Much has been made about the lack of interceptions created by rising New York Jets star Jamal Adams. Here’s why it’s about more than just interceptions for Adams in 2018.
Jamal Adams may not have the “sexy” interception stats that some defensive backs have in the league, but it’s about more than that.
Often in the court of public opinion, NFL quarterbacks are measured on the number of championships they’ve won. If they have minimal or none, they’re considered lesser of a player.
The same goes for members of the secondary, although the variable changes from championships into interceptions. If you don’t have them, you’re a bum—at least that’s what the average fan says.
Don’t get me wrong, interceptions are important. The football act creates shorter fields for the offense while earning lofty contract extensions, Pro Bowl votes, and overall hype by way of the media. Adams certainly is working on changing that narrative, but don’t get it wrong, that’s not the only thing he’s working on.
Adams excelled best when he was in the box last season. Among all safeties, Adams was No. 1 in run stops, per PFF. I mean, if he isn’t getting interceptions, he better be excelling in other areas and that’s exactly what he did last season.
Truly, it's about the consistency
There’s a fine line between allowing a long touchdown reception or getting a pass breakup. So many times last season, Adams was in the right place at the right time (that shows great film study by the way), yet came up a fraction short.
Adams allowed seven touchdown receptions in pass coverage. To truly become the Pro Bowl player he has guaranteed to develop into, he has to become a complete player.
In college, he was heralded as a natural born leader of men, a great physique, not afraid of contact in the running game. While he doesn’t contribute much in this department in the pros (and for good reason he was a No. 6 overall pick after-all) was his work on special teams early in his collegiate career at LSU.
Adams has NFL blood in his veins with his pops playing for the cross-town rival New York Giants (ew) and even winning a Super Bowl back in 1986. There are some people on this Earth that are either born with it or they aren’t. Adams has that “it” factor that is contagious to a defense.
If you want tangible evidence see the #JetsDanceToAnything video that went viral on social media last year:
— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 9, 2018
Whether he’s locked into a play and has an excellent pre-snap read or he’s breaking out the Dougie, Adams is prepared for anything.
I mentioned that consistency earlier, there were obviously times that Adams played exceptional in coverage and just dropped the interception last year. But no one remembers that analysts are box score readers nowadays.
Defensive backs don’t get enough credit for pass deflections (Jamal had six last season). The argument is similar to pass rushers getting quarterback hurries, those are considered “almost sacks,” but not heralded in the same light.
My hypothesis is when it rains it pours.
After Adams ceremoniously and inevitably gets that first interception next year, he can get the media monkey off his back and start focusing on what’s important: winning football games.