The Baltimore Ravens had one of the greatest linebacker-safety combinations in NFL history with a pair of Hall of Famers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. When the Jets inked former Ravens ILB C.J. Mosley to a lucrative contract in free agency, safety Jamal Adams immediately thought of that B-More dynamic duo and what could possibly be on the horizon in NYC.
“It’s exciting, it’s crazy,” Adams said. “I’m not comparing us to them, but in a way I’m saying it can be something special like that. And when I say that, I mean Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. That’s the first thing that came in my mind and I hit him (Mosley) up. I told him we can do something special just like those guys if we put our minds to it and just keep working, stay humble and keep our faith. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Different players and different skillsets and different eras, but the 23-year-old Adams is a football historian. From the moment he became a Jet in 2017, he wanted to do anything he could to help the organization become a winner.
“When I came into it, obviously I wanted to change some things and get this team where it needs to be. Not only does the organization deserve it, the fans out here deserve it,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming and I can tell you we’re excited for this new chapter.”
When the 2018 campaign reached a conclusion in New England, an emotional Adams said the Jets needed more “dawgs.” The organization followed through with a productive free agency period that included the signings of two players who are arguably the best at their position in the NFL: RB Le’Veon Bell and ILB C.J. Mosley. A three-down ‘backer who had 597 tackles and 15 individual takeaways in five seasons with the Ravens, Adams didn’t think the Jets would have much of a chance to add Mosley when the two lined up together for the AFC during Pro Bowl Week.
“Obviously he’s a tremendous player, I was excited to get him,” Adams said of Mosley. “I kind of recruited him at the Pro Bowl. I didn’t think they’d get rid of him, no one did. He came to us and I can’t tell you how excited I am.”
Both Mosley, entering his sixth season out of Alabama, and Adams, beginning his third pro campaign out of LSU, share the same language. Both are former first-round picks out of the Southeastern Conference who are punishing hitters with gifted football minds and they play through the whistle while running sideline to sideline.
“He comes from that SEC tree. I understand him and he understands me, and I can’t wait to get out there with him,” Adams said. “I can tell you that.”
While the pickup of Mosley may have been unforeseen, Adams applied the full-court press in his recruitment of Bell this offseason. The Jets’ elite young safety knows how much stress a multi-dimensional weapon can put on a defense.
“He can do everything. He can run you over, he can be patient and make you miss,” Adams said. “He can flex out and run receiver routes, he can do it all. That’s what makes him special. The most important thing is he’s a great leader, and he’s going to help Sam out and he’s going to help that offense out.”
Adams and the rest of his teammates — both new and old — got back to work Monday as the Jets offseason program began. The first step in the process is chemistry, but the talent is there to start a new era on the right foot.“We’re getting there, brick by brick,” he said. “We just have to keep stacking, keep working and have the team continue to get closer to each other because that’s what it’s about. As long as you have a good locker room, good guys in there, guys that want to win, guys that are eager to win and a coaching staff that is very talented that we have, you can’t get any better. So when you add it all together, it’s going to be special.”