FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets coach Todd Bowles on Wednesday shrugged off comments made by Jamal Adams, claiming the second-year safety meant no harm by suggesting in a radio interview that the defense was unprepared to face Baker Mayfield last week.
“He misspoke,” Bowles said. “He didn’t mean it. He’s a young player, and part of having a young player as a leader sometimes he’s going to have growing pains. It’s a teachable moment. He understands that. We talked about it.”
Bowles was reluctant to elaborate, saying, “I don’t even want to go into” the specifics of what Adams said. “That’s just making excuses, and I’m not trying to make excuses.”
During his weekly paid spot on WFAN radio, Adams said Tuesday they “didn’t have a game plan” for Mayfield and “weren’t prepared for him.” The No. 1 overall pick, in his NFL debut, inherited a 14-0 deficit and rallied the Cleveland Browns to a 21-17 win last Thursday in Cleveland — the franchise’s first win in 20 games.
Adams, one of the Jets’ defensive leaders, appeared to be pointing a finger at the coaching staff. On Wednesday, he insisted that wasn’t the case at all, saying the Jets have one of the best coaching staffs in the league.
“Yeah, let’s clear that up,” Adams told reporters. “If you listen to the interview, it tells you everything I said. I simply said we prepared for Tyrod (Taylor). Obviously, he went down with the injury. We didn’t know that at the time. Baker came in. He had energy. He had confidence. I did not say the coaching staff never had us prepare for two quarterbacks. I did not say that. We’re going to end it at that, and we’re going to move on.”
Adams quickly turned the conversation to the Jets’ next opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars — a difficult road test.
He received the benefit of the doubt from Bowles, who evidently felt Adams’ only transgression was a poor choice of words. Still, it created negative publicity for a team that was reeling after a crushing, prime-time loss. The Jets (1-2) have dropped two straight.
“It’s not a bad look,” Bowles said. “It’s a young player. I know what he meant. The team knows what he meant and we’ve moved on from there. It’s not a bad look. It’s part of a young player getting older and dealing with the media. He’s going to have some growing pains. He’ll work through them and we’ll be fine.”
Bowles gave the same alibi in August, when Adams was quoted by Bleacher Report as saying the team last season “was used to losing” and “everybody wanted to do the bare minimum.”
Again, Bowles insisted he wasn’t upset with Adams. Asked his initial reaction after hearing comments from the radio interview, Bowles said, “I didn’t have one.”