FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jamal Adams is ready to kick some asparagus in his second season.
After a solid, if not stellar, rookie season, the New York Jets safety began to look for ways to improve his game. That's what his coaches like about him; he's always searching for perfection. Adams decided to focus on his body, which meant hiring a personal chef. He's trying to have a more health-conscious diet.
"Do you eat fried food?" he asked a reporter Tuesday after practice.
Occasionally, the reporter replied.
"See, that's bad," Adams said. "I don't do that. I stopped eating fried food. I eat fish, anything that's grilled, basically. I'm trying new things. I didn't eat asparagus; now I eat asparagus. ... I'm stepping up my game as far as my diet."
Adams opted to make changes in his diet after watching an interview with LeBron James, who talked about the importance of healthy eating in his training regimen. He's also aware of the celebrated Tom Brady diet, although he admitted he's not ready for that just yet.
"His diet is on another level," Adams said, smiling. "I just wanted to help myself. Anything I can to help myself get better on the field, to help this team out, is what I wanted to do."
The JA33 Method (apologies to Brady) appears to be working. On Tuesday, Adams, who played at 214 pounds as a rookie, was down to 208 for the first time in a long time.
"I'm taking care of my body a little more," he said. "It's those little things that, hopefully, help me get that edge on my competitors. I'm just trying to do the little things the right way at all times."
We're not talking about an extreme makeover here; it's not like Adams had a disappointing rookie season. Drafted sixth overall, he started every game and played 1,102 out of a possible 1,117 defensive snaps, which is impressive. He made an impact near the line of scrimmage as he led all safeties in run stops (25) when lined up in the box, according to Pro Football Focus.
To become a Pro Bowl safety, which he guaranteed, Adams must be a playmaker in the passing game. He had no interceptions last season and allowed at least a half-dozen touchdowns in coverage. Will being a few pounds lighter help him cover Rob Gronkowski? Hey, it can't hurt.
Jets coach Todd Bowles has noticed a change with Adams, but it has nothing to do with his body.
"Yes, mentally," Bowles said. "Physically, he's always been in great shape. It's still too early to tell. Right now, he's been running around like he was last year. But his game from a mental standpoint, his eyes are better and he focuses on the little things. So from that standpoint, I see him getting better."
Eye discipline is crucial for safeties. They must be able to read plays and react quickly. A split second can mean the difference between breaking up a pass or surrendering a long touchdown. There's no reason to think it won't happen for Adams, who has the instincts to excel in pass coverage.
Asked to evaluate his rookie season, he turned it to the team.
"To me, we failed," he said. "We were 5-11 ... not good enough. It's never going to be good enough for us. That's not our standard."
Adams hopes to raise it.