The Week 14 matchup between the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks will have plenty of juice because of the Jamal Adams storyline. On Thursday, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams might have provided a little extra.
Commenting for the first time on last month’s blockbuster trade that sent the star safety to Seattle, Williams poked the Seahawks’ defensive scheme.
Asked if Adams’ departure will change the way he deploys his safeties, Williams responded, “It really doesn’t. We’re very multiple with how we do those things anyway.”
Then Williams added, “Jamal may get bored there because they don’t use their safety-type things with all the complexities … uh, maybe not showing what they’re doing as much as we do.”
It was a reference to the Seahawks’ hallmark Cover 3 scheme, which is considered vanilla compared to Williams’ ever-changing fronts and disguises.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll fired back later Thursday in an interview with Sports Radio 950 KJR Seattle when told of Willliams’ comments:
“We don’t make as many mistakes as he does,” Carroll said. “Let’s let him have a chance to come back. We might as well do something coast to coast. That will be fun.”
Carroll, with his tongue firmly planted in cheek, then took issue with Williams’ belittling of the Seahawks’ safety scheme:
“Gosh, we’re so simple here and basic that we probably won’t get to any of that stuff,” he shot back with a smile. “That might be a good idea. Thanks for bringing it up.”
Seattle’s Cover 3, of course, has worked brilliantly for the Seahawks, a top-10 defensive team in every season from 2011 to 2016. That period included one Super Bowl championship and the “Legion of Boom” era, which produced star safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Williams was complimentary of Adams, who enjoyed an All-Pro season in 2019 that included 6.5 sacks. He was a big reason the Jets, despite many injuries, finished seventh in total defense.
At the same time, Williams suggested his system contributed to Adams’ success, adding how that same system can withstand his departure.
“We’ll still do a lot of the same exact things, but we’ll highlight the people we have here,” Williams said. “As you saw what we did [last season], he had maybe his most productive year here because of how we highlighted the skill set he has.
“I’ve had a lot of really, really good guys at that position. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of good safeties to be able to build things around. Now it’s the next man up.”
Adams, 24, will be replaced at strong safety by Bradley McDougald, whom the Jets acquired in the trade along with 2021 and 2022 first-round picks. McDougald will be paired with free safety Marcus Maye, with rookie Ashtyn Davis possibly contributing in a specialty role.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.