Adams ‘not here to make it about me’ as Seahawks face his former team
Typically, the main storyline when a team has yet to win a game this late in the season is whether or not this is the week. When the winless Jets come to Seattle to take on the Seahawks, that storyline is taking a backseat to the fact that safety Jamal Adams is set to take on his former team for the first time since he was traded to Seattle this offseason.
The “breakup” if you will was seemingly inevitable as the Jets made it clear they weren’t ready to hand out a top contract to keep Adas in New York and Adams then requested a trade and went public with his issues with the team. The result was the Seahawks acquiring Adams and a fourth-round pick for two first-round picks, a third-round pick as well as safety Bradley McDougald.
Adams, 25, was a First-Team All-Pro last year and in eight games with the Seahawks in 2020, he leads the team with 7.5 sacks and is one sack away from setting the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back in a single season. Naturally, Adams was asked about setting the upcoming record against his former team during his Friday press conference.
“Obviously that has been on my mind, breaking the record. I said I was going to do it last year and I failed, and I always told myself that whenever I put my mind to something I’m going to get it done. That’s just how I’m wired,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what team is out there, it’s the next game. Obviously we’re playing against the Jets and that is my former team. Will it be sweet? Yes, of course. But at the end of the day I’m going out there to continue to do my job, continue to make plays for the team and ultimately come out victorious. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Adams was asked about his feelings towards the Jets as well as his move from New York to Seattle in the press conference. Adams said he understands that it’s a storyline, but he just wants to get the win and play well.
“It’s the next opponent. This game is very important because it’s the next one,” Adams said. “Obviously it is against the Jets, my former team, but I’m not here to make it about me. I’m just going out there to do my job.”
In July, Adams did an interview with the New York Daily News sharing his thoughts on the “saga” between himself and the Jets. When asked if by a New York-based reporter whether he had any regrets for how events unfolded, Adams said he had none while pointing to his love of being with the Seahawks.
“I had to do what I had to do to get out of my situation and I’m happy to be here, man,” he said. “I’m happy to be a Seattle Seahawk, I’m happy to be part of an organization that values me and respects me for who I am on and off the field and they’re giving me a chance to be myself … I’m not really focused on the past. It did go down the way it went down, but I have nothing but love for the Jets organization.”
Adams referred to going from the Jets to the Seahawks as a “total 360.” He said it’s clear to him that the Seahawks think more of him than the Jets did.
“The guys that make the decisions over there, they just didn’t value me like Seattle does and I appreciate that,” Adams said when asked if he felt the Jets disrespected him. “There’s no hard feelings towards them. They had different views, I had a different view, but at the end of the day I’m just happy to be where I am and I have an organization that believes in me, believes I can get it done and thinks highly of me and that’s all I can ask for, man. It’s just all about respect for me.”
During his Friday press conference, head coach Pete Carroll said that he talked to Adams as well as starting right tackle Brandon Shell about playing their first game against their former team. Carroll said both Adams and Shell are “level-headed” and “even-keeled” heading into the matchup. Adams said it’s an exciting moment for him, but he repeated his coach’s sentiment.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited (since) I’m going to play my old team, of course, but it’s an even-keel mindset,” he said. “I’m not trying to make this about me. I’m not trying to hype myself up, I’m not trying to go out there and make this play and that play. I was with them for three years. They’ve seen me. They’ve seen what I can do.”
Adams reiterated the respect he has for the organization as well as his former teammates, noting that he and his opposition will likely be “talking noise” and that it’s going to be a fun battle, especially as he faces his former quarterback.
“I finally get to get after (quarterback Sam Darnold) a little bit, one of my guys, I have a lot of respect for Sam,” Adams said.
Adams also was asked about his relationship with Jets coach Adam Gase, who Adams in the New York Daily News story said wasn’t the right leader for the team. Adams wanted to make it clear there was no animosity there.
“We had a solid relationship … I don’t hate Adam Gase, I have no problem with Adam Gase,” he said. “I just didn’t feel he handled certain situations well as a head coach, and that’s just my opinion and everybody is entitled to their opinion, right?”
The fourth-year safety said he’s “at peace” with the situation as he landed with the Seahawks.
“At the end of the day, I did what’s best for my family and myself and my career,” he said. “I took a chance on myself at 24 years old. Many people didn’t think that a 24 year old would get out of his situation, they thought I was crazy, thought I was a baby for everything, but I stuck to it, I knew who I was as a person, I know my worth and like I said, I have nothing but respect to the Jets organization.”
Listen to Adams’ full press conference at the Seahawks’ YouTube page here.