Jamal Adams, meet the Pro Bowl. Pro Bowl, meet No. 33.
Adams, the Jets' non-stop, big-play safety who did as he promised and reached NFL all-star status in just his second year as a professional, got into Orlando on Tuesday night and immersed himself in the AFC's first practice of the week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort this morning.
Eric Allen of newyorkjets.com caught up with him and asked about his expectations in taking the field at Camping World Stadium on Sunday afternoon as well as the Jets' recent hirings of head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams back at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, NJ.
"It's exciting, man, honestly, just to be here with some of these great players and be recognized as a great player by my peers and the fans," Adams said. "Its definitely an honor and I'm excited to be here."
He told Allen he reached Pro Bowl status not just for himself but also for his father, George, the former Giants and Patriots running back, his mother, Michelle, and his entire family. He also said many in his inner circle checked in with him to see if he was going to be able to downshift from his top gear for the notoriously laid-back pace of the all-star game.
"I've definitely been asked about that quite a bit, by my agent and my family," he said. "But my father knows the real me, he knows I know one speed. That's all I can give you, and come Sunday, that's definitely what you're going to see."
Adams showed that speed the past two regular seasons, including in four games against the AFC East rival Dolphins. Adam Gase, the Dolphins' head coach then, is of course Adams' head coach now.
"I'm excited to have Coach Gase join the start of something new, I believe. He definitely reached out to me and gave me kind words," Adams recalled. "He was just saying it's a long way ahead and he's excited for it. And he's looking forward to working with me. He said I gave him a couple of problems through the years, so he's definitely excited to coach me. We're definitely looking forward to it."
Adams is also looking toward the man Gase likened to "the head coach of the defense," new Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
"I looked up so many YouTube videos, but I already knew about him through Coach Wilson," Jamal said of his position coach, Dennard Wilson, who coached with Williams on the Rams. "And I've had so many guys hit me up, previous players, just saying how much I'm going to love Coach Gregg."
What did Adams see in the videos about Williams? What has he heard?
"Energy, passion, just holding guys accountable, talking noise — he's all of the above," the safety said. "But I don't say that just because he's the new DC. I say that because it's facts. I do strongly believe he's the best in the business. He's definitely going to help us for the future."
With Williams shaping the defense and Gase guiding now second-year QB Sam Darnold, the offense, and the entire team, Adams was burning with the expectation of himself and his Green & White teammates playing soon in the NFL postseason.
"That's the goal, man, that's the definitely the goal," he said. "Obviously it's a long way getting there. We've got to put some pieces together. We've got to jell as a team, jell as a coaching staff, jell as an organization. ... We're just going to take it one step at a time, but that's defnitely the plan, hopefully by next year to be playing in those types of games and those types of environments and getting a shot at the Super Bowl."
This week, though, it's the Pro Bowl, and Adams is eager to work with his fellow Jets all-stars, returner Andre Roberts and kicker Jason Myers, and his new teammates for the week and playing in one more game before moving full-force into 2019.
"It's so surreal. You dream about this, and finally our time has come," he said. "You've just got to take advantage of it, soak it all in. You have so many legends and so many great players that you're recognized with and you're one of those guys. So I think it's a huge honor and I'm just happy to be here, happy to represent the New York Jets, happy to represent my family and the state of Texas."
No. 33's final two-word message to EA before heading further into his first Pro Bowl experience: "Go Jets."