Bumpus: Seahawks are minimizing Jamal Adams’ impact with ‘obvious’ blitzes

Oct 19, 2021, 3:41 PM
Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Seahawks safety Jamal Adams during pregame warm-ups in the game against the Tennessee Titans. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

In 2020, Seahawks safety Jamal Adams spent a great deal of his time at or around the line of scrimmage pressuring quarterbacks and causing havoc in the running game. That really hasn’t been the case in 2021.

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For the first five weeks, Adams would occasionally blitz or play near the line of scrimmage, but he spent more of his time doing playing more of a traditional safety role. And after tallying 9.5 sacks in 12 games a year ago, Adams has none in six games this season.

But in Week 6, the Seahawks utilized Adams as a rusher far more than they had through the season’s first five games.

Adams, though, didn’t get his hands on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was not sacked at all on Sunday and was hit just one time.

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus was happy to see Adams utilized more as a rusher or defensive weapon, but he thinks the Seahawks can do a better job of putting him in more favorable positions. He shared his thoughts on the matter with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Monday.

“They’re lining Jamal up one-on-one with the tackle,” Bumpus said. “He’s not even coming from depth sometimes. He’s lined up (like a star defensive end). I don’t think that’s how to use him.”

Rather than disguising Adams as a rusher or having him start his blitz deeper on the defense, the Seahawks often stuck Adams right at the line of scrimmage and made it fairly clear that he was going to be coming off the edge. Bumpus doesn’t see that as a recipe for success given that offenses can easily shrug him off at that point.

“They walk him down, they make it obvious and (the opposition) isolates him with the tackle,” Bumpus said. “All the tackle has to do is get one paw on you and you’re pretty much out of the play. What I’d like to see them do is blitz him from depth, send him on a stunt, use other guys.”

Bumpus said he understands that Adams has been a great blitzer since entering the NFL in 2017, but he needs help in order to get to the quarterback.

“I don’t like the matchup with this dude one-on-one on the outside and making him predictable walking down (to the line),” he said. “If they know (the opponent is) going to run a zone away from him and they’re expecting him to run it down on the back end like he’s doing, then OK. But if you really want him to get sacks on the quarterback, you have to make that matchup more favorable. To me, that’s by sending another defender over there with him and putting pressure on that tackle or rushing him from depth and having him hit the A or B gaps.”

Adams’ ball skills

Adams’ blitzing wasn’t the only thing that stood out in his game against the Steelers.

Adams had a prime opportunity to make an interception with under two minutes remaining, but the ball hit his facemask and two plays later, Pittsburgh kicked a field goal.

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Bumpus said it’s time for people to realize who Adams is and who he is not as a playmaker.

“He’s not going to get better in a season or two and become good at catching the football,” Bumpus said. “You see it in the way he plays the game. You saw it against the Rams when that ball got between him and Sidney Jones. You saw it this week when he was getting downhill. I don’t know if he saw the ball or not – maybe he was going for the big hit. But there are just things he’s not good at. I’m going to just take Jamal for what he is.

“You saw in this game they used him more in his blitz packages … but if he doesn’t make the play when the football is in the air, I will no longer be surprised.”

Listen to the full interview with Bumpus at this link or in the player below.

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Bumpus: Seahawks are minimizing Jamal Adams’ impact with ‘obvious’ blitzes