Jets coach Todd Bowles didn’t like all the extracurricular activities of his players Sunday.
It didn’t result in a flag — and didn’t stop the score – but there was something about the act that makes them think Adams is becoming the kind of foundational player they need.
“Just a guy that cares. He’s passionate about the ball game. He’s one of our young leaders growing up,” Bowles said of Adams, via Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News. “It’s not about taking on a superstar. It’s about caring about the game and caring about the team and caring about your home stadium and having a desire to be better and get the team better.”
Elder quarterback Josh McCown said it’s the kind of thing that can make a rookie a leader, being willing to stand up to a former MVP. But he also pointed to the stuff Adams does through the week leading into games.
“I appreciate that from him,” McCown said. “Jamal is a fierce competitor. If you’re willing to go out there and compete and you put the work in like he does, I don’t have any problem with that, because age doesn’t matter. I think he has a lot of confidence in himself, and we all do too.
“I think part of some of these young guys stepping into these roles is to establish the way he wants this thing to look, this defense to look and this team to look. Obviously, him and Marcus [Maye] and the young guys have a bright future here, and we’ve encouraged them from day one to put their stamp on it. So I appreciate that from him, just to show that emotion.”
The Jets aren’t going to the playoffs this year, but they’re not tanking helplessly as most of us expected they were going to. And having Adams showing a little backbone at least stands as a tangible measure of hope, perhaps the kind of small act of defiance that can start something bigger.