Heaps: Why Jamal Adams would benefit most from an improved Seahawks pass rush

Feb 3, 2022, 9:11 AM

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams celebrates breaking up a pass against the 49ers in 2021. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After finishing seventh in the NFL in sacks in 2020, the Seahawks fell all the way to 22nd in 2021 despite returning nearly all their top rushers from the year prior.

Heaps: Cliff Avril is right, Seahawks lack an identity and that has to change

In 2020, Seattle started slow but finished the year with 46 sacks, the defense brought down opposing quarterbacks just 34 times and had only three players with more than two sacks on the year.

If the Seahawks are able to have a more potent pass rush during the upcoming 2022 season, which Seattle defender would benefit the most? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps answered that question in 4-Down Territory during Wednesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“The name that comes to mind is Jamal Adams,” Heaps said. “Maybe you could say Darrell Taylor getting help and obviously getting a lot of attention if he’s going to be your best pass rusher going into the year, but I believe that it helps Jamal Adams the most.”

Taylor was a bright spot for the Seahawks in 2021, finishing tied for second on the team with 6.5 sacks after missing the entirety of his 2020 rookie season.

Adams, meanwhile, registered no sacks in 2021, a huge drop off from what he did in 2020.

In 2020, Adams’ first year with the Seahawks, the strong safety set an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back in a single season with 9.5. Adams set that record in just 12 games, and he earned second-team All-Pro honors for his play.

Adams then signed a lucrative contract extension last offseason, making him the league’s highest-paid safety.

Adams again played in 12 games in 2021 and had 87 tackles, no sacks, four tackles for loss and two QB hits as he was used less as a blitzer than the previous season.

And when Adams did blitz, it didn’t accomplish much, Heaps said.

“The conversations were that as soon as Jamal Adams was in certain alignments in their blitz packaging schemes that (opposing teams) would automatically turn the protection over to Jamal Adams,” Heaps said.

So if the Seahawks are able to improve the pass rush either organically or through big signings like Chandler Jones and/or Akiem Hicks like Heaps is pulling for, what does that do for Adams and the defense as a whole?

“Now you leave those guys with one-on-one opportunities to rush the passer and it helps everyone else open up,” Heaps said. “(It gives) Darrell Taylor more one-on-one opportunities to rush the passer. And if (the opposition) can’t combat it that way and they can’t solely slide protection over to Jamal Adams because they have their own problems to deal with with your own pass-rushing unit, then it does free up Jamal Adams to have more opportunities to go one-on-one against running backs, one-on-one against tight ends where Jamal Adams is going to win nine out of 10 times. That to me would be a definite benefit to Jamal Adams with a drastically improved pass rush.”

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

Are Seahawks fans’ expectations too high like Richard Sherman says?

Jake and Stacy

Seahawks Drew Lock...

Stacy Rost

Seahawks Practice Snapshot: Good day for QB Drew Lock and offense

Stacy Rost details the latest from Seahawks practice as they're just days away from beginning the preseason against the Steelers on Saturday.

2 years ago

Michael Bumpus Stacy Rost...

SeattleSports.com Staff

New Seattle Sports show: ‘Bump and Stacy’ with Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost

The next chapter of middays on Seattle Sports begins Monday with the debut of Bump and Stacy, co-hosted by Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost.

2 years ago

Seahawks Sean Desai...

Brandon Gustafson

What new assistants Desai and Scott revealed about Seahawks’ defense

Jake Heaps breaks down some encouraging comments from new Seahawks defensive assistants Sean Desai and Karl Scott about the defense.

2 years ago

Seahawks Broncos Drew Lock...

Brandon Gustafson

Should Seahawks be OK going into 2022 with Smith or Lock at QB?

Are the Seahawks really comfortable with Geno Smith or Drew Lock as the starter? Jake Heaps thinks that isn't "an ideal situation."

2 years ago

Jake Heaps Stacy Rost...

SeattleSports.com Staff

Seattle Sports’ Jake Heaps announces departure from Jake & Stacy show

After four years with Seattle Sports, Jake Heaps will be leaving the Jake and Stacy show to enter a new chapter in his career.

2 years ago

Seahawks 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo...

Stacy Rost

3 things Seahawks fans should know about potential Jimmy G trade

The possibility of the Seahawks acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has picked up steam this week. Stacy Rost examines its viability.

2 years ago

Heaps: Why Jamal Adams would benefit most from an improved Seahawks pass rush