Jamal Adams
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

New York Jets stud strong safety Jamal Adams is dominating opposing NFL offenses in the box and by way of his free safety skills.

Robby Sabo

Jamal Adams is a good NFL safety. Scratch that. He’s an excellent NFL safety. In just his second season in the league that plays for pay, he’s already one of the best. The question these days comes down to, “Just how good?”

Is he top-10 safety material? Is he already a Pro Bowler? Is he on the verge of NFL All-Pro status?

Pro Bowler? Probably. All-Pro? Not quite there … yet. We know he’s the New York Jets best player (at least in the top two with Leonard Williams). What folks are missing in his second season is truly how versatile he’s been.

It’s led to complete and utter Jamal Adams dominance on tape and Elite Sports NY had to put together an ESNY Film Room.

Edge/Run Support

If Jamal Adams possesses one tremendous skill that cannot be duplicated by another, it’s his ridiculous edge/run-support game.

Nobody is better than Adams while setting and pinching the edge as the eighth man in the box.

The first example comes from the Indianapolis Colts game in which Adams was great all day via run support. Watch as he not only does his job (not allowing anybody outside), but squeezes it to the point in which the running back has absolutely nowhere to go.

On top of that, he created a fumble.

What makes his edge game so fantastic is the idea he mixes his freakish athletic talent with stellar fundamentals and a knack for the ball that cannot be taught.

On the second example, Adams gets the job done even though his switch from one side to the other came late.

This one’s less about fundamentals and more about an outstanding nose for the ball. He still uses his inside shoulder (as always), but he’s so quick no offensive player can touch him.


The next play is Adams taking the edge in support of his 3-4 outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, but has everything to do with the inner workings of an athlete’s soul.

Despite finding himself desperately out of position, Adams hunts down Phillip Lindsay after the long gain.

When a superstar is hustling like that, the locker room is in great health.

Free Safety Skills

The secret involving J-Adams right now is that he’s much more than a strong safety who showcases elite talent as a run-support man.

He’s playing fabulous as a deep-half and/or single-high safety.

This first example comes against Andrew Luck and the Colts. On 2nd-and-8, New York goes with the Cover 2 sink. This means Adams’s responsibility is the deep-half alongside the free safety whose coverage is the other deep half.

Watch as his break is perfectly timed with Luck’s throw.

The slot tight end he wound up making the play on was Adams’s exact first read. As long as his second read (the near wide receiver) doesn’t take off on a nine-route, breaking on the 10-yard curl to the slot man is appropriate.

The back-pedal, read and break on the ball was perfect.

The second example comes out of a Cover 4 in which Adams’s responsibility is one-fourth of the deep coverage. Again, his first read is the slot tight end.

In many instances, the safety (in a Cover 4) wouldn’t deploy the aggression to break on that deep dig. Instead, he’d continue to back-pedal while looking for something deep to pick up.

Adams, in knowing what his first, second and third reads are doing, amazingly picks up the deep out. It’s not the most perfect coverage, but impresses the defensive mind, nonetheless.

The sky is the limit for Mr. Jamal Adams. The only thing needed is a legit four-man conventional pass rush to provide this kid a fair shot at playing a stud safety in the National Football League.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com