Seahawks LB Uchenna Nwosu embracing new opportunity, aims to 'shine' in revamped defense

The offseason departures of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner marked the definitive end of a memorable era for the Seahawks, but there are new beginnings on the horizon in Seattle.

Newly signed linebacker Uchenna Nwosu is confident the Seahawks can successfully deal with the roster's drastic turnover despite losing prominent leaders on both sides of the ball.

"Because they're all brought there for a reason," Nwosu said Friday during an appearance on NFL Total Access. "When you think of the Seahawks, you think of greatness and all the guys they've had in the past, so you know that front office knows how to put teams together. So if they're coming to the Seahawks you know they ain't no slouch. That's one reason why and just being around them in minicamp and OTAs for those nine weeks and seeing what those guys bring to the table and their talent level and how they work and how they go about their business. It's something to look forward to."

The Seahawks signed Nwosu to a two-year, $20 million free-agent contract this offseason, and the pass rusher is just one of several new faces on a unit that's also experiencing a scheme change under new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt. A second-round pick by the Chargers in 2018, Nwosu has had little opportunity to showcase himself as a rotational backup in L.A. but he's flashed potential by producing 15.0 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 45 QB hits in just 25 career starts.

Similarly to how Shaquil Barrett elevated the Buccaneers defense to a championship caliber unit upon his arrival in 2019, Nwosu believes he's poised to become a transformative figure for the Seahawks.

"I've been fortunate enough to be around a lot of great guys on the Chargers; Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa, so I've learned a lot," said Nwosu, who produced a career-high five sacks in 2021. "Being able to go to a different team and bring everything I've learned into a new room, in a new city. Like a breathe of fresh air, I feel like it will be good for me, you know, where I will really be able to shine and put my name out there."

The Seahawks are expected to be more aggressive on defense under Hurtt's direction. With fellow newcomers Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson upgrading Seattle's defensive front, Nwosu aims to provide a dynamic role that allows Jamal Adams and Jordyn Brooks to exploit their play-making capabilities.

"It's kind of similar to what I did last year in terms of dropping and rushing," Nwosu explained. "It's a new scheme for the Seattle Seahawks, something that they're getting used to, but I've got confidence in all the guys we got around. We have some great pieces, some great talent. Everyone compliments each other really well and I can't wait to put it all together."

Nwosu also has room to spread his leadership wings in Seattle. The 25-year-old's character on and off the field were exemplified last season by his nomination from the Chargers for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Nwosu, who is of Nigerian descent, is also involved in the league's recent endeavor with NFL Africa.

While the Seahawks still have to figure out who leads them at quarterback in the post-Wilson era, Seattle's defense is gearing up become the squad's saving grace.

"Everything is going well," said Nwosu. "As soon as I got there, everybody has just been positive, upbeat; the coaching staff has so much energy, everyone is just together, the camaraderie and brotherhood is all together and you can sense that. So I'm really excited to get to work."

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