In fact, Adams told Bleacher Report that they wanted to do the "bare minimum" during the Jets' 5-11 campaign.
"Everybody was used to losing. You can always tell that vibe," the 22-year-old Adams said in an interview that was conducted in the spring but published on Tuesday.
"I came in, and it was like everybody wanted to do the bare minimum. They didn't want to go above and beyond. They didn't want to take that extra step. They didn't want to be uncomfortable, [but] to be great, you have to be uncomfortable. You have to be willing to sacrifice and willing to do the little things. And the team, the organization, just wasn't doing those things."
Jets head coach Todd Bowles chalked up Adams' words to inexperience.
"Jamal is a very young player, and he's a very smart player, and he speaks from his heart," Bowles said, per ESPN. "We talked about it. He didn't mean a lot of the things that came out wrong.
"When you give everything and demand people to be like you, everyone is not like you. Some people learn differently, some people don't. ... It's part of being a young player. He'll learn over time things to say and what he really means and what not to say. We dealt with it. We've moved on."
Adams, who said he doesn't regret his comments, didn't attach names of the players in the interview.
"I don't blame Jamal at all for what he said," defensive end Leonard Williams said, per ESPN. "He probably just didn't word it in the best way. He's a young guy, he has a lot to learn on and off the field. This is part of the off-the-field stuff he has to learn."
Adams recorded 83 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season after being selected with the sixth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU.