Moore: Williams’ shot at Adams and Seahawks’ defense is right in a way
Aug 13, 2020, 1:50 PM
New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams seemed to take a shot at the Seahawks Thursday, wondering if Jamal Adams will “get bored” playing in a Seattle defense that is apparently more predictable and vanilla than his.
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It’s easy to fire back with comments about the Jets being 7-9 last year and, hey, weren’t you the guy at the center of the Saints’ Bounty-gate several years ago?
Then again, the Jets had a much better defense than the Seahawks in 2019, giving up almost 50 fewer yards a game, 323.1 to. 381.6.
I don’t think Adams will be bored here, but it’s fair to speculate about how the Seahawks will use him. They tend to blitz less than other teams, though it’s not as much of a disparity as you might think. Last year according to Pro Football Reference.com, the Seahawks blitzed 26.9 percent of the time. Twelve teams averaged fewer blitzes than the Seahawks, including the Chargers, who were last at 13.7 percent. The Ravens were the top blitzers at 54.9 percent.
This year you would certainly expect the Seahawks to blitz at least 30 percent of the time, maybe 40 percent, with a guy like Adams, who had 6.5 sacks last year, 2.5 more than Rasheem Green, Seattle’s leading sacker with four.
As you probably know, I don’t delve into X’s and O’s because that’s a deep end of the pool for a dog paddler like me. But as a football fan, I always prefer to see my favorite teams blitz more often if they can’t consistently harass the quarterback with a four-man rush. If that kind of risk leads to occasional big plays from opponents, I’d call it the cost of doing business.
I just can’t stand it when the quarterback has too much time in the pocket – he will almost always find an open receiver, especially at the NFL level.
And the Seahawks’ defensive philosophy hasn’t been working, so why not try something different? They were 26th in total defense last year, terrible against the run and the pass. With Adams and Quinton Dunbar, that should change this year, but what about their defensive principles? Will they change too?
Fair question to ask, particularly with a coaching staff that seems stubborn and set in their ways at times, the evidence being their staunch support of playing so much base defense last year and acting like it was somehow better than if they’d gone to nickel defense more often. Really? Those statistical numbers on NFL.com don’t back up what they contend. Could it have been much worse if they’d gone to nickel more frequently? I’d say no. And there’s a chance the overall numbers could have improved.
There’s a constant debate, or maybe it’s not constant, but I’ve heard it enough to think that it is – it’s Pete Carroll’s defense, not Ken Norton’s, even though Norton is the defensive coordinator. I hope that’s the case because Carroll, at least, has had good defenses in the past. Norton has not.
Take a look at every season in which Norton has been the defensive coordinator in Oakland and Seattle – they’ve always ranked in the 20’s, never even average.
With Adams and Dunbar and presumed pass-rushing help from Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, we’ll find out this year if it’s more about the personnel or coaching. This season Norton needs a changeup to complement his fastball to get off the hot seat, and the best way he can do that is to let Jamal cook.
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