With training camp officially over, the battles between the Jets' starters are beginning to wind down. There were a few plays during Tuesday's session when they went head-to-head and Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams stood out for something he wouldn't get credit on a stat sheet for. But head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have some great tape to put on display for any young player learning to play the game the right way.
Midway through the session, Sam Darnold took a deep drop and he appeared to have a streaking Jamison Crowder free for a long vertical strike. The third-year safety saw everything unfold before his eyes and he moved to Crowder, flipped his hips and got on his bike.
"We were in man (coverage) and shifted out late," Adams said. "Thank God I'm well-coached because I've learned receivers' route stems. I knew his stem and I just beat him to the punch as far as an angle."
With Adams in coverage, Darnold was forced to hold onto the ball and was eventually surrounded by DL Leonard Williams and OLB Brandon Copeland. In a split-second, Adams not only saved a touchdown, but he should have been credited with a direct assist on a sack.
"There was just no thinking," he said. "It was just I have to go. I was in good position to make a play. It would have been a 50/50 ball, but I definitely would have competed for it."
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Adams, who had a sack of Falcons QB Matt Ryan Thursday night, looked to have a would-be sack of Darnold after an effective blitz. He also took away a Trevor Siemian throw up the sideline intended for Ryan Griffin, neatly stepping in front of the tight end for an interception while in man coverage.
"Just playing the route stems, playing with my eyes and just making plays," he said. "That's what I'm asked to do and that's what I pride myself on."
Tuesday's session marked the first time since last November when Adams worked alongside Marcus Maye for a full practice. While Maye is getting his feet back underneath him, Adams is clearly taking off.
"The game has slowed down tremendously for me," he said. "I'm seeing things before they happen. I'm just flying around the ball."
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Since being selected with the sixth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Leonard Williams has not missed a regular-season game. He doesn't even like missing practice, so the training staff had to a difficult time with the Big Cat when he was forced out of action for more than a week due to hip irritation.
"I hate taking time off and watching my teammates go at it while I'm sitting in the training room," Williams said. "Coach Orgeron said something to me that has stuck with me when I was younger, 'You can't make the club in the tub.' Ever since, I try to have as minimal time as possible in it and luckily, I've never missed a game since I've been here."
Williams, who didn't appear in either of the Jets' two preseason contests, hopes to get in some game action before the regular season commences. The 6'5", 302-pounder saw his most work since early in camp during the Green & White's latest session.
"I didn't feel slow on it, I didn't feel like I forgot any plays," he said. "I didn't feel out of shape or anything. I just felt right back at into it."
Williams has always been available for the Green & White, having racked up 17 sacks in 64 games since leaving USC. He hasn't played on a winning team since 2015 but is optimistic about the current group.
"Overall, I love what I'm seeing on both sides of the ball. It comes from the way we've been competing and practicing," he said. "It starts with the head guys. We see Gase and (Gregg) Williams going at it all day and it makes the offense and defense go at it all day. In a smart way, we're just getting each other better and guys are just flying around. It's going to be fun."
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Throughout the summer, Sam Darnold has dazzled with his throws whether it be from the pocket or on the move. He is an accurate passer with elite arm strength, having the uncanny ability to deliver with high velocity with his feet not set and from seemingly any angle. His first completion against the Falcons was a 15-yard strike to Quincy Enunwa following a play-action fake to Ty Montgomery.
"The throw to Quincy, I don't know that I have seen many that were better in my career," said head Gase of the second-year signal-caller. "He put it in the one spot, it was a very tight throw and it was very accurate. It was a great throw considering he had a little bit of pressure in his face and he slid and he wasn't really aligned and to throw it with that kind of accuracy was very impressive."
Gase said the coaches will tell the starters to be ready to play at least a half and a series Saturday vs. the Saints…Veteran center Ryan Kalil got his most action since signing with the Jets, taking the vast majority of snaps with the starters. Neville Hewitt continued to line up at the Will 'backer spot and corner Tevaughn Campbell is getting a healthy share of first-team reps with Trumaine Johnson (hamstring) still on the mend… When asked if a player had surprised him today, Gase pointed to the running back group headlined by Le'Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery. "I think those guys really help us a lot because they can do so much, especially Le'Veon and Ty. [Trenton] Cannon I think has really improved since the spring. He looks like he is catching the ball a lot better, it looks smoother, more natural." And right on cue, Cannon had a long scoring reception from Davis Webb at practice after Folorunso Fatukasi jumped before the snap… Taylor Bertolet was wide right on 51-yard attempt, but he was also good from 53 yards out as P Matt Darr handled holding duties… Cornerback Brian Poole had a pick-six of Siemian in a team period with the starting defense matching up with the twos on offense… The Jets hope veteran right guard Brian Winters is ready for Week 1 and LG Kelechi Osemele (pec strain) could return to practice this week. "Everything looks like he is going to be able to practice for the first week of the season when we get ready for Buffalo, so we will have a really good idea of where he is at," Gase said of Winters.