FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Second-year safety Jamal Adams lowered his shoulder and delivered a hard hit to players on last year’s team and the Jets organization.
Adams told Bleacher Report earlier this summer that some players during his rookie year “wanted to do the bare minimum” and added that “the team, the organization” weren’t willing to sacrifice or do what it took to be a winning team.
The interview was posted Tuesday, which led to a conversation between coach Todd Bowles and the passionate Adams before practice.
“He’s a very young player and a very smart player, and he speaks from his heart,” Bowles said. “He didn’t mean a lot of things that came out wrong. But when you give everything and you demand people to be like you, everyone is not like you. Some people learn differently. Some people don’t.
“We talked about it. This is part of being a young player. He will learn to say what he really means and what not to say. We dealt with it and we moved on.”
Bowles said he didn’t agree with Adams and that it was an “in-house” matter.
There was a video posted on the Jets' twitter feed of Adams not being able to get into the building Monday because his door code briefly didn't work. Someone joked that Bowles did that after learning about the interview.
“Maybe,” Adams said. “He just said just be smart, just continue to be passionate and working hard. I never want to bash any of my teammates. That’s not what I’m here for. Those guys know that.
“To be honest with you, man, none of the comments that were said, it shouldn’t matter because we moved on,” Adams added. “As a team, it’s never going to be about me, it’s always going to be about the team. We built this culture. Last year to this year I see a big improvement just as a team, and we’re just going to keep building it each and every day."
The Jets have missed the playoffs seven straight seasons. Under Bowles, they won 10 games three years ago but totaled only 10 the past two seasons. Last year, the Jets went 5-11, which was better than many expected. But Adams said he came to a team where “everybody was used to losing” and accused players of “not studying their plays” or knowing them or their assignments, in the Bleacher Report interview.
Adams seemed to intimate that those players are no longer with the Jets. Lineman Leonard Williams, a leader on the defense, believes what Adams said was “a little bold.” Williams wasn’t offended, but he said Adams probably should choose his words more carefully.
“I don’t blame Jamal at all for what he said,” Williams said. “He probably just didn’t word it in the best way. He’s a young guy. He has a lot to learn on and off and the field, and this is part of the off- the-field stuff that he has to learn.
“I know what he was trying to get at: for this program to be elite we just have to do the extra and not the minimum.”
The Jets have reshaped the roster the past two offseasons, leading to several players saying there is a different “vibe” around the team this year. Adams is happy with what he’s seen this summer.
“Different energy,” he said. “Everybody’s jelling together. Everybody’s coming out here and working hard, everybody’s staying in the playbook. Each and every day we step on the field we want to get better. We want to win the day. So that’s what we’re shooting for. As long as we continue to stick together, one team, one goal, we’ll be fine.”