5 takeaways from Jamal Adams’ first Seahawks press conference
For the first time as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, safety Jamal Adams talked with members of the Seattle media Thursday about joining his new team and the trade that brought him to the Pacific Northwest.
The roughly 40-minute long discussion saw Adams, 24, talk about a ton about who he is as a player, person and teammate and how he ended up being the newest member of the Seahawks after three great seasons with the New York Jets.
Great first press conference with the @Seahawks media. Thank you for the warm embrace. Hopefully we can all talk safely in person some time soon!
— Jamal Adams (@Prez) July 30, 2020
We can’t cover everything that Adams discussed, so here are five big takeaways from Adams’ first Seattle press conference.
1) He’s excited to be a Seahawk and meant to be in Seattle.
After the first reports that Adams wanted to be traded from New York, it was soon reported that Adams had a list of teams he would welcome a trade to, a list that included the Seahawks.
“The teams that were on there – and this isn’t taking away from the other teams out there – I just thought that these were the teams that were the best fit for me,” Adams said. “I have a lot of respect around the league for a lot of teams and coaches, a lot of players as well, and I just felt like Seattle was a first-class organization from top to bottom.”
Adams noted that the organization has drafted and developed key players like Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright who have “done it and they’ve seen it all” and have a Super Bowl ring to show for it. That was just one of many reasons Adams said Seattle really was at the top of his preferred choices.
“Having a great locker room, that brotherhood that they talk about over here, that’s what it’s about, man,” Adams said. “I knew Seattle was definitely the perfect spot for me, I just couldn’t come out and say it.”
When Adams learned the trade was being finalized last weekend, he said he “broke down in tears of joy” but also had some mixed emotions because of the relationships he had in New York. But after the whirlwind last week, Adams thinks Seattle is the place for him.
“I’m going to miss a lot of guys over there but at the end of the day, this is my calling, this is where I need to be and this is where I was supposed to be,” he said. “… I’m here to stay and I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk like I said and really, I’m overwhelmed but at the same time it’s so surreal to be around a great organization like Seattle and to be coached by legendary coaches, Hall of Fame coaches, playing with Hall of Famers from Russ to Bobby, K.J., Bruce Irvin, Quandre Diggs, the list goes on and on. I’m just excited to be here, I’m here to help and I can’t wait to get out there in front of the 12s.”
2) Not worried about a new deal, but wants to retire in Seattle.
A big reason why Adams, a 2019 First-Team All-Pro, wanted out of New York was because of a new contract that the team reportedly did not want to give him at the time. Now, Adams is with a new team in Seattle and still signed through 2021 on his original five-year rookie deal.
While contract talks were a big reason for him leaving the Jets, that’s not something he’s looking for right now with the Seahawks.
“That’s not something I’m really focused on,” he said “Obviously those things will take care of itself. Again, I’m here to play ball. (General manager John Schneider) and coach Pete Carroll, those guys brought me in and I’m here to play football, man. I’m here to help those guys win or continue to win, I should say, and like I said, we’ll let those other things take care of itself.”
The Seahawks invested heavily in Adams, giving up the team’s next two first-round picks, a 2021 third-round pick and veteran safety Bradley McDougald, leading many to believe Adams will eventually sign a lucrative long-term contract extension. Adams would be on board with that.
“The plan is to retire here, you know what I mean? That is my plan,” he said. “But obviously, those things handle themselves. All you have to do is go on the field and perform, do the right things on and off the field and those things will take care of itself.”
3) He sounds like a Pete Carroll guy.
Adams’ new head coach is known for his love of competition. Adams got a taste of that philosophy in college at LSU, where he played for Ed Orgeron, who was a key assistant at USC under Carroll. Adams told reporters that Orgeron used Seahawks practice themes, such as “Competition Tuesday” and “Turnover Thursday,” at LSU.
Carroll always preaches competing for roles and playing time and Adams is all for it.
“At the end of the day, I’m here to compete. There’s no starting role for me, I have to earn it, and that’s what it’s always been about for me,” he said. “You don’t just come into a situation and expect to be there. There’s a ton of talent out here, a ton of guys who are fighting for those positions and at the end of the day, no one really has a starting position yet.”
Carroll’s No. 1 rule is “protect the team” and Adams appears to be on board, saying he’ll do whatever is asked so the team can be successful.
