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Pete Carroll says Julian Love signing doesn’t mean moving on from Jamal Adams

And provided hints at how the Seahawks could make use of Love’s skills.

Washington Commanders v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The first wave of free agency was uncharacteristically busy for the Seattle Seahawks, including the signing of New York Giants defensive back Julian Love. The fact that much of Love’s playing time in New York was at safety led many fans to consider the possibility that his addition could mean the departure of All Pro strong safety Jamal Adams.

That possibility excited many fans, particularly those who have clamored for the Seahawks to designate Adams as a post-June 1 release, but that’s not going to happen so fans can stop wishing for that. (Author’s Note: To learn why Adams won’t be released with a post-June 1 designation, be sure to stop back by Field Gulls Wednesday.) To that end, at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix Tuesday morning, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll reiterated the commitment of the Seahawk to Adams and offered a hint as to how Love could potentially be used this coming season.

Just to reiterate this point, here is a little more detail on exactly what Carroll had to say.

Now, it may not seem logical at first to take someone with significantly more experience at safety and limited experience at nickel to immediately move that player into the nickel role, however, one look at Love’s physical and athletic profiles relative to the players the Seahawks have used in the nickel through the years is rather telling.

Physical and athletic profiles of Seahawks slot CBs

Category Julian Love Justin Coleman DeShawn Shead Jeremy Lane D.J. Reed
Category Julian Love Justin Coleman DeShawn Shead Jeremy Lane D.J. Reed
Height 5106 5105 6011 6000 5091
Weight 195 185 220 190 188
Arm 31.75 31.25 N/A N/A 31.625
40 4.54 4.53 4.53 4.48 4.51
20 2.65 2.6 2.71 2.59 2.62
10 1.62 1.54 1.59 1.58 1.58
Bench 14 20 24 12 11
Vertical 36 37.5 38 42 36.5
Broad 121 124 121 130 124
Shuttle 4.1 3.98 4.23 4.14 4.06
3-cone 6.72 6.61 6.76 7.02 6.82

For those asking why D.J. Reed has been included alongside Justin Coleman, DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane, the simple reason is that Reed started out in the slot for the Seahawks. It was only after he performed at a high level in his first two games in the slot that Seattle moved him outside out of necessity. Many will certainly point to arm length as the reason the Hawks started Reed out in the nickel role, however, the 3-cone is one of the biggest predictors of success for cornerbacks, particularly for those playing in the slot, and his profile screamed nickel corner from the moment they claimed him off waivers.

Just like the athletic profile of Love screams nickel corner as well.

And, in a nearly perfectly timed tweet, former Field Gulls contributor Matty F. Brown, currently of Seahawks on Tape, made note of one of the ways the Seahawks used their nickel corner during the 2022 season.

As for why the Seahawks would want Love in that role rather than Bryant, the answer is relatively simple and the numbers speak for themselves:

  • Love: 124 tackles (79 solo), 11 missed tackles on 1,006 defensive snaps
  • Bryant: 70 tackles (52 soles), 12 missed tackles on 756 defensive snaps

So, if the Seahawks were on a mission to find a versatile nickel corner who could provide reliable run support mixing it up with the defensive front seven, while also possessing the athleticism to cover shifty slot receivers in support of the back seven, the team appears to have accomplished its goal. At the same time, Love is still young, having just turned 25 this month, meaning it’s likely that his best football is still in the future, and potentially giving the Hawks a secondary of Love, Adams, Diggs, Woolen and Jackson that can play together for the foreseeable future. Even if that isn’t what fans wanted from the signing.