Already having one of the most dynamic and versatile safeties in Jamal Adams only helps the New York Jets reach a level of quality the defense has struggled to maintain in recent years. Adding a healthy Marcus Maye to the mix could be the key to unlocking a dominant group in the secondary.
Adams’ aggressive style of play is impressive, as he’s capable of covering the length of the field and making plays in all facets of the game. Playing 137 snaps as an edge defender in 2018 gives him the skill-set to rush the passer. He also played 172 snaps at slot corner, 40 as a wide corner, and 489 snaps as a box safety and 281 deep.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 25, 2018
According to PFF, Adams earned grades over 77.0 at every position metioned — he’s a true “swiss army knife.” Allowing just a 67.3 passer rating against him in coverage, he’s proved that he can be trusted against receivers and close to the line of scrimmage. Bringing back Maye from injury will only help him excel in his strengths.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 22, 2017
While the 2017 second-round pick only played in six games and 392 snaps last year, he made his time on the field count. Earning a solid 81.7 overall grade with one interception and two passes defended, he’s a capable safety in the deep part of the secondary. Shining in coverage only break the surface of his potential, as he’s a sure tackler and cover-option alongside Adams.
Pairing the two will present the Jets with two fantastic safeties and ultimately lock down the secondary where the cornerbacks may struggle at times.
Maye commented on his return from injury this season:
“You just have to be smart and practice like a professional, know the situations, play the game between your ears more,” Maye said in June, via the New York Jets website. “But once I get out there and get the green light, I’m definitely going to go.”
Shoulder and thumb ailments sent him to the injured reserve last season, and a fill bill of health in 2019 should see the defense excel to a point beyond their 24th ranking for pass-yards allowed.