Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today – Friday, September 16 – about your Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal saw his first action of the 2022 season in Week 1's 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field. Now with safety Jamal Adams on the IR, the Seahawks will look to both Josh Jones and Neal, the fifth-year man out of Southern Illinois, to step up - and Neal is ready for the call.
The former Saluki is one of two Southern Illinois alum to currently play in the NFL - along with Carolina Panthers safety and former teammate Jeremy Chinn. Chinn became the first Saluki drafted since 2015 when Carolina selected him in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The duo is now playing on Sundays on separate sides of the country, but Neal is now getting a shot to shine. Neal has participated in 34 contests, starting nine over the past two seasons, making some key plays down the stretch for Seattle in 2021. A few weeks ago, Neal was in a boot dealing with a high ankle sprain that bothered him through the end of the offseason, but he returned to action last week.
"Whenever you start hitting walls, you're getting really close to something," said Neal.
But the Hammond, Indiana native has been focused on this moment throughout. One thing that keeps him grounded is his Midwest roots - and the music he listens to plays a part in his daily routine.
"Right now I really have been on some O.G. stuff, I've been listening to a lot of Curren$y and Jay-Z," said Neal. "One person I'm listening to right now is Curren$y right now, that's my dog. Of course Gangsta Gibbs too, he's from the city."
The high-energy motivational rap keeps Neal juiced to go sideline-to-sideline for big hits and picks.
Coach Carroll took the podium following practice to discuss Neal’s potential impact.
"Ryan is going to play more, and he will be part of what we are doing," Carroll explained. "Fortunately, he made it back last week, and he is there. We love what Ryan brings... I think at the position, we are going to be okay. We are going to be alright with our guys. We were trying to figure out how we were going to play Ryan anyway going into it until he got hurt. Here we are, so we will see how it works out."
From here it's on Neal, who started five games in 2021. But with a positive mindset, a healthy body and plenty of support, Neal gets a chance to answer some questions surrounding the Seahawks in week three.
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