In what could be perceived as criticism of the coaching staff, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams said Tuesday the defense wasn’t prepared for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who came off the bench on Thursday to spark the Cleveland Browns to their first win in 20 games.
“We had to be open to knowing that Baker could come in, but we were prepared for Tyrod,” Adams said during his weekly paid spot on WFAN radio in New York. “When Baker came in, obviously we didn’t have a game plan for him. But hats off to him. He came in, he definitely played lights out. They gained momentum, and we just couldn’t grab it back.”
The Jets dominated Taylor, who was held to 19 yards on 14 attempts before leaving late in the second quarter with a concussion. The Jets led 14-0 when Mayfield entered the game in his NFL debut.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft rallied the Browns to a 21-17 victory, completing 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards.
The Jets have dropped two straight after a blowout win over the Detroit Lions in their opener.
Adams said he had no idea that Taylor was injured.
“We didn’t see it happening. I’m just being honest,” he said. “Tyrod goes down. I didn’t find out that Tyrod had a concussion until after the game. I thought they took him out. Injuries occur and the next man up. We weren’t prepared for him.
“They’re very similar guys in ways they can move in the pocket and throw the football. At the same time, we stuck to our game plan. Baker came in and he played phenomenal. Hats off to him.”
Prior to the game, Adams was hopeful of facing Mayfield.
In pregame Jamal Adams said with tons of confidence he wants Baker Mayfield on the field tonight.
Wish granted kid.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) September 21, 2018
Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was unavailable Tuesday, said after Thursday’s contest that Mayfield ran the same plays as Taylor, so the Jets didn’t have to make wholesale adjustments. He said they were prepared for both quarterbacks.
Adams declined to comment after the game, bolting the locker room after an interview with SNY TV, which partners with the team.
So far, Adams is the only player who has publicly questioned the game plan.
New York nose tackle Steve McLendon, asked after the game about the switch to Mayfield, said, “We knew both guys. There’s just no excuse. We had a great game plan, and I don’t want the coaches to feel like this is all their fault. It’s the players’ fault. We gave up way too many rushing yards up front.”
This isn’t the first time Adams has made controversial comments. In August, he was critical of the team’s culture in 2017, telling Bleacher Report that “everybody was used to losing” and “everybody wanted to do the bare minimum.” In the same story, he expressed confidence the chemistry would be better in 2018.
Adams, drafted sixth overall in 2017, is one of the Jets’ top players. He has one interception and one sack in three games.