Seattle Seahawks new coordinator Clint Hurtt takes over a defense loaded with questions heading into the 2022 offseason. Chief among those is how to best utilize safety Jamal Adams moving forward.
During his introductory press conference, the new DC said Wednesday that it's up to the coaching staff to put Adams in the best position to succeed.
"Jamal is still a difference maker," Hurtt said, via the team's official website. "How we use him, that's going to be on me. It's our responsibility, my responsibility to make sure we put him in positions so he can be at his very best, and we know how great he is at doing that. The other side of it though, and to his credit, as the season progressed, we put him in situations that really was not his background, so you have to give him some leeway in understanding that he was in a new world last year with some of the things he was doing, playing a quarter safety or half field safety and the adjustments he had to make along the way. And he really improved in that aspect throughout the course of the season.
"He's going to continue to get better, and obviously, there's multiple things he's got to be able to do, so the quarterback can't always peg him for just being one particular type of way."
Adams inked a four-year contract extension last offseason worth $70 million, but he played in just 12 games during the 2021 season before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
During the season, questions swirled about how Seattle used the safety, who is better close to the line, and as a rusher. With each time Adams got picked on in coverage, the discussion got louder.
In 12 games, Adams didn't record a sack for the first time in his career while earning 87 tackles, and five passes defended with two interceptions.
Hurtt harped Wednesday on his desire to be more "aggressive" as he adds elements of the Vic Fangio-style defense to Seattle. Presumably, part of that aggression will be utilizing Adams as a downhill player, which better fits his skill-set.
"Jamal is a smart enough guy that he understands, it's not just going to be about his ability to blitz and run fit and do those types of things, it's the different techniques and coverages that he has to that he has to play, but making sure it's something that he's really exceptional at besides just rushing the quarterback and blitzing," Hurtt said.
With the Seahawks trading two first-round picks for Adams in 2020 ad then paying him big money in 2021, the Seahawks must find a way to milk the most from the former All-Pro safety to make their massive investment worth it in 2022.