July 20, 2024
How has Raiders WR Davante Adams developed since Packers commerce? – ESPN

HENDERSON, Nev. — Davante Adams has been busy since agreeing to a blockbuster commerce in March 2022 to go away the one skilled group he had ever identified within the Inexperienced Bay Packers to affix the workforce he grew up rooting for within the Raiders. For starters, he signed a five-year contract with Las Vegas price $140 million.

Since then, he is been focused a league-leading 229 instances in 21 video games. Adams has additionally caught 133 passes for 1,913 yards and an NFL-high 17 touchdowns — together with 33 receptions for 397 yards and three touchdowns this season. He was additionally named first-team All-Professional for the third straight yr and chosen to his sixth consecutive Professional Bowl after the 2022 season.

But regardless of all of his particular person brilliance, the Raiders are 7-14 with him, together with a irritating 1-3 begin to this season with a recent controversy seemingly enveloping the franchise on a weekly foundation.

Absolutely, this could not have been what Adams was anticipating when he left Titletown for Sin Metropolis.

“I did not actually have any expectations,” Adams informed ESPN.com not too long ago. “But it surely’s not what I needed, for positive. Clearly, I needed to come back right here and have a big effect, proceed to play at a excessive degree and win video games. And loads of these issues have occurred — simply not the successful half. However I’ve simply obtained to proceed to do extra and preserve demanding greatness and consistency for my teammates.

“It is a gamble typically. You by no means actually know.”

At a place identified for being stuffed with me-first gamers, Adams, 30, is minimize a bit in a different way. He does not preen or name consideration to himself. He merely goes about his job whereas making different gamers look foolish — the defensive backs making an attempt to cowl him. It caught Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers off guard when Meyers joined Las Vegas in free company this offseason.

“He’d go on the market, run laborious, take hits, get again up, make the thrilling play, make the essential play, the routine elementary play,” Meyers mentioned. “I imply, he is only a well-rounded receiver. He actually can do all of it. And the need to. He needs to do all of it. He needs to be on the market each play. He is inspirational, man. …We’re simply chasing him.

“He has each proper to be a diva, he positively might be. However that is not him, man. He is a hard-working, head-to-the-ground, go-make-my-plays kind of man. So, respect to him.”

However the losses are piling up, because the Raiders have suffered from blown leads, failure to recover from the hump and losses in winnable video games. In any case, the Raiders are 5-11 in one-score video games because the begin of the 2022 season, a win share that is twenty seventh within the NFL.

And along with his previous workforce coming to city for “Monday Evening Soccer” (8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN) and Cheeseheads threatening to take over Allegiant Stadium, Adams isn’t about to make any concrete “claims” about his future, whilst his issues battle the team-first mentality and work ethic which has earned him reward all through the Raiders’ locker room.

“What’s most essential to me goes to the Tremendous Bowl. I have been to 4 NFC championship video games in Inexperienced Bay in eight years,” Adams mentioned. “So, I’ve gained loads of video games within the common season. I’ve obtained loads of stats. What I have not performed is examine that field of successful the Tremendous Bowl.

“I am making an attempt to create one thing particular right here. I can solely achieve this a lot on my particular person finish. … you do not fluke into the Tremendous Bowl; you do it a sure technique to win the Tremendous Bowl.”

THE BALL THROWN by rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell — who obtained the beginning in Week 4 when beginning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was dominated out attributable to a concussion — was behind Adams as he went throughout the center on a deep route at SoFi Stadium. Adams took a shot to his proper shoulder when Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Michael Davis drove him into the substitute turf, stayed on the bottom and was taken to the locker room for examination.

It was early within the second quarter, and regardless of being listed as questionable to return, Adams was again on the sector earlier than halftime. He caught eight passes within the second half to assist lead a Raiders’ comeback effort that fell brief. Adams sat out apply on Thursday and Friday and was a restricted participant Saturday attributable to that shoulder and is listed as questionable to play Monday.

“He is a warrior, and to come back again in and play the way in which that he did after that, I give him, clearly, all of the credit score on the earth,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels mentioned. “He is a troublesome son of a gun and what an amazing workforce participant.

“One of many extra distinctive gamers and those that I have been round.”

On the sector, McDaniels mentioned Adams has seen “each protection identified to mankind” and nonetheless excels.

“He is obtained a perspective that is very distinctive and uncommon,” McDaniels mentioned. “And his talent and his expertise, it is on the highest degree. He performs at an unimaginable velocity, his palms, his size, his attain, his means to twist and switch and make powerful catches. I imply, it is a privilege to teach guys like that as a result of you aren’t getting to see that day-after-day.”

Off the sector?

“He is a really mature man,” McDaniels mentioned. “He is an amazing dad, nice husband, nice son, nice buddy and really trustworthy and open along with his dialogue about no matter. Any means he might assist the workforce — he is an unimaginable captain.

“Only a actually distinctive particular person, distinctive participant, particular in each means. Corridor of Famer.”

However Adams can be human with an inside battle — making an attempt to stability the Raiders’ lack of ability to forge a constant and profitable path along with his private success — that is pulling him in several instructions. Within the spring, after the Raiders moved on from nine-year beginning quarterback Derek Carr, his school teammate at Fresno State, and signed Garoppolo, Adams mentioned he did not see “eye-to-eye” with the Raiders’ choice makers.

