From his days making big plays in the SEC to playing under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams is used to taking on big challenges.
A star defender at LSU, Adams parlayed a highlight-filled career for the Tigers into being the Jets’ No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. He’s already made one Pro Bowl appearance, and his experience against top competition in college has served him well at the pro level.
Adams will face even more challenges this season, with added pressure and expectations thanks to his performance thus far. He’s also learning a new scheme under Williams, who takes over the defense for new head coach Adam Gase.
So far, Adams is loving the new defense, along with Williams’ coaching style (via team reporter Olivia Landis):
He’s coaching us hard. He wants the best out of us and you can run through a wall for a coach like that. I think our whole staff is like that. Our whole staff has a lot of energy and different backgrounds. They’ve been with each other in different places but to have all of them in one spot, I think it could be special for us, and we’re excited to have them all.
Adams also believes playing in the SEC prepared him well for the NFL game, something he also believes will hold true for rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft:
We’re constructed in the right way. We learned from the coaches at our colleges, and all you do is just bring it here. You have to be coachable and understand that you’ve got to earn your respect in the locker room, and you just go out there and play ball. So Quinnen is going to be all right. He’s going to make plays and I know he’s definitely going to help us in the back end and I’m excited.
Williams’ defense is aggressive and loves to attack, which should take full advantage of Adams’ physical and mental tools.
Adams has already established himself as one of the best safeties in the league, and he’s quickly become a vocal leader for the Jets defense. The addition of Williams, as well as free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley, should make a promising defense even more formidable in 2019.