Never short of energy or confidence, safety Jamal Adams believes the Jets’ secondary has the potential to be elite.
“The sky is the limit. A lot of people say that about their secondary, but this secondary really can be as good as we want to be,” he said. “We just have to keep continuing to work hard each and every day, keep striving and keep doing the little things.”
"New Jack City," as the secondary's members refer to their unit, looks good on paper. The Green & White have two franchise cornerstones in the back end in Adams and Marcus Maye, the team’s first- and second-round picks in last year’s draft. Additionally, the Jets added cornerback Trumaine Johnson in free agency to line up opposite Morris Claiborne, who re-signed with the team, and Buster Skrine.
The secondary combined for eight interceptions and five forced fumbles in 2017 and the group is focusing on creating more turnovers this season.
“As a defense, we want to get our hand hands? on the ball as much as possible and create those turnovers that change the game and make an impact,” Adams said. “As a whole, that’s what we’re working on.”
The 6’1”, 213-pounder recorded a forced fumble last year, but is still waiting on his first professional interception, a thought that still haunts him.
“We moved on,” Adams said smiling. “I’m itching. I’m ready for the first game, the preseason honestly.”
The No. 6 overall pick is feeling more comfortable in Year 2 and is keen on perfecting his craft after starting all 16 games as a rookie.
“I’m very confident in myself in my ability and what I can do,” he said. “As long as I keep working, striving, looking at the right things on the field and study on and off the field, I’ll be fine.”
Adams ranked third on the team with 83 tackles and also recorded nine tackles for loss, two sacks and five pass defenses. He believes there’ll be a significant jump in his play and he’ll have more of an impact on the defense and the game.
“Through the roof,” he said about the difference between last year and this. “As long as I can continue to listen, do things the right way each and every day, I’ll be fine.”
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Adams is also sliding into his role as a vocal team leader, something he started to take over toward the end of the regular season. Last year, he wanted to earn the respect of his teammates. This year, he plans on attacking a larger role in the locker room.
“Now you can say I’m kind of the veteran. Rookies are coming up to me asking me questions,” Adams said. “I’m feeling comfortable. They’re moving all over the place not knowing what’s going on, but it takes time. I’m excited for my second year going in and I’m excited for this team.”