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Jamal Adams believes Jets defense will be ready to go

New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams celebrates

New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams celebrates sacking Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the first half a preseason game Thursday in Atlanta. Photo Credit: AP/John Amis

Nearly all of the fans had left MetLife Stadium after the Jets’ open practice on Sunday night, but off in a corner of the stadium, Jamal Adams was still signing autographs. One fan gave Adams his cell phone and asked if the third-year safety could lead the group in a rendition of the team’s famous cheer.

Adams held up the phone in one hand and with the other, his index finger raised, he led a “J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!” cheer.

The video soon went viral, attracting more than a million views, appearing on the Jets’ official Twitter account. “He won’t leave until every autograph is signed,” the tweet read.

Early Monday, Adams retweeted the post and added his own comment.

“I don’t do this for clout,” he wrote. “I do this because I was once that little kid… My goal was very simple last night. It was to change a life or two! Luv”

No wonder Adams has become such a huge fan favorite through his young career. Full of energy and enthusiasm, he has become a willing face of the franchise, a player who is willing to put it all on the line for his team. And his fans.

Shortly after Sunday’s practice, standing in the middle of the field with sweat pouring down his face and a few thousand fans still milling about waiting for a fireworks show and then the autograph session that Adams closed down, he soaked in the atmosphere.

“It was great to see the fans come out to support us,” he said. “We’re excited to have a practice in front of everybody. Obviously, the energy was there. At the end of the day, we got better as a team. That’s all we can ask for.”

And all he can do is promise to deliver the best performance that he – and his teammates – possibly can.

The Jets are still a work in progress, and they’re now dealing with a season-ending knee injury to linebacker Avery Williamson, but Adams believes this will be a team worth being proud of once the season starts on Sept. 8 at home against the Bills.

“Obviously, we’re still getting better,” he said. “We’ve got the Saints coming in [for next Saturday’s preseason game] and that’s going to be a hell of a matchup. We’re a talented group and we’re looking forward to that matchup. We’re still working to get to our goal. We’re not there yet as a defense, but in three weeks, we’ll be ready.”

As for Williams, Adams said, “It’s tough. He’s not only a great football player, he’s a hell of a dude. I feel bad for him, but obviously, it’s the nature of the business. It’s hard to replace a guy like that, but we have the guys that’s going to step up and learn the role and hopefully [pick up] where he left off. We’re praying for him and he’ll be back, better than ever.”

Adams is enthused about what appears to be the progress of the offense behind second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. He’s encouraged by the fast starts in both preseason games so far.

“We feed off each other,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, we always talk about situational football. If we can do that as a group, we’ll be outstanding.”

Adams is particularly impressed with newly acquired slot receiver Jamison Crowder, who had three catches Sunday night, including a touchdown catch inside the 5-yard line.

“I think he’s very underrated,” Adams said. “Obviously, he’s not the loud one on the offensive side of the group. He’s not flashy. He’s just going to get the job done. He’s a workhorse. We’re excited to have him. I think he’s going to shock a lot of people.”

Adams is also delighted to see safety Marcus Maye, who underwent off-season shoulder surgery, back in the lineup.

“He’s looking good,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, we just want to stay on the field together, fly around and make plays.”

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