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What Seahawks adding Jamal Adams means for Marquise Blair

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  • What Seahawks adding Jamal Adams means for Marquise Blair >>>

    in spite of earning three starts during the year he played just 230 defensive snaps. In addition to seeing the starting nod be given to Hill in both the Week 16 and Week 17 losses to the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. In short, rather than earning more time as the season went along, Blair saw his playing time sharply curtailed. Starting with the win over the 49ers in Week 10 through the end of the regular season Blair played just 19 defensive snaps. According to all reports, the issue that prevented Blair from playing more was needing to play assignment sound rather than to go for the big play too often. That was a refrain that was first stated by Pete Carroll during training camp last season and was repeated over and over through the season.

    Foregoing assignment sound football and chasing the big play is a criticism of Blair that has followed him through his career. It was the case at Dodge City Community College, where his athleticism allowed him to get away with more than other, less athletic, players. It was the case at the University of Utah, where tape showed it wasn’t an irregular occurrence for Blair to eschew his assignments in search of the big play. And it was something that former Field Gulls contributor Matty F. Brown touched on during the preseason last year after the game against the Minnesota Vikings.

    ................................. without a preseason to instill trust in team mates and coaches alike, establishing a role will likely be an up hill battle for Marquise Blair.
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  • Carroll said a couple of months ago that Blair will get a chance to play nickel. He has the speed.

    It is looking like Amadi is his only competition, unless Dunbar can play. In which case Griffin may move inside on nickel sets. (With Flowers and Dunbar outside.)
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  • Some of the criticism of the Adams trade is that we used a 2nd round pick for Blair, who showed some flashes last year, so why would we block Blair's development at SS, especially when we had a serviceable veteran starter in McDougald to hold the spot while Blair learns the ropes?

    The problem is that despite being known as a physical player and explosive hitter, Blair does not have the physical makeup of a SS/Box Safety, and therefore cannot hold up consistently setting the edge against the run or win against bigger tight ends in man coverage.

    Blair has a lean build (6-1 1/4, 195 pounds), put more importantly, he has very short arms (30 3/4"). s

    Look all of the players who have played strong/box safety for the Seahawks - all are 215 pounds+ and have arms longer than 32":

    Kam Chancellor - 225 lbs, 33" arms
    Bradley McDougald - 216 lbs, 32 1/2" arms
    Lano Hill - 215 lbs, 32 1/8" arms
    Jamal Adams - 215 lbs, 33 3/8" arms

    Blair just isn't built to consistently battle against bigger players in the box. His frame and speed put him more in the FS mold in the Seahawks typical cover-3/cover-1 scheme but his physicality and explosiveness is a unique characteristic that gives him the ability intimidate receivers and make some splash plays near and behind the line of scrimmage. Pete is outstanding at setting players up to use their strengths so it will be really interesting to see how he harnesses Blair's uniqueness without exposing his limitations.

    It will definitely be interesting to see how Blair is used - between him, Amadi, and Dunbar there are some intriguing options for the slot nickel spot, and if Diggs goes down it will be interesting who they play at FS (Adams could be an option as well as Amadi and Blair). Regardless I don't see Adams' arrival as having a big impact on where and how Blair ultimately plays.
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  • Yup, Blair is too small to really play Seahawks SS the way Pete historically wants it done. If anything, the arrival of Jamal Adams will help Blair in understanding and sticking to assignments. I would expect Adams to become a mentor to Blair and some of the other young DB's. I can see Blair getting some relief and rotational snaps in place of Adams in situations where the opponent is in a nearly-all-pass kind of a mode, e.g., Hawks have a big lead. Not that this has happened much the last couple years... Maybe this will be the year again.

    I think that Pete was willing to pay the high price for Adams because he believes Adams "plays the game the right way" and has the leadership ability and inclination to teach and mentor, along the lines of a Kam Chancellor, not just for his on-the-field play. I think they've done a MUCH BETTER, more thorough psych profile on Adams than, say, on Percy Harvin.

    I also think this leadership-mentoring role was a huge factor in why they picked up Greg Olsen, and is a key characteristic of the players Pete & John have chosen to extend and keep over time.
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  • I'm not sure it says anything about Blair. He can play FS, SS, and Nickle. Most pundits pegged him as a single high safety going into the draft, so it's not unrealistic to see him eventually replacing Diggs at some point. If he has the talent, then he'll see the field.

    I think the trade says a lot more about the FO feelings towards Adams. They traded for an all-pro on a cost controlled contract for the next 2 years. Assuming they can find a pass rusher, or find the pass rush during the season, this could completely change the trajectory of the defense.
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  • If nothing else the arrival of Adams gives us lots to talk about while the covid rages on. He is an interesting subject, as are the possibilities for our understudies.
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