The Film Mashup series took a turn to the negative last Friday as I reviewed some plays from struggling young cornerback Juston Burris. So, today, let’s flip the switch back to the optimistic side and get ourselves hyped through the play of two promising young DBs: Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
Both players flashed potential on all areas of the field, but each seemed to be more consistently strong in the run game. Here’s a great play from Maye. His patience and anticipation are excellent and both are on display here. He keeps the play in front of him and explodes to the ball at the perfect moment, finishing down low.
Unlike Adams, who seemed to have a knack for missing low hits, I thought Maye was very sound with finishing low, showcased here.
In spite of his tendency to inexplicably go for diving tackles and ankle tackles, Adams’ play against the run was still very strong, for many of the same reasons as Maye. His anticipation and IQ are usually very good.
The receiver motions into an H back position and Adams is his assignment. Unfortunately for him and the Broncos, Adams knows where this play is going immediately, and with his instant explosion is unblockable. Plenty of players can run fast and explode off the snap, but not all of them run with anticipation to the correct spot. Adams can do that consistently.
More patience, discipline and anticipation from Maye. He never panics or bites and stays home defending his gap, closing at the correct time to meet the runner head-on.
Credit to Muhammad Wilkerson where it’s due for assisting on the tackle.
Maye drew fewer man-to-man assignments than Adams did, as his anticipation and IQ are better used as a deep safety. Adams’ advantage as an athlete made him a better choice for matching up with guys like Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. Overall, I think Maye had a better year in coverage, since Adams did yield a lot of production in the middle part of the season to tight ends. However, Maye did finish the final quarter of the season poorly. Both have potential against the pass but still have things to clean up in that facet of their games to become consistent.
Anyway, this is a positive mashup! Here’s why Maye plays a lot of center field. He runs this route for the wide receiver and finishes with the interception (the important part).
Do not underestimate the ability to finish picks on defense. Sure, sometimes we can pull the “these guys play defense for a reason” excuse, but those opportunities are few and far between. Teams that convert them the most are giving themselves a tremendous advantage over the rest of the league.
Bouncing off that, here is an effectively good play from Jamal Adams in coverage. Great break on the ball without committing a penalty to bring the team within a play of winning the game.
You just really would like to see more balls like this one going the other way; and this was far from the only instance for Adams. It’s an issue he has publicly recognized, though.
Now, just because Jamal Adams didn’t put an interception in the box score, that doesn’t mean he didn’t create any interceptions. He had contributions on a few, but here is one he creates directly. Nobody blocks him on this blitz, but I like how he slows up a bit as he recognizes the quick pass, then makes an athletic play on the ball.
Mo is the beneficiary of Adams’ athleticism and awareness.
Let’s finish with a GIF that will leave you hopeful of the future. You might remember this play from the Week 2 Oakland game, but if you do, you certainly do not remember watching it live (unless you were in Oakland). That’s because this display of greatness wasn’t shown in its full glory on the TV broadcast or given an ounce of attention by the announcers.
When you see the whole field, you can appreciate how amazing this play was. Adams comes across the field and leaps over two teammates to take down one of the toughest runners in NFL history and save a touchdown.
Awesome, awesome display of hustle.
Who was better in coverage in 2017?
This poll is closed