Unfortunately for his side of the ball, it was a defensive player that stole the show once again. “Tony Adams was the star of the day,” Jets X-Factor media member Robby Sabo tweeted live from Florham Park, New Jersey.
Sabo also preluded this honor by alerting fans to “keep an eye on” the second-year safety earlier in practice.
“Jets love the kid, and they need a center-fielder with serious range to play alongside [Jordan] Whitehead,” expounded Sabo after his star of the day comment. “Adams appropriately moved through reads, once driving down on a secondary read to take it away from Rodgers (no attempt). He also recovered nicely against [Mecole] Hardman deep, to make a one-handed desperation [pass defense].”
The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt concurred with Sabo, calling the Hardman break-up an “awesome play” on a Rodgers throw that “would’ve been a [touchdown].” Rosenblatt also noted that Adams “stuffed” a rushing attempt on day one during his camp round-up article from July 20.
Jets’ Adrian Amos & Tony Adams Could Compete for Starting Free Safety Role in Training Camp
Many had the starting safety duo locked up after the Jets brought in veteran Adrian Amos to replace Chuck Clark — torn ACL. At the beginning of training camp, however, it appears to be an open competition between the 24-year-old Adams and the 30-year-old Amos.
The latter didn’t have a bad day on July 21 either, according to Sabo.
“Amos also had a decent day,” he relayed on Twitter before warning, “and while he could play alongside Whitehead, it’s not ideal. Not enough range. Interestingly, if there’s a unit that could withstand less range from the single-high, it’s the Jets, who come equipped with Sauce [Gardner] and [D.J.] Reed (deep-thirds, excellent bail tech, etc.). But it’s certainly not optimal.”
Earlier in the practice, Sabo singled out Amos on a “nice read” where he shut down a run after the catch (Rodgers to fullback Nick Bawden) that “could have been a monster hit” for the offense.
Adams began his career as an undrafted free agent in 2022. He shocked the Jets community when he made the Week 1 roster over 2021 draft pick Jason Pinnock, but fans quickly saw why whenever he was on the field. Adams mostly played on special teams as a rookie, but did log 118 defensive snaps and 17 total tackles over his 11 year one appearances.
Amos is an eight-year NFL pro that has appeared in 126 games and started 122 of them. His experience in unquestioned, but it remains to be seen how much the wily vet still has left in the tank. Over his career, Amos has registered 636 total tackles (28 for a loss), 10 interceptions, six sacks, three forced fumbles, 48 pass defenses and one defensive touchdown.
These two seem to have the early leg up on the free safety job across from Whitehead.
Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh Pumps the Brakes on Tony Adams’ Hot Start in Training Camp
Despite his “all gas no brake” motto, head coach Robert Saleh tends to pump the brakes a lot when it comes to media hype — at least before the pads come on.
Saleh was asked about Adams’ hot start after day two of training camp, and the Jets HC had a humorous response.
“Yeah [Adams] has shown up good but again, he’s running around in pajamas, so we’ll see when the pads come on,” Saleh stated, wet blanket in hand.
“He’s doing a good job,” the Jets HC added. “He’s in a good competition at that safety spot — he wants that starting job just like the other three [Amos, Ashtyn Davis and Jarrick Bernard-Converse] do, and some of those undrafted free agents [Trey Dean III and Marquis Waters] are trying [too].”
There you have it — the Jets free safety role is wide open heading into August.