Since being drafted by the New York Jets with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, safety Jamal Adams has immediately made his presence felt, and not only with his strong performances, but with his attitude as well.
Despite being only 22-years-old, safety Jamal Adams, who played his collegiate ball at Louisiana State University, has established himself as a legitimate NFL talent. Throughout 2017 thus far, he’s racked up 42 solo tackles along with 11 assisted tackles. He’s also totaled two sacks and has proven to be a force in the secondary with fellow rookie Marcus Maye.
What’s more notable, however, is that he’s already shown impressive leadership qualities, and that doesn’t only stem from his performance, but with his attitude, fire and passion as well.
A few weeks ago, Adams turned some heads in a Week 12 matchup against the Carolina Panthers when he elected to confront Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the end zone following a Newtown touchdown. As he typically does, Newton celebrated the score with his patented Superman act, but it didn’t sit well with Adams, who got in Newton’s face before shoving him. The two were then seen exchanging words multiple times throughout the game.
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Later explaining his actions, Adams said that it wasn’t personal, but rather his competitive nature simply arising. Here is what he said from an article written by Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com:
“Man, I don’t have any beef with Cam or anything,” Adams said following the game at charity event at the Microsoft Store in midtown. “When I’m on the field, I’m a competitor. That’s what I’m about,” he continued. “I wasn’t going to let him do his little celebration and get the crowd going. So I just kind of swiped his hand down, just let it be known that we’re going to keep fighting, man. You can celebrate, but we’re going to keep fighting. But I’m definitely a fan of Cam Newton. I’ve always been. I have a ton of respect for him.”
“I was definitely upset,” he added. “But I have respect for him. It doesn’t matter who you are. I’m not going to let him come in and celebrate on our field. It’s just not going to happen.”
While many criticized the rookie, which is certainly understandable given that his actions could have led to a penalty or a heightened altercation, it’s also a bit impressive to see such a young player take that type of initiative.
And despite what the critics had to see, Adam’s teammates didn’t seem to be too upset with his actions. In fact, quarterback Josh McCown praised the LSU alum for being a fierce competitor and that well, age doesn’t matter when it comes to his overall confidence in doing what he does best.
As McCown stated, age doesn’t matter, and that’s key to note in this situation. Despite his lack of NFL experience, Adams doesn’t play, nor does he act like an NFL newcomer. In fact, he does the opposite. His performances and his actions are those of a player who belongs at the highest level and of a player who is well aware of that.
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In a rebuilding year for the Jets, Adams has emerged as a piece that will likely be crucial for the team in years to come, and as he grows and develops, his passion and love for the game will likely be bought into by his teammates.
Adams has the ability to ignite the players around him and because of that, the Jets could certainly have a much-needed leader on their hands for years to come.