New York Jets: Lay off Jamal Adams and his comments

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images /

Instead of taking shots at New York Jets rookie Jamal Adams for his comments, listen to them in their entirety.

Through the years, the New York Jets have had their share of mistakes played out in the media. Keyshawn Johnson wrote a book about not getting the football and forced a trade. A holdout by Darrelle Revis played out on television. Everyone remembers the Herm Edwards “You play to win the game” clip. To say that Gang Green has had its moments with the media would be putting it mildly.

In today’s world, with the rapid nature of social media, it’s easy for comments to be taken out of context. One sentence makes its way around the cyber world and everyone has an opinion within minutes. All of a sudden, a player is branded as clueless or lost, and it’s not until the player gives clarification that calm is restored.

The trouble is that people can easily jump to conclusions, and that is what happened recently with rookie Jamal Adams. For anyone who missed it, Adams announced during a Q&A that he would be okay with dying on the field. Well, much of the media went crazy.

It earned a particularly pointed reaction from Keana McMahon, former wife of the late Justin Strzelczyk, a Pittsburgh Steelers player with CTE that killed himself at age 36. She was none too happy (via the NY Daily News):

"“I don’t even know what to say. This guy (Adams) doesn’t know what’s coming down the pipeline. He has no idea what dealing with someone who has CTE is like.”"

She later continued:

"“I bet my kids would want their father here. I know in my heart of hearts that Justin would have wanted to see his daughter get married someday or see his son graduate from college, not dying on a football field. To me (Adams) is sh—ing on Justin’s grave,” says McMahon."

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Now I am not here to disparage this woman in any way. Having to endure your spouse going through the changes that Strzelczyk went through is an unspeakable horror. However, with all due respect, this is not what Adams was saying. Take a look at the entire quote (via

"“I’m all about making the game safer, but as a defensive player, I’m not a big fan of it. But I get it. I can speak for a lot of guys that play the game. We live and breathe [football]. This is what we’re so passionate about. Literally, if I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field. And that’s not a lie. There’s so much sacrifice that we go through as a team, and just connecting as one and winning ball games. There’s nothing like playing the game of football. But again, I’m all about making the game safer.”"

Adams never said anything about CTE. He said nothing of the kind. Read the entire paragraph. He’s a young kid that plays defense. He wants to hit someone. Isn’t that what we expect to hear out of young defensive players? The rule changes make doing what he needs to do harder. Of course he is going to say he isn’t a big fan. Nothing he said was disrespectful of CTE or the players that suffered from it.

What these comments are telling us is that Jamal Adams is passionate about his job. He loves football more than anything else in this world, and if he did die out there, he would be dying in his favorite place in the world. Ultimately, we all want to die somewhere that makes us happy. Adams’ place just involves a lot of violent hitting, that’s the difference.

The CTE problem is a serious one. I talked about it here at Spin Zone. The NFL needs to stop hiding it and address it head on. However, it doesn’t mean that every comment made is a slight against those with CTE. The comment was odd, granted. Could he have added justification? Sure. But if you really pay attention to the entire quote, Adams’ intent was clear. He is passionate about football, nothing more.

Next: Predicting the Jets 53 man roster

Lay off of Jamal Adams. This was a classic case of making a mountain out of a mole hill. Listen to his words, they actually make sense and aren’t so bad.