Wyman: Adams can play anywhere for Seahawks, adds 5-10 sacks
After months of fans clamoring for a bigger offseason move, the Seahawks did that and then some when they shipped safety Bradley McDougald, two first-round picks and a third rounder to the New York Jets for 2019 First-Team All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick.
Adams, 24, was the No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft out of LSU and has quickly established himself as one of the best safeties in the entire league, if not the best. He’s already earned two Pro Bowl nods and was named a First-Team All-Pro last year and a Second-Team All-Pro in his second NFL season in 2018. Now, he travels across the country to join Seattle and the hope is he can improve a defense that was among the league’s worst in 2019.
The hosts of Bob, Dave and Moore didn’t have a chance to talk about Adams on Monday like the rest of the 710 ESPN Seattle crew (due to a Mariners baseball broadcast), but that didn’t stop them from opening the show talking about maybe the biggest trade in Seahawks history on Tuesday. Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, said that Adams is great at so many different things on defense but that his knowledge of the game is what really stands out.
“From listening to him, a lot of those tackles he makes in the backfield and then even a couple of his sacks, they’re not (pass) rushing him,” Wyman said. “A lot of them looked like blitzes but he reads it so clean.”
In 2019, Adams had 6.5 sacks – 2.5 more than any member of the Seahawks had in 2019 – and tallied 10 tackles for loss in 14 games.
The talking Wyman referred to is a video breakdown that Adams did for the NFL with former players Ron Jaworski and Brian Baldinger last summer. On the first play of the breakdown, Adams was playing close to the line of scrimmage against Jacksonville and saw that the left guard was “light in his stance,” as Wyman put it, and Adams said he knew that the guard was going to pull from his spot to the other side of the line of scrimmage. Adams was correct, shot through the gap and tackled his former college teammate, running back Leonard Fournette, for a loss.
Another play was where Adams was tasked with covering the running back, but if the running back blocks rather than runs a route, the defender can rush the quarterback. Wyman said he “pulled the trigger” extremely fast and got a sack.
“He’s a great football player. You can play him anywhere,” he said.
The NFC West has some of the better offenses and offensive minds and schemes in the NFL in the Rams, 49ers and Cardinals. Those three teams offer mixes of elite running games, wide receivers and tight ends. Adams can handle all of that, Wyman said.
“I think he can cover anybody on the field.”
Wyman said the Seahawks’ defense is still pretty simple and doesn’t expect too much to change in 2020, with the team likely to run a lot of man-to-man in Cover-1 and then Cover-3 with three deep drops in coverage. Wyman said of Cover-3 that Adams showed he can excel at deep drops while in college but the Jets had him play closer to the line of scrimmage.
“I don’t think they’re going to do anything different,” he said. “… Can you imagine him and (safety) Quandre Diggs back there running around? The way those guys (play), they play so purposefully and when they take a line, they’re just a guided missile.”
Adams himself had 6.5 sacks in 2019 while the Seahawks had just 28 as a team, but Wyman thinks that just pairing him and Diggs together as Seattle’s newest safety tandem will pay dividends in terms of applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
“Both of those guys back there, their pass rush, they instantly just picked up like an extra 5-10 sacks because of this guy,” Wyman said. “Because they can play tight coverage now, they can be more aggressive, they have guys that know what they’re doing and this guy, he’s like having a coach on the field. He’s just an amazing player and his passion and how much he loves football, I think Seahawk fans are going to love this guy.”
Adams will play strong safety in the box, similar to what Kam Chancellor played, but that passion and energy Wyman brought up reminds him of another former Seahawk.
“He reminds me of Earl (Thomas) a little bit more,” he said.
Listen to Bob, Dave and Moore share their thoughts on the Adams trade at this link or in the player below.