Jamal Adams is from the Dallas area, so he still has plenty of friends and family around there who are paying attention to what's being said leading up to the Seahawks' Week 3 game against Dallas.
And for all Adams has done in his first two games as a Seahawk, recording 22 tackles and two sacks, he would be the first to admit he has room to get better, particularly in pass coverage. What he's less willing to accept, however, is other people talking about said pass coverage, critiques he's been hearing about from his people back home in Texas.
"(The Cowboys) have some explosive guys on their side that can make a lot of plays," Adams said. "So we have to do we have to do a good job of doing our thing and plastering them and covering them. I've seen a couple of things they said that I struggle in coverage, so I can't wait. I got a little text from one of my buddies back home, so he has the inside scoop on that. So I'm looking forward to it."
Adams wouldn't say who's giving him the Dallas intel, but said, "I grew up with a couple guys who are still my brothers—best friends to this day, we talk every day, group messaging. What goes on in Dallas, it always comes back to me. I always find out the scoop. So just a little edge a little chip on my shoulder to go out there and continue to do what I'm doing. Things happen, it's part of the game. And, you know, hey, I'm just looking forward to the matchup."
Asked about the chip on his shoulder, Adams grinned and said, "I keep the chip on my shoulder at all times."
Adam's grew up a Giants fan—his father, George Adams, was a running back for the Giants for five seasons in the 1980s—but he's proud of his Dallas roots. So proud, in fact, that he has a big Dallas Stars logo tattooed on his leg despite not really being a hockey fan.
"People ask if I'm a Stars fan. Ever since I got the tattoo, I've become a fan, obviously just supporting the, but I only got it because I'm from Dallas, and I wanted to do something different than the rest, because everybody gets the skyscraper, everybody puts Triple D on them, and I just want to do something unique and different that no one else has. And obviously it's on my thigh, so it's pretty visible. I like it, man. I think it's pretty dope.
"I'm not really into hockey. I'm going to be honest with you, bro. I got the tattoo because I'm from Dallas and I wanted to do something unique. I thought it was pretty cool at the time. I still think it's pretty cool… I was not a big fan before I got the tattoo, but when I did think about putting that on my body forever, I said, 'Hey, why not? Why not become a fan?'"
And when he faces his hometown team on Sunday—the Cowboys, not the Stars who are currently in the Stanley Cup Finals—he and the rest of Seattle's defense will be looking to answer the criticisms they've heard about their play through two games. The Seahawks are 2-0, but they also have given up a lot of points and yards in their two wins, currently ranking last in the league in total defense and pass defense.
"I don't think it's a concern, I think it's definitely an area that we can improve on," linebacker and defensive captain Bobby Wagner said. "I think there's a lot of positive. I don't know where we were at at this point last year, but I know that we weren't as stout against the run… We just have to be ready and be more prepared and execute better, but I'm not concerned about it."
It hasn't been all bad for Seattle's defense, however. Adams and Wagner have lived up to their All-Pro pedigree, the run defense, as Wagner noted, has been stout in limited opportunities—opponent don't tend to run a lot when playing from behind, as Atlanta and New England often were—the secondary has produced a pair of interceptions, and of course, there was one all-important goal-line stop. The Seahawks have also seen a number of young players step up in bigger roles such as defensive linemen L.J. Collier and Bryan Mone, and last week in particular, defensive back Ugo Amadi. But for all the positives, there have also been all of those passing yards, and particularly bothersome to a head coach who prioritizes stopping big plays, too many explosive passes allowed. Going against a very talented Dallas Cowboys offense and a quarterback who is a very good deep ball thrower in Dak Prescott, the Seahawks know they need to start taking away some of those big gains.
"No one's happy with the scoring numbers, no one's happy with the amount of yards," defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "At the same time, there's a lot of really good things."
Norton went on to mention a lot of the positives listed above, but then said, "We certainly have to take down the explosive plays and the deep balls that have been hit on us… We have a certain high standard for ourselves, and I think our guys are ready for the challenge."
Practice photos from the Seahawks' Thursday workout at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Week 3 vs. the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field.