Jets Running Back Pays It Forward by Giving Back to Community

Josh Adams

Getty New York Jets running back Josh Adams turns the corner for the Philadelphia Eagles on December 3, 2018.

For New York Jets running back Josh Adams, the future is uncertain, but that hasn’t stopped him from remembering where he came from.

The Pennsylvania native is currently facing unfavorable odds in training camp. The Green and White have six half-backs on their 90-man roster and at least two or three probably won’t make the official 53.

To make matters worse, general manager Joe Douglas spent a pair of recent fourth-round draft picks on two of the other five rushers (Michael Carter and La’Mical Perine) and a third, veteran Tevin Coleman, was added in free agency as a scheme fit.

The remaining two RBs are 2020 breakout performer Ty Johnson and San Francisco 49ers castoff Austin Walter.

There’s no sugarcoating that it won’t be easy for Adams to make the Week 1 offense, but then again, it never has been easy for the undrafted prospect out of Notre Dame.

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Adams Hopes to Inspire With Thoughtful Gesture

Growing up in Warrington, Pennsylvania, Adams lived in a low-income neighborhood. According to Jets contributor Jack Bell, the local playground was named Willow Knoll Park, or “The Muse,” and the running back has made it his personal mission to rebuild it for the local kids in the community.

On his project website, Adams wrote: “I have spent days and nights playing at that park, and it has generally always been in lackluster condition. It is my desire to inspire the kids and I don’t think it’s fair for the kids to carry that weight of not feeling proud of their neighborhood.”

He explained that the nickname, “The Muse,” was supposed to represent a “source of inspiration” for children, but that it was mostly met with negative connotations instead. Adams’ goal is to bring back meaning to that moniker.

“I want to inspire kids to go out and play, train and exercise and feel good about their surroundings. It is important for their mental and physical health to get exercise in a safe and pleasant environment. The re-development can help cultivate their future in a positive way.”

Bell noted that the updated recreational area, now known as DoctorAdams® Community Park, will even include a “Play 60 Challenge Course with a 40-yard dash track.”

The entire project is an admirable move for a player that has yet to really cash in on his NFL career. Adams told viewers that Willow Knoll was “where [he] came to dream,” saying that he would “love to give back to the younger generation [and] allow them to have that same opportunity.”

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The Fighter Must Battle Once More

Outside of Walter, Adams probably sports the lowest profile of the six RBs on the Jets depth chart. Douglas had a hand in signing the undrafted rookie, who began the 2018 season on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before getting a late-September call-up.

He was able to make a name for himself on that Philly team, rushing for 511 yards at a 4.3 clip. Adams also managed 23 first downs and three touchdowns, including 255 yards after contact which accounted for 49.9% of his total gains.

That grinder’s mentality is nothing new for the large-framed 6-foot-2 runner known for his physicality. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein referred to him as a “battering ram” that was “built like a monster with broad shoulders and [a] muscular lower half.”

Speed and elusiveness have never been Adams’ game but the power back can blow through tacklers, and has most of his career, with a 5.4-yard average for the Jets in 2020.

This outside-zone system doesn’t necessarily lend itself to this style — another unfortunate roadblock for Adams to overcome — but his greatest ace up his sleeve is his relationship with Douglas, who seems to be a big fan of his.

As aforementioned, the Jets GM led the scouting brain trust that signed the Notre Dame product out of college. He then promptly claimed him off waivers after Eagles GM Howie Roseman rewarded his rookie season with a 2019 release.

Perhaps Adams can find his way onto Douglas’ practice squad one last time, or better yet, make the roster in preseason. I know the children of Warrington will definitely be pulling for their hometown hero, and they aren’t the only ones.

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