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Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye exceed Jets' expectations


Jets camp has unfolded as expected thus far. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson seems intent on keeping a cheeky feud with former teammate Brandon Marshall at the forefront. Players are resisting the narrative that they're part of a tanking team. The quarterback battle between Bryce Petty, Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg rages on.

But the smarter Jets fan is ignoring the noise and keeping an eye on the future. That means reading between the lines when coach Todd Bowles talks about first-round pick Jamal Adams and second-round pick Marcus Maye.

"I can't speak for other people's safeties on their team. But for rookie safeties, from the average that I've been around, they're a lot farther along," Bowles said, via He added: "They can play. It's rare that these type of things happen. But those two guys showed so much in the spring -- and what we brought them along with -- that they could only get better. Their maturity level, as far as learning the plays, exceed what we wanted, for our expectations of rookies. We think those guys are ready to play."

The Jets will be starting two rookies at safety this year. Alongside the progress made by Leonard Williams, this will be the most visible barometer for potential success in the future. It will not always go smoothly given how demanding the position has become and how thin the Jets are at cornerback, but it could be an indicator of how long a rebuild this will be.

Bowles is often measured in his praise, so hearing him talk up Maye and Adams is worth noting this early on. Like a quarterback whisperer coach who drafts a passer early in the draft, Maye and Adams will be synonymous with the defensive-minded Bowles, who will do everything in his power to ensure they look the part come September.