HE’S A JET ALL THE WAY
Forget the tweet, Adams says he wants to stay with Gang Green for life
He is a self-described sore loser. He is passionate, selfless and genuine. He dreams big and wants everyone around him to dream big too. Jamal Adams is the heart and soul of the Jets, an alpha male who has welcomed the challenge of turning around a wayward franchise the only way he knows how: By being himself.
Sometimes that means saying something not quite perfectly or causing a stir on social media due to what he playfully refers to as “Twitter fingers.” Exhale, Jets fans. This guy wants to make it crystal clear that he’s one of you.
“I would love to be a Jet for life… and finish my career here,” Adams told the Daily News in a quiet moment on Thursday. “God willing, that’s definitely the plan…. That would be a dream come true. There’s not that many guys that have played this game who have stuck with one team. That would be an honor. I would love to.”
Adams made news two days after an ugly loss to the Dolphins by “liking” a tweet from Calvin Watkins of The Athletic in Dallas: “If I’m the Cowboys, and I’m not, I give Jamal Adams whatever he wants if he becomes a free agent in 2020.”
“My hand slipped, dude,” cracked Adams, who grew up just outside Dallas. “I was reading it…. I had Twitter fingers. But no, honestly, I liked the tweet because (Watkins) saw my value and I just respected that. So that’s really why I liked it. At the end of the day, I love being a part of the Jets. I love being here. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Adams’ “like” predictably was met with mean tweets from some frustrated fans, who know deep down that the second-year safety is a critical piece to this green-and-white puzzle. (He’s under contract through 2020 with a likely fifth-year option in 2021).
He’s been a leader on and off the field. His skill set is evident on Sundays, but there’s another element to the 23year-old’s makeup that is helping move this franchise in the right direction.
Adams’ passionate post-game admission that “I’m sick of losing” and “It pisses me off every time” and “I’m not a loser” was only part of the story after Gang Green’s 13-6 loss in Miami dropped them to 3-6 entering this weekend’s game against the Bills.
Behind closed doors, Adams was brought to tears after the Jets’ third consecutive loss.
“I cried after the last loss,” Adams said. “I cried in the locker room…. It’s not boo-hoo crying. I’m just pissed off. I’m sad. Just emotional. You go out there and everybody’s putting it on the line and some things just don’t work out in your favor. I’ve always felt like I’ve been second in my life this whole time. Coming up short. I’ve made goals in my life… I just haven’t achieved all of them…. But definitely after a tough loss – or losses — I cry, man. I ain’t gonna lie to you. It’s frustrating. I have no shame at all.”
Adams’ bravado is an important part of what has gotten him this far, but there’s much more to him. His teammates gravitate toward this guy with just 25 NFL games on his resume for a reason. He understands people. He’s genuinely unselfish. The greater good matters most to him.
“That shows you how much he cares,” veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said of Adams’ words after the latest defeat. “I like playing with people who care.”
Adams is a franchise changer in every way.
If the Jets could clone him, there would be a locker room filled of dudes wearing No. 33. He is one of the best things to happen to this organization in a very long time.
Jets coaches – and coaches across the league — have publicly and privately raved about him since the moment that Gang Green had the wisdom and foresight to take him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 draft. It was a brilliant decision for an organization that frankly hasn’t made too many brilliant decisions for the better part of a half century.
How much of an impact has Adams made so far?
My understanding is that there have been times when Adams has held teammates – and coaches – accountable at halftime. He has a unique way of getting his points across in a constructive manner. His words, however, don’t divide. They galvanize.
When a frustrated Robby Anderson threw the ball at the referee in the waning moments of a Week 7 loss to the Vikings, Adams tailored words of encouragement to best get through to his teammate on the sideline.
Adams has a gift to push the right buttons that he traces to his parents’ outspoken and truthful mindsets.
“I never want to tear anybody down, because I would never want anyone to tear me down,” Adams said. “My mom always taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. There’s different ways to come at somebody. Everybody comes from different backgrounds. Everybody takes criticism differently. So, you got to know your teammates, because if you come at somebody that doesn’t like to be screamed at or joked at in front of everybody, they might take it a certain way and shut down.
“It’s all about picking everybody up and inspiring,” he continued. “That’s what I shoot for…. During a game, you don’t want to ever bring somebody’s confidence down. It’s already hard out there. It’s already chaos…. That is never a goal of mine. You can always find a positive out of a negative.”
Adams’ value goes far beyond his 63 tackles, eight pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two sacks and interception this season. He is a menace on the field who needs to be accounted for on every snap, but his strong constitution has everyone inside the building excited about how he can help everyone else.
“I love the Jets,” he said.
Adams has embraced the responsibility of raising the bar here with the eye on something special.
“I dream big,” he said. “I’m ambitious. I feel that day will come when everybody’s really really happy. I dream about it every day. I honestly had a dream about it (Wednesday) night. I had a great dream. It’s not always going to be a thunderstorm around here. It’s going to change. Obviously, fans have been upset. It’s been a minute. But it’s going to change. I strongly believe that.”
Jamal Adams has a way of making everybody believe.