New York Jets Jamal Adams
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Jets second-year safety Jamal Adams may represent the defense’s greatest chance to pressure the opposing quarterback.

Kevin Green once bravely put forth the claim that a quarterback sack feels better than sex. It was an old ESPN SportsCenter segment highlighting the NFL’s very best at gobbling up the opposing team’s QB on a weekly basis when the Pro Football Hall of Fame edge man who ranks third in NFL history with 160 sacks shocked the world with the sack is greater than sex comment.

At the time, he was either with the Carolina Panthers or Pittsburgh Steelers amid the 1990s. Today, he’s on Todd Bowles’s New York Jets coaching staff.

In a strange twist of karma, Greene’s currently coaching up, perhaps, the worst pass-rushing unit in the land. The lack of QB sacks these New York Jets snag absolutely make Greene’s sacks over sex defiance that much sweeter (when it actually happens for the team in green).


It also forces an unconventional vibe in the form of Jamal Adams.

Adams, 22, may just represent the Jets best shot at targeting the quarterback this coming season and if used correctly could pile up over five or six sacks on the season.

A year ago, New York finished with 28 sacks. Only four teams tallied fewer. From an individual standpoint, inside linebacker Demario Davis led the way with five. Darron Lee finished fourth on the roster with three, just a half-sack shy of Muhammad Wilkerson and David Bass’s 3.5 apiece. Leonard Williams and the man of the moment, Adams, finished with two each.

This is not supposed to happen.

New York Jets

Inside linebackers and safeties should never rank among the top sack-masters. None at the position account for a piece of the conventional four-man rush, meaning the conventional rush is terrible. Considering no big free agents were signed and not one flyer was taken during the middle rounds of the draft when plenty of talent was present (hello, Josh Sweat), more of the same will commence this season.

Rookie Nathan Shepherd can add a little to the equation along the interior next to Leo, but a true edge presence is needed before any offense would dare dream up nightmares during Jets week.

Adams can represent that edge to a degree. Think Adams in the box. Think to the Jay Cutler sack in early 2017.

Never will the Jets defense enjoy much success rushing the passer out of the base. It’s a 3-4 look that features a run-defending pro in Jordan Jenkins at one edge and a big fat N/A at the other.

The sub packages showcasing three safeties in the mix represent the Jets greatest chance of pressuring the QB.

New York Jets
Robby Sabo

This is Adams’s wheelhouse. This is where the LSU product thrives. This is where the kid will dominate this league.

In the box and at the line of scrimmage.

Folks who scream about zero interceptions simply don’t get it. Adams’s play lends entirely more to what a linebacker does than how a free safety roams the field. His sack, tackle and tackles for loss numbers will always come before his interception totals.

In any version of the big dime this season, Adams has the chance to play directly on the edge, something the Jets desperately need in attempting to manufacture an edge rush and free up Williams in the middle.

Whether the big dime comes out of the 1-4-6 or 2-3-6 via single-high or two-deep, Adams in the box and/or on the edge is a possibility throughout. J.J. Wilcox’s ability to play the deep-half or in the box allows that reality to come true.

New York Jets
Robby Sabo
New York Jets
Robby Sabo
New York Jets
Robby Sabo

If Bowles could work with this lineup on every down, he would. It’s simply impossible to get away with in the base and/or when the offense puts together a solid running scheme out of the three-wideout look. Technically, the big dime is for four wideout looks and “passing only” situations out of the 11 personnel (three wideouts, one tight end, one running back).

Unfortunately, a 3-3-5 big nickel (three safeties and two cornerbacks) can’t be used against 11 personnel. There’s no chance in hell that any one of the Jets three safeties could cover a wideout. It could be used against base via passing downs.

But forget about the big nickel. It’s just too tough to get away with. The 1-4-6 or 2-3-6 big dime with three safeties will be a staple for this New York Jets defense and its main weapon is to put Jamal Adams in a position to do everything, especially rushing the passer along the edge.

They desperately need their president to start loving the feeling of a good-old NFL sack just like Kevin Greene did so many times during his illustrious pro football career. Due to lack of talent along the edge, the kid may just be the team’s best one-on-one rusher.

Yes, Jamal Adams is a safety. So what? This is what it’s come to for the Jets. They’ll need the kid to snag five-plus sacks in 2018. He absolutely has the ability to pull it off.

New York Jets

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