When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll watches tape of his team's new All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, he sees something that reminds him of some of the other great players he has coached in Seattle.
And the familiarity that Carroll sees has less to do with the physical traits Adams brings to the game, impressive as they are, but instead the intensity and love of game that he exudes on the field.
"Watch him play, watch the juice that he brings, watch the energy that he feels playing this game that he loves, and how that affects the people around him," Carroll said Monday on a video press conference. "I know that that's going to carry over to the locker room, I just don't know that for a fact yet, I've just been able to watch him on the field, and all of the fire and the juice that comes out of, that it is what I've loved about this game since I was a little kid. And so to see that we're able to bring that to our club—we want to be as juiced and jacked up to play this game as anybody who's ever been in the history of the game, well this is a guy that understands that, that's where he wants to live, so he's going to affect us in a really positive way."
Sometimes a fiery on-field persona can come across the wrong way to people who don't know the player, but Carroll sees nothing but positives in the intensity he has seen out of Adams.
"This guy loves what he does, and he cares so much that the passion just exploded out of him at times, which is exactly what you've seen in players that we've had in our program for years," Carroll said. "So to have a chance to add that to our team, forget all the playmaking stuff, it's that element of mentality that I love to add, so that Bobby (Wagner) gets to play with a guy like that, and (Jarran) Reed gets to play with a guy like that, and Bruce (Irvin), and they'll all feed off of each other, because we all love to be that way. That's what we love about this game is cutting it loose and letting it go and getting to that primal mentality that this game allows."
Of course passion, juice and a "primal mentality" will only take you so far in a sport played by some of the best athletes on the planet, and Adams also brings plenty of athleticism, talent and playmaking ability, making him an exciting player to fit into the defense for a head coach who made a name for himself as a defensive backs coach early in his career before becoming a defensive coordinator and later a head coach.
The addition of Adams is even more exciting to Carroll because he will be paired with another playmaking safety in Quandre Diggs, and potentially with a third in Marquise Blair if the second-year safety is able to carve out a role for himself in nickel packages, something Carroll said is an option they'll explore in training camp.
"One of the things that the style of his play, is that he's really aggressive," Carroll said of Adams. "He's an attack-oriented guy. The kind of guys I've seen in years past, that when they see things, they don't hesitate, they go, and they're very, very decisive and very physical and creative as well. It takes creativity to see the opportunities and then seize those opportunities, and he's got all of that—great burst physical nature, and then also the athleticism to make the plays happen. He's really good in coverage one-on-ones, he's good in zone stuff, so it just all fits. We had a very dynamic duo in years past when Kam (Chancellor) and Earl (Thomas) were here. Those guys were entirely different players, I mean they couldn't have been further—one guy was huge, the other guys the smaller guy—just a huge difference in their in the talent that they brought, but yet we incorporated their stuff, hopefully we tried to, that was the illustration of approach to highlight the uniqueness of the players. So that's what's going to happen here with Jamal, and really Quandre Diggs is a really dynamic player too, he showed that last year with us. And as we already pointed out, Marquise has a whole structure to his game that we'd love to fit in. So, this is really all we can hope for, and you'll see it come to life, but really it's about putting them in really good positions and then cutting them loose to do the things they're good at."
Seahawks players began taking their physicals at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Saturday, August 1. Seahawks Training Camp is presented by Safeway.