Heaps: The change the Seahawks need to make when Jamal Adams returns

Oct 20, 2020, 12:56 PM

Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Jamal Adams is tied for the Seahawks' lead in sacks despite missing two games. (Getty)


Perhaps one of the most impressive things about the Seahawks’ 5-0 start to the season is that they’ve won their last two games with Jamal Adams sidelined.

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That’s right – not only has Seattle’s defense struggled throughout the season, but they’ve had to hold off opposing offenses without the All-Pro safety whose acquisition is what their offseason was centered around.

When Adams has played, however, he’s been quite effective, especially when it comes to rushing the passer. That as a whole has been an issue for the Seahawks, evidenced by the fact that Adams is tied for the team lead in sacks with two despite missing almost half of their games and playing a position not typically suited to rushing the quarterback.

So when Adams does return for the groin injury he suffered in Week 3 against Dallas, we should expect more of the same, right? Not necessarily, as 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps explained during Monday’s edition of Tom, Jake and Stacy.

“(Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll and (defensive coordinator) Ken Norton Jr. need to decide how much they’re going to bring Jamal Adams in pressure packages and playing their base defense,” Heaps said. “It’s a simple yet complicated formula. … The first three weeks of the season, they brought Jamal Adams and brought him often. And obviously you still want to use him because he is a tremendous weapon and he is very, very good at rushing the quarterback. But when you consistently do it and you’re not able to get to the quarterback, you leave yourself vulnerable to big plays down the field and that’s what they got themselves caught up in.”

That bears out in Seattle’s numbers, as the team is tied with Houston for last in the league in yards allowed per passing attempt at 8.9 due to an inordinate amount of big pass plays against the Seahawks’ defense.

The strange thing is that Seattle did better in that respect over the last two games – without Adams. Heaps said that could result in a shift in philosophy compared to the first three weeks of the season when Adams was in the lineup.

“To me, I think it’s going to be more situation-based,” he said. “Third downs, critical moments of the game where you’re going to see Jamal Adams be brought to rush the quarterback. I don’t think you’re going to see him bought to pressure as often as he was the first three weeks of the season.”

You can hear Heaps’ full comments in the Four Down Territory segment of Tom, Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

710Sports.com’s Brandon Gustafson contributed to this report.

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Heaps: The change the Seahawks need to make when Jamal Adams returns