“Whatever these guys want me to do, I told Bobby the other day, we talked for quite a while in person and I told him, ‘I’m here to help you. I’m here to help you guys, I’m here to help Russ, I’m here to help the whole team, man,’ because the ultimate goal is to get to the big dance and I’m just here to help, man,” Adams said.
And his new head coach has a background with defensive backs, especially safeties. Adams said he’s excited to learn from him and play for him.
“Pete’s a guy that the first time we had a conversation he said ‘I’m going to let you be you.’ He’s not going to change me, he’s going to help me, he’s going to coach me and that’s what I want. I want to be coached. I want to be coached hard,” Adams said. ” … I strongly feel 100% about it as far as Pete putting me in the right positions to make plays and he’s a guy who’s been around ball for a very, very long time … I’m excited to learn from him and like I said, I’m very fortunate to be in this situation.”
4) He’s paired with one of his best friends.
The Seahawks made a trade for a safety last year as well in Diggs, who in five regular season games in 2019 had three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) as well as a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Seattle’s defense seemed to be able to take the ball away much better with Diggs on the field, so when the news broke that Adams was joining the Seahawks, many were excited at the prospect of those two paired together at the back end of Seattle’s defense.
What may help that on-field relationship is the fact that those two are already extremely close.
When Diggs was playing college ball at Texas, Adams was a high schooler and went on a recruiting visit to Texas. Diggs was Adams’ host on the visit and though Adams chose LSU over Texas, the two became great friends.
“Me and Quandre have been close ever since. Even when he was in Detroit, we talked literally every day,” Adams said.
Like you may expect from two good friends in the league, they’ve discussed playing as teammates.
“He would hit me up and say, ‘Man, I like that play you made,’ and I’d hit him and say, ‘Man, you balling out there,'” Adams said. “Whatever it is, we’ve always talked and he’s like a brother to me. We’ve known each other for a very long time and we always talked about ‘What if we played together, man?'”
Facts! ✊🏾 https://t.co/iKLB8ievJ7
— Nino (@qdiggs6) July 30, 2020
Last year, Adams called Diggs after it was announced that he was being traded to the Seahawks from Detroit. Adams said he told Diggs how he was going to a great team and organization where he could thrive.
“And look where we are now, you know what I mean?” Adams said.
Diggs was also one of the first people that Adams called last weekend as the trade was being finalized even though he was told not to tell anyone by his agent.
“It was Saturday and my agent was like ‘Don’t tell anybody that you’re getting traded to Seattle.’ And I was like ‘Alright’ and I called Quandre and was like, ‘Man, it might go through. It might go through,'” Adams said with a big smile on his face. “… It finally happened and he called me and he was excited, I was excited, and I’m excited to play with him.”
5) He’s all-in and wants to make a new legacy for the defense.
Leaving New York after contract disputes, asking for a trade and also giving a tell-all interview with the New York Daily News on why he felt the organization was off-track has led some to speculate that he may be a problem in the locker room or not the best teammate. He says that’s not an issue with him at all.
“I think these guys know, man,” he said, referencing that he’s “all-in.” “They know and I’ve had conversations with a couple guys – not all the guys yet – but these guys know I’m here to play ball. That’s just how I am. I’m not a distraction in the locker room, I’ve never been in trouble in my life growing up, it’s just never happened. Anybody that was my teammate or that knows me, they will tell you I’m far from a problem. All I want to do is win and bring the best.”
Asked what he brings to the locker room, Adams said, “A lot of fun and juice, man. A lot of energy. I’m a fun guy, but when it comes down to ball, we’re talking ball and we’re getting down to business.”
With Adams’ acquisition and players like Diggs and Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin in place, some have speculated that the Seahawks may have a second version of the Legion of Boom, which featured perennial Pro Bowlers and All-Pro secondary members Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. It’s safe to say Adams was a fan of that group.
“I respect every guy who was in the Legion of Boom. I used to watch those guys from Earl to (Chancellor) to (Sherman),” Adams said of his time in college. “… I used to watch those guys and be inspired by the energy and passion and love that they played with and I always had that passion and energy, so I admired it from afar. These guys play so hard and that’s what it’s about in this building, they’re about winning, and you can’t ask for nothing better.”
As far as goals or expectations of being “L.O.B. 2.0,” Adams said that’s not the goal.
“Their chapter is over with and as a defensive group and a defensive back group, we have to create our own legacy, right?” he said.
You can watch the full Adams press conference at this link.