NFL Network’s Brian Billick has high praise for Seahawks’ Jamal Adams, Russell Wilson
If you have had any concern about the haul the Seahawks gave up in July to acquire All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, you may want to hear what NFL Network analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Brian Billick has to say about Adams.
Billick, who coached a defensively-dominant Baltimore Ravens to a title in 2001, joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Thursday to preview the Seahawks’ season, and he explained the impact Adams could have in Seattle head coach Pete Carroll’s program.
“I was fortunate to have some pretty good safeties in my time, Ed Reed most notably in my last two years there in Baltimore,” Billick said. “And the difficulty thing – whether it’s an Ed Reed or Troy Polomalu, and certainly Jamal Adams has that kind of capability – if you have a dominant (cornerback), you can throw away from them. It’s simply, ‘OK, I’m not gonna go to Richard Sherman’ when he was in his day. But you can’t do that with a safety because they’re all over the field.”
And the 24-year-old Adams is maybe the best in the league at that position right now.
It’s not just the passing game that Adams will help Seattle’s defense in, though. He had 6.5 sacks with the Jets last season, a total that would have led the 2019 Seahawks by 2.5 sacks, and Billick thinks Seattle will find a way to use Adams to create pressure even though using defensive backs that way hasn’t typically been part of their gameplan.
“They can put him in so many different positions. They (can) rush him off the edge, and that’s where he may (have) some of the bigger impact because obviously Seattle’s struggled getting sacks and pressure on the quarterback,” Billick said. “… Jamal Adams can be pretty good at that, so even though they’re not a heavy pressure team out of the secondary, I can see them incorporating him more in that regard because they need to start getting more pressure on the quarterback.”
Russell Wilson… has room for growth?
Quarterback Russell Wilson has long been one of the best players in the NFL, but he’s never won an MVP award – actually, he’s never received a single MVP vote because of the manner in which votes are used to calculate the award winner.
Billick doesn’t necessarily expect that to change in 2020 because the Seahawks’ offense relies so much on running the ball, allowing other quarterbacks to amass higher passing statistics than Wilson. Billick also understands that leaves room for growth for Wilson.
“Obviously he’s been absolutely brilliant. There’s nobody who does more with less throws than Russell Wilson,” he said.
Billick backed that up by pointing to a next-gen stat that measures the expected completion percentage of the throws a QB makes. Wilson’s expected completion percentage in 2019 was third-lowest among NFL starting QBs at 61.3%, but his actual completion percentage was 66.1%. By completing 4.8% of passes more than expected, he ranked fourth in the league, and only one other QB who ranked in the top 15 of that metric had an expected completion percentage lower than Wilson.
“Nobody is better at that than Russell Wilson. He’s been spectacular,” Billick said. “And that’s why he does so much with fewer throws than some of the other guys that obviously are going to generate bigger numbers because they have more opportunity. I think he’s spectacular at it, and it’s scary to think that Russell Wilson could actually get better.”
You can hear the full interview with Billick, which also includes his thoughts on the Seahawks’ tough schedule, beginning a little after the 24-minute mark in the podcast at this link or embedded below.