nearly returned an interception for six points against Carolina in Week 15.
In an interview with Alistair Corp of Field Gulls, the former Oregon standout reflected on the challenges he faced in his first year and what's on the horizon for him in year 2. He also sounded off on Pete Carroll's comments at the NFL Draft that the starting nickel spot is Amadi's to lose.
It doesn't change my mentality at all, I'm still going to go in wanting to win my job every day. I feel like my jobs on the line every day. That's how it was my rookie year, even on special teams. I'm not worried about competing with nobody else, it's all about the man in the mirror to me. I want the best for myself, so I'm going to make sure I'm on my stuff at all times, make sure I'm mentally prepared, because if I only focus on other people, I can't get my own job done. That's not just with ball that's with anything in life.
I feel like, with those words being said by Pete, he knows, and I know that will be something that makes me sharpen my iron and make me put in the extra work to know this or know that.
This offseason is certainly different than Amadi's first year in the league. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the offseason program has gone completely virtual with teams taking to Zoom video conferencing to communicate.
Amadi says he's been doing a lot of independent film sessions and feels for the rookies who are forced to learn in an alternative environment this year.
Like you said, it's not like I'm flying blind through it. It's a good experience, you're still able to get the work in, coaches ask you questions to make sure you're focused and locked in, paying attention. But I feel bad for the rookies because defense has certain verbiage and that verbiage is different for every single team. So, they don't really know until you get that walk-through rep. I feel bad for them. For me, it's all just memory so it's another way of learning. It's a different way of learning but you get something out of it every day-especially with our team.
Amadi says McDougald in particular has helped mentor and shape him as a versatile defensive back.
"He helped me out a lot," Amadi said. "I used to always watch film with him and he was the one that really taught me the little details and how crucial gap fitting is, and taking notes so you can retain the information. His style of play is something that influenced me, being physical at all times because the opponent will bring it to you every snap, so you have to prepare for that mentally and physically."
If Amadi obtains the slot corner starting spot, he'll join McDougald, Griffin, Diggs and Tre Flowers as presumptive starters on the Seahawks secondary when Seattle kicks off the season this fall.
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and Voice of the Seahawks, broadcaster Steve Raible.
Seahawks nickel Ugo Amadi isnt competing against anyone other than himself originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest