JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: Why DT Geno Atkins would be a great addition to Seahawks’ D-line

Aug 24, 2021, 12:18 PM | Updated: 12:29 pm
Seahawks Geno Atkins...
Three-time All-Pro DT Geno Atkins visited the Seahawks on Monday. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks are just a few weeks away from their 2021 season opener in Indianapolis against the Colts, and they may be adding a big-name veteran to the defense.

Seahawks Q&A: Is DC Norton on the hot seat this season?

Three-time All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who has spent his entire 11-year NFL career in Cincinnati with the Bengals, visited the Seahawks on Monday, per reports.

The Seahawks have a lot of depth on the defensive line, but most of that depth comes on the edges at defensive end. Currently, Seattle has four defensive tackles on the roster who have prior NFL experience.

So, should the Seahawks ink Atkins to a deal for the 2021 season? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy thinks so, but only if Atkins is “truly healthy.”

“It’s one thing to be cleared, it’s another thing to be actually cleared and being in football shape and ready to contribute starting in Week 1, as we learned with (defensive end) Ziggy Ansah (in 2019),” Heaps said. “He was cleared to play but obviously he was not at full strength with his shoulder and never got to the point where he could actually play the way that we saw Ziggy Ansah (play) for most of his career. And that’s the question that you have with Geno Atkins.”

Overall, Atkins has been remarkably healthy and durable during his career, but he made just one tackle in eight games in 2020 as he dealt with a shoulder injury. It was just the second time in his 11 NFL seasons that Atkins didn’t appear in every regular season game and the first season since 2013 that he missed any games.

If Atkins is in shape to play and contribute right away, Heaps things the Seahawks should “absolutely” sign him to the roster.

“The reason why is you’re not asking him to be the answer or to be the savior of your defensive line; you’re asking him to play a role,” he said. “You’re asking him to rotate with Poona Ford at that 3-technique defensive tackle position that the Seahawks really lack depth at. And Geno Atkins would be a great pair with Poona Ford to rotate in and to really keep that defensive line fresh to really continue to have disruption on that defensive line all game long.”

Another reason Heaps thinks Atkins could be a nice addition is because of a key player Seattle lost this offseason.

“If (Atkins) comes in and contributes five sacks, that’s a positive for your team. Last year, Jarran Reed had 6.5 sacks. That’s a great number for Geno Atkins to hit and to be able to obtain,” he said.

And if Atkins does sign with the Seahawks, he’d be reuniting with a former teammate of his who’s been very productive since coming to Seattle.

“We’ve seen this with a defensive lineman who comes from Cincinnati and needs a fresh start a la (defensive end) Carlos Dunlap, a former teammate of Geno Atkins here. I could see that pairing working out very, very well for the Seahawks,” Heaps said. “It doesn’t mean he’s going to come in and be the former All-Pro version of himself, but I think he could be a very good added depth piece to this defensive line.”

Listen to the Heaps’ full discussion with Stacy Rost from the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Clayton: Where Hawks sit after injuries, cuts, preseason losses

Jake and Stacy

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett...
Brandon Gustafson

Tyler Lockett on playing with Seahawks under Geno Smith, where offense must grow

Star Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett joined The Huddle on 710 ESPN Seattle to break down what QB Geno Smith brings to the table.
1 day ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy shares why Mitch Haniger's message from his column in The Players' Tribune makes him excited about the Mariners.
3 days ago
Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Brandon Gustafson

2 Takes: The most important Seahawks while Russell Wilson is out

With Russell Wilson out of action, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost dive into who must step up for the Seahawks while he heals from finger surgery.
3 days ago
Seahawks DK Metcalf...
Jake Heaps

Heaps: How Seahawks’ DK Metcalf got the better of All-Pro Jalen Ramsey

How was DK Metcalf able to find the end zone twice for the Seahawks against the Rams? Former NFL QB Jake Heaps breaks it down in Chalk Talk.
3 days ago
Seattle Kraken...
Brandon Gustafson

Seattle Kraken analyst J.T. Brown shares the positive signs he’s seeing

Former NHL forward and current Seattle Kraken analyst J.T. Brown talked to 710 ESPN Seattle about the team's chemistry, goalie Philipp Grubauer and more.
4 days ago
Seahawks RB Chris Carson...
Brandon Gustafson

Why the Seahawks’ running game is especially critical now

The Seahawks will need a strong running attack against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jake Heaps says, and not just because Geno Smith is at QB.
4 days ago
Heaps: Why DT Geno Atkins would be a great addition to Seahawks’ D-line