Things might be a little awkward in the New York Jets‘ locker room for a few days, at least among the guys who played there last season.
Safety Jamal Adams, the team’s first-round pick last season, wasn’t happy with the culture he saw when he joined the team. The Jets were coming off a losing season and headed toward another one in 2017. In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne, he outlined what he thought was wrong.
In short, he saw a lot of players who didn’t seem like they cared too much about their jobs and it showed in their effort.
Jamal Adams noticed teammates doing ‘the bare minimum’
Adams’ comments on what was wrong with the Jets last season are an honest, harsh evaluation. You won’t see many NFL players, especially those in just their second year, express frustration publicly like Adams did.
“Everybody was used to losing. You can always tell that vibe,” Adams told Dunne. “I came in, and it was like everybody wanted to do the bare minimum. They didn’t want to go above and beyond. They didn’t want to take that extra step. They didn’t want to be uncomfortable, [but] to be great, you have to be uncomfortable. You have to be willing to sacrifice and willing to do the little things. And the team, the organization, just wasn’t doing those things. It could’ve been two or three people on the team that were doing it and then the rest weren’t or vice versa. But if you’re not clicking on all cylinders with the 53-man roster, everybody upstairs, the staff, the whole organization, it’s not going to go anywhere, man.”
Dunne asked Adams what the “bare minimum” looks like.
“It’s not necessarily what it looks like. It’s more about the vibe,” Adams said. “That sense of everybody getting used to it. Like, it hasn’t been going good. People are not studying their plays. People aren’t knowing the plays. People aren’t knowing their assignments. We get paid to play a game. You think that people would be dedicated to their craft and actually study it and know it like the back of their hand. It just didn’t happen on our team. It’s the whole NFL. You have a lot of guys that make it but get comfortable. It’s about having that mind-set that when you make it, you’re just getting started.”
Adams added that the culture has changed.
“It’s changed now,” Adams told Bleacher Report. “You can tell it’s a different vibe.”
Adams trying to lead a change
It’s rare for a player to be that candid when many of the teammates he played with last season are still on the team. But it’s hard to say Adams was way off base. The Jets were 5-11 in 2016. They were 5-11 again last season, Adams’ rookie year.
The Jets made some changes. Adams didn’t single anyone out, but defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson’s effort after signing a huge contract was questioned often. He was let go and is with the Green Bay Packers now. Other veterans have departed, so it’s hard to say exactly who Adams was talking about. Maybe he was saying players from last year’s team have gotten a better attitude. Adams told Dunne he hopes the passion he brings to the game helps rub off in the organization.
Either way, it’s an interesting look from the inside of a franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2010. The Jets probably don’t have the talent to make the playoffs this season either, but hopefully the approach will be better.
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