Jamal Adams is the type of leader that the Seahawks desperately needed.
The most impressive part of Jamal Adams game is not actually his pass-rushing prowess. It is his leadership, grit and perseverance.
When you look back at the Legion of Boom years, what is remembered is the tenacity, and attitude that the Seahawks played with. Other teams feared going against the team because of their killer confidence, athleticism, discipline, sky-high football IQ, and best of all, their comradery. They played in perfect sync with one another.
Most of these aspects have been missed for some time. Adams is a leader through and through. He leads in meetings. He leads in practice. He leads in-game and he leads from the sideline. He talks the talk and walks the walk. He has a supreme understanding of the game and helps everyone around simply be better.
When Adams is in-game, he leaves everything on the field, no matter what. He has been playing with a bad shoulder and several broken fingers. You don’t hear him complaining about it. He is ecstatic to simply be making it to the playoffs.
He plays for his city, for his team and for his teammates. He holds his game to the highest of standards. Nothing else will satisfy. It’s this type of attitude that changes the way others around him look at the game. A true culture changer for the defensive side of the ball.
There is another benefit as well. When everyone fully buys in and everything is consistently left on the field, bonds form. These types of bonds develop trust in one another’s games. Players stop thinking and just start playing. Each player knows the other player will cover their responsibility and all they have to do is cover their own. It’s contagious.
Through Adams’ leadership, both verbal and on the field effort/production, the team finally began to trust one another and play as a unit. We all knew the talent was there. It just took someone to bring the group together.
Jamal Adams also isn’t afraid to accept the fallout for his mistakes. This is crucial for any player who is considered a locker-room leader. Or for that matter, any player whom others simply look up to. It helps create a sense of responsibility throughout the organization. No player is above the team.
As the age-old saying goes, culture starts at the top. That means from ownership, down to coaches, down to leaders amongst the players. The coaches have done their part in creating an accepting culture. It was simply time for the players to do their part. Jamal Adams amongst others has escalated this process.
The point of this article is not to draw you away from Adams ‘down’ season in coverage. It is instead meant to show you why Jamal Adams is well-worth the king’s ransom used to acquire him.
It is time to stop comparing Adams to what we believe a defensive back should be and start appreciating him for the many things that he brings to the organization. Adams is a true difference-maker, on and off the field. He is a player who can bring the fiery obsession for greatness back to Seattle. It’s time to simply enjoy that the Seahawks have one of the best playmakers in the NFL. Adams has finally brought some swagger back to a once stale defense.
Side note: Despite what PFF says, Jamal Adams has not been bad in pass coverage. I am not saying he is having his best year. However, when you watch the film, he is actually quite sticky in coverage. In fact, he has gotten better week after week. As he continues to learn the Seahawks scheme I have no doubt this will continue to improve.