Heaps: Why Seahawks’ Jamal Adams can take a ‘massive leap’ this year

Sep 8, 2021, 12:23 AM
Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Seahawks safety Jamal Adams was a second-team All-Pro in his first year in Seattle. (Getty)

When it comes to the Seahawks’ defense, there’s one player in particular who will be watched very closely in 2021, and it’s the guy who just received a massive payday from Seattle.

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That would be safety Jamal Adams, who in his first year with the Seahawks was a 2020 second-team All-Pro and led the team in sacks with 9.5 in just 12 games. Just a few weeks ago, Adams signed a huge long-term deal to stay in Seattle that also makes him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps told Stacy Rost, his co-host on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, that Adams is the Seahawks defender who gives him the most hope for the upcoming season. He explained his reasoning during their show Tuesday.

“It’s Jamal Adams and it’s not even close. Jamal Adams, I believe, can take a massive leap from Year 1 to Year 2,” Heaps said. “The thing that gives me the most hope with Jamal Adams is, as I’ve said repeatedly over the offseason, this is a player who can effect all three levels of your defense: your pass rush, your run game and your pass coverage. And where Jamal Adams can have the most impact and take the next step forward is in that passing game.”

Adams was stellar as a pass rusher and made some huge plays against the run, but he was criticized for his play in pass coverage throughout the 2020 season. Heaps thinks that there’s more to Adams’ role in pass coverage than just his “individual play” or “individual coverage.”

“It’s the command that he needs to have of that defense, the communication level that he has to have with the corners, with the linebackers, with (fellow safety) Quandre Diggs,” Heaps said. “They all need to be on the same page, that way they can be better when there’s moving parts coming at them, they can better decipher the passing patterns coming at them that are being presented to them, and they can be a more effective defense. And Jamal Adams is going to have a huge impact on whether that defense can do that or not.”

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