The Seahawks weren’t at their best in Minneapolis. But they did see three players take huge steps toward locking in their roles for the regular season.
The Seahawks looked like a playoff team on occasion in their second preseason game. Unfortunately, at times they looked atrocious. The overall impression is that the Hawks have some serious depth issues. Happily, three players beyond the stars really stood out. It isn’t all bad when your seventh draft pick, a second-year backup, and a guy coming back from knee surgery make the biggest plays of the night.
Okay, I undersold Ugo Amadi a bit by saying he was the Seahawks seventh pick. That’s true, but he was also the third player Seattle took in the fourth round. We liked the pick at the time. We didn’t go head over heels for the guy, that’s true. Amadi made good on this bit of prophecy in Lee Vowell’s article:
"He should be an excellent special teams player and Seattle needs help there. The Seahawks weren’t the worst kick coverage team in 2018 but they weren’t anywhere near the best and Amadi could help fix that quickly."
Yeah, I suppose you could say he’s pretty good on special teams. It isn’t just the bone-rattling hit he laid on returner Olabisi Johnson. It isn’t just the impeccable timing that put Amadi’s shoulder on the numbers the moment the ball arrived. It’s also that he split two defenders and left them in the dust to get there. Ah, who am I kidding? It’s this:
Amadi hit him so hard Johnson’s jersey numbers reversed to 18 from 81. I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. Amadi also was in on a couple more tackles on defense and returned two punts. Neither return was spectacular, but as Tyler Lockett is definitely the number one receiver now, it would be great if the Seahawks could find someone else to handle return duties. Amadi probably made the roster already with his versatility, but that hit…wow. Yeah, he’s on the roster.
Seahawks have some returning gems
The second-year backup that made his case to start? Of course, it’s Poona Ford. Part defensive tackle and part bulldog, Ford is all football player. Like most 12s, we’ve been on the love train for Mr. Ford for quite a while. Note, that’s from the preseason of 2018. Ford showed more than a few flashes of his ability last year. The Vikings game announced his arrival.
Ford demolished the Vikings offensive line play after play. Sure, it’s preseason, but four of the Vikes five starting linemen were in against the second-year fireplug. He was even about half an inch from a strip sack. Luckily for the Vikings, the refs ruled running back Alexander Mattison was already down by his utter and complete lack of forward progress. Ford was a wrecking ball. With Jarran Reed out for six games, the Seahawks needed someone to step up. Happily, they have found 5’11” of sheer destruction.
Finally, the Hawks turned back the clock to find their third gem of the night. DeShawn Shead is making it clear that he belongs back home. He may have been used in dime packages, but Shead has been worth a million bucks so far this preseason. Since he’s actually just getting $930,000, he’s an even bigger bargain.
Shead dropped Drew Lock in week one for a nine-yard sack and a safety. Apparently, Mr. Shead was greedy for a bit more action. He got that and more when he picked off a pass at the Seattle 12 yard line and raced untouched for an 88-yard pick-six. As Gregg Bell pointed out in his article for the Tacoma News Tribune, the real joy was that no one came close to catching Shead. You know you want to see that again:
So there you have it. It was far from a great night for the Hawks. We saw some bad coverage, a couple of cases of no coverage at all, and more than a few whiffs by the offensive line. But these three guys…these three guys made me really happy. It’s the preseason, and mistakes happen. But dominant plays and players like these will carry over into the regular season.