Winless Jets prepare for Jamal Adams, Seattle’s chairman of the ‘bored’ – NFL Nation
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Who’s bored now? Certainly not Jamal Adams, who is thriving in his post-New York Jets life. The Seattle Seahawks safety, who faces his old team on Sunday at Lumen Field (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS), is on the verge of breaking the NFL’s single-season sack record for defensive backs.
Gregg Williams? Well, he might be experiencing boredom. The former Jets defensive coordinator, who tweaked Adams and the Seahawks in September by saying the All-Pro would get “bored” in Seattle’s basic Cover 3 scheme, has plenty of time on his hands now that he is unemployed.
Make no mistake, the summer blockbuster trade that sent Adams to Seattle doesn’t look too good right now. The Jets (0-12) are enduring the worst season in franchise history, a season that will be remembered for the Adams trade (July 25) and last Sunday’s Cover 0 meltdown that cost Williams his job. With Adams looming, and no doubt looking for revenge, the Jets’ week is about to get worse.
Adams might try to downplay it, but you know he wants to embarrass Jets coach Adam Gase, whom he excoriated on his way out the door. Surely, Adams will get the last laugh this season, but the Jets — and their fans — have to be thinking about the long game. For them, the trade never was about 2020. (In retrospect, the trade signaled the start of a rebuild.) It’s all about 2021 and 2022, and whether general manager Joe Douglas can parlay the draft picks into quality players.
The Jets got excellent value from Seattle, receiving 2021 and 2022 first-round picks and a 2021 third-round pick. They also acquired strong safety Bradley McDougald, who was supposed to be Adams Lite but disappointed before having season-ending shoulder surgery. McDougald, due to become a free agent, won’t be back in 2021. That was the worst part of the trade; the Jets thought they had picked up a solid starter in McDougald.
Right now, the Jets have three of the top 33 picks in the 2021 NFL draft. Maybe they can acquire another top-50 pick by trading quarterback Sam Darnold. That would be a nice way to kick-start the rebuild, assuming Douglas doesn’t blow the picks.
As much as the Jets miss Adams’ playmaking ability, they made the right move because his contract demands were outrageous (for a strong safety, no less) and his presence on defense wouldn’t have prevented this disaster. They stink without him. With him, they’d be stinking just a little less. Truth be told, his volatile personality might have combusted the locker room. Could you imagine him enduring a season like this?
In good times (count them on one hand), Adams was a catalyst for the Jets, an energizer. On Monday, Darnold was asked if Jets players miss Adams’ passion and presence in the locker room. He paused a few seconds, trying to choose the right words. He wanted to compliment Adams without upsetting his current teammates.
“Whenever you’ve got a guy like Jamal who brings energy every day — it’s tough to say,” Darnold said. “When he’s here, you feel his energy. When he’s not, you have other guys step up and other guys were able to lead. So, obviously, there’s some days where you miss that energy, but we have a lot of good players here and guys who bring a lot of good energy towards the locker room.”
On Sunday, Darnold will have to deal with Adams buzzing around the line of scrimmage. Despite missing four games with a groin injury, he has 7.5 sacks in eight games, a half-sack shy of Adrian Wilson‘s record for defensive backs (eight in 2005). Credit Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who tweaked his scheme to fit Adams’ blitzing ability. That’s what good coaches do. That’s why the Seahawks (8-4) are on the verge of their ninth straight winning season.
Once again, Williams was wrong, thinking Adams would languish once he no longer was part of his sophisticated scheme and all its “complexities” (his word). Back in September, Carroll enjoyed a laugh when told of Williams’ comments. Dripping with sarcasm, he said, “Gosh, we’re so simple here and basic that we probably won’t get to any of that stuff” — i.e. deploying Adams as a blitzer. Carroll also said of Williams, “We don’t make as many mistakes as he does.”
Talk about prophetic.
“Obviously, Jamal presents a challenge for everyone, for our tight ends, our receivers, our line, myself, our running backs,” Darnold said. “He’s a really, really good player, physical player, super smart as well. So, we’ve got our hands full there and we’re excited to obviously not just face him, but face a really good Seattle defense.”
Somewhere, Williams will be watching.