Heading into his third year in the NFL, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams has already made a major impact on the league. In 2018, Adams made his first Pro Bowl, winning defensive MVP of the game, and was named second-team All-Pro after ranking third in total tackles. Not bad for a player who will be 23 years old at the start of the season.
Adams was the sixth pick in the 2017 draft, and he’s met the high expectations. Now he’s ready to take the next step for the Jets as he heads into the 2019 season.
“I’m excited for this year and the team is excited about what we can do,” Adams told Men’s Journal. “I’ve been working more and more on my speed and fundamentals, and I know I can do even better than I did last season. We made some big additions, and if we prepare and compete the right way as a team, the sky’s the limit.”
Here’s how Adams trains in the offseason, why he shifted to a pescatarian diet, and more.
What are your workouts like in the offseason?
Usually I try to hit it hard. Obviously at different times of the year, in the offseason, you also take it easy and take care of your body, but t’s a balance. I do a lot of massages and therapy when I’m training to make sure my body is being taken care of.
How has your training changed since coming into the league?
It’s mostly the same. I’m not a guy who tries to go all over the place. I stick with what I know. I know my body well, and as I’m getting older I know what it takes to stay in shape and keep my body feeling good all year round. A lot of my training takes place on the track. I’m always running up and down the hills by me, or in the bleachers, and of course I do work in the weight room. I also do a lot of yoga and stretching. I’m trying to be consistent with it.
What’s your diet like?
For the past two and a half months, I’ve been keeping a pescatarian diet. I don’t eat meat any more, and it’s really helped me a lot. I don’t ever feel bloated, I’m moving faster on the field, and I have a lot more energy. So far it’s been great for me.
If you could only do one type of workout to train for football, what would it be?
I ran track in high school and middle school, and I’ve always prided myself on my speed. I have a love-hate relationship with track. Some workouts are very hard, but I feel it really helps me on the field. It prepares you mentally and physically for football. You can really get in your best shape when you’re running the 50-, 100-, and 300-meter sprint. If you’re light on your feet, you can stay stronger for the long run of the NFL season.
How do you like to spend your down time?
Spending time with family, like my nephews and nieces, since I can’t see them as much during the season. I love movies and music. Sports-wise, outside of football, I love bowling. My highest score is a 275. I bowled that when I was a teenager. That was my best go-around.
What are your expectations for yourself and the team this season?
We’re excited for this year. We have a new coach coming in and some new guys like Le’Veon [Bell]. The past two years haven’t been great, and we understand that being in New York, it’s a win-now mentality no matter what. All we can do is go out there and compete as hard as we can. We want to build that chemistry together in training camp, because you never know where it can go. In the NFL, any team can be beat. I don’t have any expectations. You have to prepare. That’s what matters—not what expectations you have.
Your father played in the NFL for the New York Giants and won a Super Bowl. What does it mean to follow in his footsteps?
I strongly believe I was placed here for a reason. My father’s career was cut short by an injury. For me, I felt like this was my calling and that I’m picking up where he left off.
Describe how it feels to snag a big interception?
There’s no better feeling. You were once a kid wishing to do that, and now you’re here in the NFL getting to pick off a top quarterback. The fans are going crazy, and not only are you making people happy, you’re making plays for your team and helping them win. For me, there’s no better feeling. It’s hard to describe how great it is, but I enjoy it quite a bit when I can do that.
What do you like most about the New Era Training Camp hat collection?
I really dig the hats and the way the logo looks on them. I’m definitely excited to be in training camp, and throwing on the new Jets logo to represent the team. It’s also very cool to have the NFL 100 anniversary logo on the hat. Growing up, I loved watching the NFL and it’s a dream come true to be in my third year—to be a part of 100 years of football. I couldn’t be more excited to participate in that.