Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase loves the versatility that Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams give him on the back end.

It’s no secret that Jamal Adams is the key to the New York Jets defense. The safety is a Swiss Army knife who can do a little bit of everything for the team—and do it all very well. He can rush the passer, step up in run support, cover zone, or cover man.

He is a playmaker, and a genuinely great person off the field as well. His versatility is going to be a key for a Jets team with high hopes this season, and head coach Adam Gase knows it. Gase spoke this week about how he and Marcus Maye give the defense plenty of options, per Eric Allen of NewYorkJets.com.

“I know majority of the time you see Marcus deep and Jamal down, but they’re really interchangeable,” Gase said. “They both can pressure, they’re good tacklers, Marcus has a very good knack for the ball. He finds ways to get his hands on the ball when he’s playing the post safety. I don’t think Jamal’s had as many opportunities because he’s been in the box so much is his career. Both those guys can cover guys 1-on-1. They just have the whole skills set you need as a safety.”

Despite the fact that Adams has been mostly in the box while Maye has been over the top for their careers, Gase feels strongly that the two can swap roles and be equally effective for the Jets. That’s a huge help to coordinator Gregg Williams, as it allows him to disguise his looks and confuse the opposing offense.

Gase is certainly familiar with how frustrating it can be to face them, having coached the Miami Dolphins for the entirety of the two safeties’ careers. He has faced Adams four times and Maye three times (Maye was injured for the teams’ Week 2 battle in 2018.)

Maye was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list and is excited to return in time for Week 1.

“Just being out there on the field is the first thing,” said Maye. “That’s most important ⁠— staying healthy. Once I’m out there, I’m going to go out, fly around and make plays. Just being out there is the first step, just coming back from all the injuries. I’m excited just to be back out.”

The Jets are certainly excited to have Maye back. Alongside Adams, Maye is a key part of the defense.

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