What’s Seahawks’ plan for Marquise Blair in a make-or-break year for him?
The Seahawks are dealing with drama on offense after quarterback Russell Wilson’s recent comments regarding pass protection, but there’s still a lot to discuss on the other side of the ball.
For instance, will the pass rush that improved over the second half of the season carry over to 2021? And what happens at outside cornerback? How about who the three starting linebackers will be come Week 1? These have all been discussed plenty since the Seahawks were booted from the playoffs in the first round back in January.
Someone who’s seemingly been forgotten about heading into the offseason, however, is 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair. A safety in college, Blair had an impressive training camp in 2020 that led to a role as Seattle’s starting nickel cornerback in his second pro season.
Unfortunately for Blair, he only appeared in two games, tearing his ACL in Week 2 to end his season. That led to fellow 2019 draft pick Ugo Amadi playing well in that nickel spot, which could complicate things for Blair going forward. Additionally, Seattle has two Pro Bowl safeties in Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs.
With the plan for Blair’s future unclear, is 2021 a make or break season for the third-year pro? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy shared his thoughts last week.
“Where’s the role? That’s the question I have for Marquise Blair,” he said. “I could see them trying to put him back at nickel corner because they feel like he is an upgrade over Ugo Amadi – and that’s not a shot at Ugo Amadi, that just (speaks to) how much they value Marquise Blair’s talent and what they think about him. That’s the only place I could see them try to implement him back into this thing is try to find him a role at that nickel corner spot again.”
Heaps believes Amadi played “extremely well” and deserves to keep playing at the nickel spot, where he can continue to grow and develop. If that happens, Blair’s future is unclear.
“Does (Blair) become regulated to a dime package-type of safety in passing situations? I don’t know,” Heaps said. “This guy is too talented. He’s a second-round pick. It is a make-or-break year, there’s no questions asked in my mind. I just really hope they can find (him) a role. It’s been frustrating with him (since he was drafted). Last year, there’s nothing you can do about that with a torn ACL, it was a freak accident. But this guy is so dang talented and they haven’t been able to get everything out of him to this point. I really hope in year three that they can find a role where he can be an impactful player because his talent is definitely there.”
Stacy Rost, Heaps’ co-host, stressed that while 2021 will be important for Blair’s future with the Seahawks, the team’s roster is in a good enough spot where he won’t have to be rushed back from his injury.
“I think that packed safety room and defensive back group is exactly what’s going to be able to buy him some time that he doesn’t need to be the starter right now,” she said. “I also think about how many times we have seen the Seattle Seahawks give a ton of time to let their draft picks work out.”
Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below.