Seahawks safety Jamal Adams stood at his locker, getting ready for Thursday's practice when he was asked about the finger injury that briefly sidelined him early in camp.
"You can see I'm struggling to put this damn shirt on," he quipped while trying to pull a long-sleeved shirt over a gloved hand. "Everything's good. I'm ready to go."
Adams, who has had to deal with shoulder injuries each of the past two seasons, has also played through multiple finger injuries in recent years, leading to surgery in the offseason to fuse two of his oft-dislocated fingers. But early in training camp, he re-injured one of those fingers—"I broke it again, broke my fusion," is how he put it—but Adams isn't letting a minor setback dampen his enthusiasm for this season and for what the Seahawks defense can do in 2022.
"I'm ready to go, man," he said. "… I'm excited. I think we have a lot of talent, a lot of guys that can make a lot of plays, and we're well coached."
As for his individual contributions to the defense, Adams is optimistic that his role in Seattle's new-look defense under coordinator Clint Hurtt will play to his strengths. With Hurtt leading the defense with a lot of input from associate head coach-defense Sean Desai, Adams, who two seasons ago had 9.5 sacks, a record for an NFL defensive back, said this year's defense is "putting me in position to make plays."
"I'm back in my element," Adams said. "I feel like I'm back playing defense."
Not long after he was first introduced as Seattle's new defensive coordinator, Clint Hurtt talked about Adams and how a big part of his new job was to maximize the All-Pro safety's talents. Now with the season approaching, that's still the goal, and Hurtt likes what he's seen from Adams.
"From the very beginning, I talked about being aggressive, and I think anytime in coaching, your No. 1 responsibility is to put your best players in the position to be successful," Hurtt said. "And we have some guys on defense along with Jamal that we want to do that with—put them in the position to be successful. So that's been the biggest thing we've tried to make sure we get done. I feel good about it.
And while injuries have limited Adams a bit since he arrived in Seattle, Hurtt isn't buying some of the criticism of Adams' game that he's heard the past couple of years.
"He's very unique," Hurtt said. "I think a lot of the criticism he has gotten in the past, to me it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I think the guy is a hell of a football player. He's dynamic in the way that he goes about his business and his skillset—his ability in the box, pressuring, and he is good in coverage, contrary to popular belief. There's things he does very well when he's in coverage in the back end, so I don't understand where some of that stuff comes from. I think the guy's a hell of a player, his teammates believe he's a hell of a player, and I'm happy as hell we've got him."
The Seahawks took the field Tuesday for practice and there the pedal was pushed hard as the team gears up for week 1 against the Broncos.