New York Jets lose defensive assistant credited with developing Jamal Adams

NY Jets, Jamal Adams (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Jamal Adams (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets have lost a key defensive assistant in Steve Jackson who has been credited with the development of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams.

The New York Jets have largely kept their coaching staff intact this offseason — something that the team has struggled to do in recent years. But that doesn’t mean that the entire staff will be retained going into next year.

The Cincinnati Bengals announced a few hirings to head coach Zac Taylor’s staff and Jets safeties’ coach Steve Jackson was among the names listed.

Jackson was hired by the Jets prior to the 2018 season as part of then-head-coach Todd Bowles final staff in New York. When Adam Gase took over as the team’s coach, Jackson was one of the few coaches who he retained.

That was primarily due to the rapport he had built with budding superstar safety Jamal Adams.

Adams put together an excellent rookie campaign back in 2017 but it wasn’t until his second year in the NFL — and his first year under Jackson — that he truly emerged as one of the best safeties in the league.

The LSU product was selected to his first Pro Bowl team in 2018 and would repeat that feat while earning First-Team All-Pro honors in 2019 — once again under Jackson.

Jackson spent nine seasons in the NFL playing safety for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans before transitioning to coaching. He received his first full-time coaching gig with the Washington Reskins in 2004 and would hold the title of safeties coach until 2011.

His former team, the Titans, would hire him in 2016 and he would spend two seasons there before joining Bowles’ staff in 2018. Jackson served as both the Jets’ safeties coach and assistant defensive backs coach during his two years in New York.

Now, he will be leaving and taking on a new moniker as Cincinnati’s cornerbacks coach.

While not a noteworthy loss, Jackson’s absence should be taken seriously as both Adams and Marcus Maye had career years in 2019 under his guidance. The two have become perhaps the best safety duo in the league and Jackson likely played at least a small part in that.

The Jets will now turn to the open market as Gase looks to make the first replacement on his staff. Offensive assistant Hines Ward has also drawn interest from the Philadelphia Eagles but no hiring has been made just yet.

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Here’s to wishing Jackson the best of luck in Cincinnati — he might need it — and to hoping that the Jets could adequately replace their highly-touted assistant.