After a disappointing Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Adams mentioned he did not have “time to attend round” for the Raiders to get proper and talked concerning the “tradition” having to alter.

However slip-ups apart, Adams continues to construct his résumé for the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Take into account: With a landing catch towards the Packers, he’ll move Antonio Brown and Jimmy Graham for the fourth-most TD catches in prime-time video games in NFL historical past with 32. Solely Corridor of Famers Jerry Rice (46), Randy Moss (44) and Terrell Owens (34) have extra. Plus, with 802 profession catches for 10,034 yards and 90 TDs, Adams ranks 14th on the all-time TD reception checklist and is about two seasons away from becoming a member of the NFL’s prime 20 lists in catches and receiving yards, barring damage.

He is not the quickest or the quickest, however Adams is eternally open.

Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs credit Adams’ use of leverage and his means to alter route on a dime. That, and Adams by no means taking a play off. It appears easy, however he runs each route as if the ball is coming his means, even when it is a run play, making it a battle of conditioning and, thus, attrition, with an unsuspecting defensive again.

“He at all times has a plan, and it might change in a break up second,” mentioned Hobbs, who needed one-on-one reps with Adams in his first camp with the Raiders and shortly discovered. “He’ll leverage you inside and you do not anticipate that, so he’ll convert and have me on a special route. He makes each route look the identical.

“Plus, the way in which he goes and will get the ball when it is within the air, he is like on a Steph Curry degree. You know the way Steph might shoot and he can shut his eyes and hit it? Final yr a number of instances, he could not even see the ball, and he caught the ball. With one hand. Like, he is on that degree, that Curry degree relating to catching balls. He is an actual professional at it. All that collectively makes it actually powerful to protect. He is unpredictable.”

WHILE MORE THAN just a few of the names and faces have modified, a sure sense of familiarity is sure to come back over Adams on Monday evening when he appears to be like throughout the sector and sees that iconic gold and darkish inexperienced helmet with the outsized ‘G’ on the aspect. The helmet he wore from 2014, when the Packers drafted him within the second spherical, by 2021, when it was merely time to go and get nearer to his household and buddies on the West Coast.

It is a helmet Adams wore as he superior to the precipice of the Tremendous Bowl 4 instances, with the Packers dropping within the NFC Championship Sport in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.

“It’s going to be bizarre,” Adams mentioned with a smile. “I am going to recover from it by the point the sport begins. However going over there, popping out of the tunnel, seeing them over there, it’s going to be bizarre. I have not skilled, clearly, I have not performed towards the Packers earlier than, so it’s going to be enjoyable.

“It’s going to be good to see some [familiar] faces and compete towards these boys at a special degree, too.”

Popping out of the sport with a win, although, can be greater than that for Adams and the Raiders. Maybe it will halt, momentarily a minimum of, the narrative that Adams is sad. That the Raiders should a minimum of entertain the considered buying and selling him for a bounty of picks, even when the useless cash hit — $7.85 million this yr, $23.55 million in 2024 — can be daunting.

A victory might verify what Adams has been saying all alongside — that the Raiders have an excessive amount of expertise to not be related within the second half of the season.

“I am simply making an attempt to remain centered and keep centered on the final word purpose, which is successful video games,” he mentioned. “It is the cliché reply, however that is actually all I can do. … My job is to play, and the entrance workplace, their job is to do what they do. It is simply the simplest technique to not stay on a curler coaster, this up and down world, simply maintain what I can maintain. And as a lot as I can contribute to that, I am going to do this.

“And that is the way you construct a successful tradition. So, after I [say] we’ve not established a successful tradition, it is extra about what we are able to do as gamers, greater than the philosophies and the concepts. As a result of all the pieces that they preach right here, the way in which we discuss it and the way in which they need it performed, is the correct means.”

Sure, even relating to not seeing eye-to-eye on sure issues.

In fact, Adams couldn’t have foreseen Carr being minimize and leaving for the New Orleans Saints after lower than one season collectively in Las Vegas. However Carr was not the one purpose Adams, who rocked a Charles Woodson jersey for third-grade image day whereas saying he needed to play for the Raiders, got here to southern Nevada.

And till Garoppolo was concussed, Adams was constructing a sure and sudden belief along with his new quarterback. Not a straightforward factor to do contemplating Adams has actually solely had two quarterbacks since graduating from Palo Alto Excessive Faculty in 2011 — Carr at Fresno State, Aaron Rodgers in Inexperienced Bay and Carr once more with the Raiders.

“Jimmy’s a straightforward man to work with as a result of he is among the best that I have been round at any place, not to mention quarterback, of taking accountability,” Adams mentioned. “Not taking something away from Derek and Aaron, however Jimmy does an excellent job of not coming in performing like he is aware of all the pieces. He is open to options and me speaking by ways in which I’ve performed prior to now.”

Which brings it full circle to Adams saying it is all of venture anyway. And with this being Las Vegas, he simply does not wish to crap out, or roll snake eyes.

“Some issues are going to work out higher within the offseason, whether or not it is free brokers or if it is draft picks,” mentioned Adams, who obtained off to a gradual begin in his profession with 88 catches and 4 landing catches in his first two seasons mixed, and didn’t go over 1,000 yards receiving in a single season till his fifth yr within the NFL.

“It is also a strategy of this factor takes time to develop, so you possibly can’t depend your chickens till they hatch. As a result of if we’d’ve performed that, then there would’ve been no Davante Adams at this level.”

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