Jamal Adams
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams, aside from his stellar All-Pro play on the field, is a genuine superstar everywhere else.

Robby Sabo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—There he was, a sweat-dripping, energy-flowing, feeling-the-vibe embodiment of an all-encompassing night that celebrated another New York Jets summer.

It was Jamal Adams who the Jets made available to the press following the team’s famed Green & White Scrimmage on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. Of course it was. Who better to represent an organization?

Answering questions served as the easy part of the exercise. As professional as they come, Adams bats intermediate-to-tough questions away in as elementary a sense as OTAs (an exercise, unlike many others, the man never fails to attend).

The tough part was remaining straight-faced, for a certain tune popped on the MetLife speakers, causing the LSU product to naturally flow to the music.

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For that very instant, everything that’s genuine about the best safety in the NFL smacked the world in its face. This kid loves football. This kid enjoys life. This kid is as special as it gets.

Hours after practice ended, and with very few fans left, No. 33 remained. The thought of any youngster missing out on a hero moment is just too much for Adams to contemplate.

And no, it’s certainly not about clout. Phonies, especially in this city, can be spotted from here to Boston (or Philadelphia, as long we’re on the topic).

Adams, 23, racked up 115 tackles, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 3.5 sacks and pick in all 16 games a season ago that saw him take home Second-Team All-Pro honors.

He is the best safety in the NFL. When breaking it down on film, as compared to the likes of Eddie Jackson, Derwin James and Harrison Smith, the claim is as legitimate as Joe Namath’s famed nightlife.

From an in-the-box presence to centerfield duties, the kid can do it all in a world that needs versatile strong safeties to shut down the opposing matchup advantages.

Due to today’s rules, offensive minds look at running backs and tight ends as the matchup deciders. Linebackers are oftentimes too slow for either. Cornerbacks as the answer really are no answer, as the rushing attack would quickly become an advantage. The hybrid strong safety who can play single-high, two-deep, rush the passer off the edge, play linebacker, bump-and-run, own the robber and blitz the A-gap is the new X-factor position in football.

The Green & White Scrimmage put Adams’s skill set on display for all.

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Days after the Avery Williamson news, Adam Gase and Gregg Williams worked on a ton of dime/3rd-and-long. Williams’s package consisted of the big dime:

  • SS: Jamal Adams
  • FS: Marcus Maye
  • S: Rontez Miles
  • CB: Darryl Roberts
  • CB: Tevaughn Campbell
  • SB: Brian Poole
  • LB: C.J. Mosley
  • LB: Neville Hewitt
  • EDGE: Jordan Jenkins
  • EDGE: Henry Anderson
  • DT: Quinnen Williams

The two-deep looks featured Marcus Maye and Rontez Miles deep, allowing Adams to do his in-the-box thing. Whether it was rushing the passer, manning down the robber or playing alongside Mosley, Adams just may be part of the answer to making up for the Williamson loss.

Talent, as great is it may be, can only take an athlete so far. The love of the game combined with commitment and intrinsic value is what constitutes the stuff of legend.

Jamal Adams is legend in this regard.

It’s the stuff fans rarely see that helps spark championship programs. Saying the right thing at the right moment in the locker room is what helps drive passion. It’s what attracts other quality athletes.

Adams understands the entirety of his package. What’s different about his package is that he’s never forced to put it on display. The superstar athletes who fake the funk the moment the lights go on are a dime a dozen. For Adams, naturally wearing the genuine package on his sleeve is as easy as A-B-C.

“That’s the thing. It’s completely genuine,” a top Jets PR official said about Adams as he hung around for the fans and the media started to walk off the field.

Talent is tremendous. The overall package is what fuels true champions.

Jamal Adams represents everything the New York Jets are looking to achieve moving forward. There isn’t a greater example of a program starter in the NFL today.

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