Jamal Adams eyes Derek Stingley Jr. as next star of DBU

NCAA Football, New York Jets

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams focuses on the main things with Gang Green, but can’t help but be in awe of Derek Stingley Jr. at his alma mater, LSU.

The New York Jets entered their early Week 4 bye at a rough 0-3. They had lost their starting quarterback Sam Darnold a few weeks ago to mononucleosis and his backup Trevor Siemian to a gruesome ankle injury. It’s a little tough for Gang Green, but star safety Jamal Adams is focused on what matters to get the Jets back in the win column coming out of their bye week.

“We gotta get a win, it’s as simple as that,” said Adams. “We’re definitely going to come out there with a lot of energy. We’re definitely going to come out playing hard. We just gotta execute on all three levels.”

The Jets face a tough opponent in Week 5 versus the 2-2 Philadelphia Eagles, but Adams is focused on the task at hand, taking each week, one game at a time. “You can’t worry about the outside noise,” said Adams. “Just gotta stay focused on the present and not worry about what’s on down the line. You gotta take it one game at a time.”

After a tough showing for the entire team in Week 2 versus the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, Adams responded with his first interception of the season in Week 3, taking New England Patriots backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s errant pass to the house for six points.

“It was like a brick came off my back because that’s all people talk about with my game is that I’m not a ballhawk or whatever. It doesn’t make sense to me. I never really let it bring me down because it never did, but it is finally good to get my hands on a ball again and definitely take it in for six.”

This was Adam’s first trip to pay dirt in his professional career out of LSU. He was both excited and relieved to finally score a touchdown for his team’s defense, while the offense tries to find itself with Luke Falk filling in for the recovering Darnold.

“It was a good feeling,” said Adams. “It was like a brick came off my back because that’s all people talk about with my game is that I’m not a ballhawk or whatever. It doesn’t make sense to me. I never really let it bring me down because it never did, but it is finally good to get my hands on a ball again and definitely take it in for six.”

He didn’t seem to mind that it was Stidham’s pass he picked off, as opposed to Tom Brady, who had already been pulled out of the game in New England’s rout of the Jets in Week 3 in Foxborough. But that doesn’t mean Adams doesn’t want to pick off his rival team’s superstar quarterback here soon.

“People will obviously say and joke that I only picked off a backup quarterback,” said Adams. “I don’t really care who I pick off because, in the stats, that’s not what they say: you picked off a backup quarterback. I always want to pick off Tom Brady, but it hasn’t happened. Hopefully, it does, but if it not, then I’m fine with it.”

Adams made it a point this offseason to work on his ball skills, but sees a greater benefit in constantly working on his leadership qualities. “Becoming a better leader is something I’ve always focused on, what can I do to not only help myself but to help those around me.”

Jamal Adams, Brian Poole, New York Jets

Jamal Adams, Brian Poole, New York Jets. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Adams is the star of this Jets defense. He is coming off his first Pro Bowl season in 2018, one where he was named Second-Team All-Pro. His future is certainly bright, but translating his undeniable talent in the defensive backfield into wins won’t be easy.

When asked if there were any big schematic changes to the defense from the coaching staff overhaul, Adams would say, “it’s the same philosophy. At the end of the day, we just have to get out there and create turnovers for our offense, keep making plays on the ball and not plays slip away from us on the defensive end. As long as we do that, we’ll be fine.”

It’s good to hear that Gang Green looks to be in great shape on that side of the ball, at least in terms of the defensive scheme. Of course, they’ll need back their first-round pick in defensive lineman Quinnen Williams to help get things moving in the right direction on Gregg Williams’ defense.

“We’re all excited to have him on-board,” said Adams of his defensive teammate. “He definitely is a problem on the field and he definitely causes a lot of problems for offensive linemen. But at the end of the day, we just gotta get him back out there. Gotta get him healthy because he’s definitely a big piece for our defense.”

Getting a blue-chip prospect in the draft like Williams will only make things easier for Adams in the Jets’ defensive backfield. When healthy, Williams is an absolute menace in the trenches. Adams probably admired his play from afar, albeit playing for an SEC West rival in Alabama. Though he is a professional now, Adams still keeps up on all things LSU football.

“You know, I think the next star is a freshman, No. 24. I think he’s the next one. Obviously, Grant [Delpit]’s gonna come out, but I really think that No. 24 is gonna be special. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, staying hungry and just being coachable. But I think he’s the next one.”

When asked who the next star of DBU is (yes, LSU is DBU), Adams looks a bit toward the future. While junior Grant Delpit will almost certainly come out in this year’s NFL Draft and be a first-round pick, Adams spoke glowingly about freshman cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

“You know, I think the next star is a freshman, No. 24,” spoke Adams fondly of Stingley. “I think he’s the next one. Obviously, Grant [Delpit]’s gonna come out, but I really think that No. 24 is gonna be special. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, staying hungry and just being coachable. But I think he’s the next one.”

Stingley’s father, Derek Stingley Sr., had a successful career in the AFL both as a player and coach. His late grandfather is former New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley, who was unfortunately paralyzed on a hit by Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum. His grandson is a five-star prospect out from Baton Rouge who will continue to turn heads in the SEC for the next few years.

As for his former head coach Ed Orgeron, Adams only had good things to say about Coach O. “He’s always been a fiery guy. I was excited to have him on board because he brings the energy. He’s gonna keep everybody swinging the right direction, he’s gonna hold everybody accountable. So they’re in great hands. That staff is great and I’m pulling for them as always.”

Adams spoke with FanSided on behalf of Lunatix and their “Golden Ticket” promotion. “I’ve teamed up with Lunatix, the only ticket site that lets fans reserve playoff tickets for any team and any game all year long. It’s very simple. When the team makes the game, you get the tickets. Obviously, we’re giving the fans the greatest sports year of their life.”

Derek Stingley Jr., LSU Tigers

Derek Stingley Jr., LSU Tigers. (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

You can register at Lunatix.com for free, which is a huge plus. Who wouldn’t want two tickets to every home playoff game for every team in their market through 2020, including the championships for all four major sports leagues? This is a tremendous opportunity for fans of any professional sports team.

And Adams has a tremendous opportunity himself to become the superstar leader this Jets defense needs on that side of the ball. They have so many excellent pieces scattered all across the gridiron. It’ll only be a matter of time before these guys hit their prime and the Jets will be back in the postseason coming out of the AFC.

Though the results haven’t been what the Jets have wanted, expect Adams and the rest of Gang Green to put their heads down and keep working towards getting better every single day. As long as Adams leads by example, we can expect growth from this young team, even if wins are hard to come by. By putting in the work now, the future looks bright and tomorrow will be here soon.

Jamal Adams spoke with FanSided on behalf of Lunatix and their “Golden Ticket” promotion.

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