Key Matchup: Scott vs Adams
Jake Scott (Getty Images)
Jake Scott (Getty Images)

Posted Dec 13, 2006

Colts offensive guard Jake Scott will be lining up against massive Bengals DT Sam Adams on Monday night. Check out Greg Talmage's analysis of this key matchup...

The folks over at are raving about the recent play of defensive tackle Sam Adams. Here’s what writer Robert Weintraub had to say following the win over Oakland last Sunday.

“He looks like he ate Tony Siragusa, he’s so massive. But what a first step. He demolished Oakland’s run game yesterday, including a couple of plays where he got so much penetration (including the fourth and one in the third Q) it seemed he had to be offsides, or in the Raider huddle getting their snap count. Or merely sniffed some baked goods in the Raiders backfield …

“His gap control frees up the linebackers to be mini-Ray Lewises in Marvin’s system, ranging sideline to sideline unblocked to make plays.”

While humorous in style, the writer makes some excellent points about just how vital Sam Adams has become to the Bengals run defense.

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Sam Adams is a huge specimen. At over 350 pounds, he is a space-eater who can be a dominating interior run defender and very difficult to move off the line, especially when he maintains pad level. Adams does it with more than just girth though. He uses strong hands and arms to lock out and control the point of attack. He also has the ability to stack and shed with explosive force in a confined area, has a surprisingly explosive initial step and is a strong tackler in the box. Adams has been such a dominant force and imposing figure in the middle of late that it’s basically shut-off any north-south running from the opposition.

Against the pass, Adams relies on strength and leverage to push the inside pocket. He still has decent snap anticipation to go along with his upfield power, but does not get as many opportunities to play the pass. He is removed when nickel and dime sets enter the game. As you would expect from someone of his size and after 13 years in the NFL, stamina can be a problem. So he rarely plays more than 35-40 snaps in any game.

Jake Scott will have his hands full this Monday Night. Although Adams is listed at 355, many speculate that he’s more likely in the 375 to 385 range. So given those numbers, Jake Scott may well be lining up across from someone nearly 100 pounds heavier than himself.

How does Scott handle this situation? Well, he’s going to turn to Colts C Jeff Saturday quite often and ask, “can you help me with this?” And that’s exactly what Cincinnati wants because it’ll reduce the Colts’ opportunities to get their interior lineman out to the next level attacking a linebacker.

This year Scott has had a very consistent and solid season. It’s been his best as a Colt to date by far. Jake Scott is tall athletic offensive lineman with very good feet and in-line quickness. He gets off the snap well and into defenders quickly. That should help him handle Adams’ disruptive first step. Handling Adams’ first step, however, is not the main concern or problem -- its dealing with his weight and trying to move a nearly immovable 400-pound force.

From time to time, DTs like Sam Adams give Jake Scott all kinds of fits. His overall play strength is still his biggest weakness. He sometimes just gets manhandled at the point of attack. A good example of this was Jaguars’ defensive tackle Marcus Stroud’s sack on Manning in third quarter last week when Stroud just overpowered Scott.

The Colts’ third-year offensive lineman knows that he wins this matchup just by holding his own. He needs to protect his edges and use his solid first punch to prevent Adams from getting into the backfield and busting runs. Expect the Colts to double Adams with Scott and Saturday, especially during the first half while they try to establish the running game. The hope here is that making Adams constantly have to work through a double-team will wear the big guy down and reduce his effectiveness as the game progresses.

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