RENTON, WA — While the Seahawks technically entered last Sunday’s home game against the Bears alive in the playoff hunt, in reality, they’ve been out of contention since a Week 12 loss to Washington. reduced to a 3-8 record.
Keeping that in mind, although Seattle indeed kept talking about the playoffs until it was finally eliminated for good last weekend, the team has mixed in more young players in recent weeks with views on the future. Injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak necessitated many of those changes, including undrafted rookie right tackle Jake Curhan starting the last three games in place of a battered Brandon Shell.
Among several Seahawks who benefited from a number of starters and key reserves being sidelined, sophomore defensive tackle Myles Adams finally received his first chance to play in NFL regular-season action. In the space of six days, he received two practice squad lifts, recording 31 defensive snaps in losses against the Rams and Bears to help fill the void with Bryan Mone on the COVID-19 roster.
While Adams showed his lack of experience and roughness in his NFL debut against the Rams, coach Pete Carroll saw a much more confident player last Sunday. The former Rice standout made the most of his 19 snaps in the loss, recording a trio of tackles, a tackle for loss, two pressures and a quarterback hit.
“I’m glad you brought him up because from game one to game two, his confidence, you could see the difference,” Carroll said of Adams. a few blocks with confidence, and he looked better. He took a big leap from game one to game two.
Until two weeks ago, like hundreds of players across the league landscape, Adams was patiently awaiting his opportunity on the practice squad. After being released by Carolina from training camp as a rookie and hanging out in Seattle in December, he signed a future contract with the organization in January and played well in the preseason, recording five tackles. and half a bag.
But with Poona Ford, Al Woods and Mone ahead of him on the depth chart and Rasheem Green and LJ Collier able to cut inside passes, Adams was unable to earn a spot on the roster. He quickly re-signed with the practice squad after clearing the waivers and continued to work on the practice field to prepare for when his time to dress for a regular season game finally arrived. .
Sure enough, that opportunity finally presented itself when the Seahawks were hit with their first COVID outbreak ahead of a Week 16 road trip to Los Angeles. With the Rams having more than 20 players on the reserve list, the NFL elected to move the game to Tuesday afternoon and Mone tested positive two days prior, opening the door for Adams’ first call-up.
Playing 13 snaps against the Rams, Adams recorded his first two NFL tackles and pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford. With Mone still sidelined, he saw an even larger role behind Ford and Woods last Sunday, catching the eye of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
“I think Myles did a really good job of intervening,” Norton Jr. told reporters Wednesday. “You can tell he’s really good technique. He’s built differently than the other guys, so he’s got a really good base, really good leverage. He’s always right in his technique. I really like his style , I really like his focus. He’s pretty serious about what he does. I think he showed himself well.”
As Norton noted, Adams offers a very different build than Mone and doesn’t have the same skill set. Built with a lean 6-foot-2, 285-pound frame, he plays naturally with low pads and delivers an explosive first step that allows him to penetrate gaps against the run while delivering an inside pass rushing upside down.
Those traits, along with savvy football IQ and sound technique, could be seen against the Bears on Sunday with Adams emerging as a bright spot for the Seahawks defensively, especially in the third quarter when he played the majority of his snaps. .
As Chicago swung past midfield on their second halftime practice, Adams used a quick first step to beat guard Cody Whitehair inside and passed him to team up with defensive end Alton. Robinson to corral running back David Montgomery for a tackle for loss. Moments later, he quickly snuffed out a first screen to Damien Williams and joined Ford in stopping him for a gain of just two yards.
On the next play, however, Adams’ lack of size worked against him as the Bears successfully doubled him with Whitehair and center Sam Mustipher, dropping him several yards off the ball to create a crease for the running back Khalil Herbert to score a 20-yard touchdown.
Still, Adams bounced back from that one negative game, continuing to find ways to contribute. On the Bears’ next possession, he got in on the act by pressing Nick Foles, shooting the A gap and delivering a base hit to the veteran quarterback. Unfortunately, Foles unloaded the ball in the middle of contact and made an excellent throw under duress to Darnell Mooney for a 16-yard completion and a first down.
“He had a good game of football, he played well for us, he was active and he had a good level of play,” remarked Carroll. “He was an example of a guy coming out and feeling better about himself playing the game. He was always a great worker, so that’s a good story.”
Returning to the practice squad, it remains to be seen whether or not Adams will be active against the Lions on Sunday. The Seahawks activated Mone earlier this week and he practiced in full Wednesday, indicating he would be ready to return to action and the team may not need to recall the young defenseman as a result.
But with two games remaining on the schedule and no playoff berth to play, Seattle should prioritize evaluating players who could be part of the team’s plans in 2022. Defensive tackle also remains a necessary long-term position. term, as Woods will be a free agent and turns 35 in March, Ford will enter the final year of his contract, and Mone will be a restricted free agent.
With these facts in mind, coupled with the NFL’s waiver restrictions on how often players can be lifted from the practice squad due to league-wide COVID concerns, the Seahawks should take advantage of these relaxed rules and give Adams two more chances to show whether or not he can be part of future plans in the trenches.