Heaps: Keep an eye on ‘X-factor’ Marquise Blair when Seahawks face Colts

Sep 11, 2021, 9:11 AM
Seahawks Marquise Blair...
Marquise Blair could play a big role for the Seahawks on defense in his third NFL season. (Getty)

The Seahawks kick off their 2021 campaign on the road against a tough Indianapolis Colts team and with a new offensive coordinator in the mix in Shane Waldron, a lot of eyes are going to be focused on Seattle’s offense.

Carlos Dunlap shares goals, breakout Hawks players to watch in 2021

But there is still plenty of intrigue on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary.

Seattle will roll out a starting cornerback tandem of D.J. Reed and Tre Flowers, which has some less than thrilled.

And then looking at the safeties, Jamal Adams is back for his second year with the Seahawks after signing a record-setting deal last month and his battery mate, Quandre Diggs, is back for his third year in Seattle and is coming off a Pro Bowl campaign last year.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said on Friday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy that he will definitely be paying a lot of attention to Adams because he has “really high hopes and expectations” for him in his second year with the Seahawks. But it’s a different defensive back who Heaps is most excited to watch on Sunday in Indianapolis.

“The guy I’m going to go with is Marquise Blair,” Heaps said.

Blair, a 2019 second-round pick, is entering his third NFL season. Drafted as a safety, he moved to nickel corner last offseason and won that job heading into the 2020 regular season. But his second year as a pro was cut short as he tore his ACL in Week 2.

Now, Blair is healthy and played all over the field for the Seahawks during their preseason games, such as nickel corner, strong safety and free safety.

“As I said many times before this offseason, I believe Marquise Blair is the X-factor for this defense,” Heaps said. “It makes them versatile.”

In particular, Heaps wants to see what the Seahawks can do with both Blair and Adams, a three-time All-Pro, on the field at the same time.

“You add Marquise Blair with Jamal Adams, you add youth, you add speed, you add toughness, and you add violence,” he said. “Now you start having guys in your secondary that receivers and tight ends, they don’t feel so comfortable going over the middle of the field. They don’t feel so comfortable when it comes to run situations. I believe that Marquise Blair can be the X-factor that, like Jamal Adams, can help effect the defense in a positive way at all three levels … I’m excited to see Marquise Blair be implemented and used and hopefully he can have a very, very good game.”

Listen to the second hour of Friday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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