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Why keeping Tony Adams was the right call for NY Jets | Film

Tony Adams, NY Jets, Highlights, Film Breakdown, Review, Stats, 53
Tony Adams, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

NY Jets safety Tony Adams deserved to make the team based on his sneaky-good preseason film

When evaluating the New York Jets‘ roster after free agency and the NFL Draft, a few glaring needs remained, including the safety position.

While the Jets were able to land Jordan Whitehead – a capable starter to say the least – they didn’t have much proven talent past that.

Fans could be hopeful about veteran Lamarcus Joyner, but we have to acknowledge that he has not played a full season at safety since 2018, was injured last year, and is 31 years old.

The full, member-only Tony Adams film breakdown (44:10 runtime) can be found at the bottom of this article (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site). 

Past Whitehead and Joyner there was plenty of unproven talent. Ashtyn Davis, a 2020 third-round pick, has massively disappointed. Jason Pinnock, making the switch from corner to safety, had an overrated 2021 campaign. And veteran Will Parks, while a good locker room player, is the definition of a JAG (just a guy).

Following the preseason, most fans accepted that Joyner and Whitehead would start while hoping that Parks (a fan favorite) and Pinnock would be the team’s backup safeties.

Cut-down day came and went. Davis landed on the final 53 while Parks and Pinnock were cut. While it was surprising to many, it may not be as surprising as some think, just due to how generally overrated Parks and Pinnock are.

Beating out Parks and Pinnock to join Davis on the 53 was a surprising keeper we haven’t mentioned yet: Tony Adams.

Adams is an undrafted rookie from Illinois who was being discussed very little by Jets fans prior to the announcement that he made the team. Almost nobody expected him to land on the 53. He was someone who did not necessarily stand out in practice or in preseason games. 

But that’s not always a bad thing at a position like safety.

As it turns out, when I went back to the preseason film and watched every rep that Adams played, I came away impressed, seeing exactly why the Jets thought he was worth keeping on the roster.

In the latest Blewett’s Blitz film review, we answer every question that Jets fans might have about Tony Adams.

  • Did he deserve to make the roster?
  • What does he offer?
  • Is a more of a high or low safety?
  • What is his upside?
  • Should he stick on the roster if/when more additions come in?

All of these questions and many more are answered on this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, Tony Adams’ strengths and weaknesses are listed below, as is the full, member-only film breakdown (44:10 runtime).

YouTube clip and podcast episode

Strengths and Weaknesses


  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Ability to get out of breaks
  • Played some cornerback
  • Impressive pro day numbers equaling a 9.76 RAS (relative athletic score)
  • Good eyes in coverage
  • Awareness
  • Stays square in man coverage
  • Understands deep coverage assignments
  • Patient in off coverage
  • Gets shuffles in, in man coverage
  • Aggressive in taking on blocks
  • First to shoot hands taking on blocks
  • Aggressively sheds blocks
  • High effort
  • Gets hands on in coverage
  • Click and close in run game
  • Plays overtop of blocks well in box, allowing himself to play multiple gaps/lanes
  • Breaks down to tackle well
  • Versatility to play high, low, in slot and on special teams


  • Needs to know when to weave vs shuffle
  • Can look back to QB too early in man coverage
  • Can reach for contact in coverage leaving himself off balance
  • Can play off balance
  • Want to see more reps of hip flip to determine looseness/fluidity
  • Leaves feet as tackler
  • Needs more active feet in off coverage

Member-only Tony Adams film breakdown (44:10 runtime)

To view the full-subscriber breakdown, you must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged in.

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1 year ago

Solid review. Good breakdown. He has a lot of potential. If he can clean up those minor things up you have a potential starter in 2023.

Matt Galemmo
1 year ago

Great review. I like it.

So what do you do if you sign a veteran? It seems like Davis is getting another chance to be part of the Jets’ future, and if you decided to give him that chance, I assume you can’t cut him because you pick up a vet for the short term. That said, if you planned to get a vet and stash Adams on the PS, the right time to try and slip him through was last Tuesday. Adding this together does it mean the Jets don’t bring in anyone else at safety?

One other unrelated question: at ~29:00, it looks like Clemens (? #52) pretty much blows up a double team setting the edge, in what I think was a really good play, making it easy for Adams to crash the gap and make that tackle. Is it likely Adams saw that and thus reacted that way? If so I think that’s tremendous awareness.