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June 24, 2017

Don’t Dismiss Adams

Unknown-1It started with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein writing that wide receiver Davante Adams’ roster spot might not be secure. Soon that possibility was popping up all over the internet, thanks in large part to the many Packers blogs that simply regurgitate the opinions of others – no matter how unrealistic.

Adams isn’t going anywhere. While he obviously doesn’t have the job security of an Aaron Rodgers or a Clay Matthews, his roster spot is pretty darn safe. GM Ted Thompson isn’t going to give up on a player picked in the second round only 24 months ago, especially a 23-year-old player who’s caught 88 passes for over 900 yards in two seasons.

Nobody’s denying that Adams performed poorly last season. He averaged less than 11 yards per catch, didn’t get open nearly enough and dropped too many passes. But you can say pretty much the same thing about Randall Cobb, who played in the Pro Bowl following the ’14 season and who’s being paid $10 million a year.

Two other things Adams and Cobb had in common last season were nagging injuries and not having No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson available to often attract the other team’s top cornerback and to always open up the middle of the field. These sound like excuses, but it’s very difficult to run on a bad ankle and it’s very difficult to catch with a bad shoulder. And it’s even tougher for possession receivers like Adams and Cobb to find soft spots in coverage when defenses aren’t afraid to play 11 men within 10 to 12 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Here’s something else to consider about Adams. Despite what coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers kept saying last spring, he’s simply not a special player. I wrote that over and over again during training camp. In reality, Adams has the skill set to be an excellent No. 3 receiver and maybe even a good No. 2. But because expectations were set so unreasonably high, his bad season seemed even worse.

Adams has ideal size (6’2, 210) and showed good hands in college and as a rookie, but he played small and couldn’t make a contested catch all of last season. To some, it seemed at times like he didn’t care, but I never bought into that line of thinking. He looked to me like a young player who had simply lost his confidence.

Pro football players are prideful people and few pro football players have taken more heat – much of it deserved – than Adams the past six or seven months. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t bounce back this season, but with Nelson, Cobb, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis and fifth-round draft pick Trevor Davis also on the roster, how much he’ll play is a legitimate question. Whether he’ll be on the team is not.

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20 Responses “Don’t Dismiss Adams”

  1. Crazy Ricardo
    May 12, 2016 at 11:03 am

    His ceiling is that of a rich man’s James Jones, which I’d take in a heartbeat. His current status is Derrick Mayes. That stinks. He’ll be better this year simply because he’ll be healthier.

  2. Nerd
    May 12, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I’m a Davante guy. His thing was never the measurable so per say, although he’s only .02 slower than Jordy iirc.

    But Davante’s big thing was his ability to go up and get it, play the ball in the air. We saw that in the playoffs against the Redskins.

    ALL the WRs struggled last year. That’s why I blame the common denominator; the guy who was throwing them the ball.

    In fairness to Aaron, he had someone calling plays who shouldn’t have been, and we lost a ton of explosiveness when Montgomery went down.

  3. Bryan
    May 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    6 or 7 years of mostly good health at the WR position caught up to us last year.

    Lets not forget we still won 10 games and were a coin flip away from the NFC Championship Game.

    I expect the WR position, with better health, to bounce back from a bad 2015 season.

  4. Cudahy Cheesehead
    May 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I’m on the other side of the fence. He’s looked like he didn’t care….or worse…he looked scared. He never fought for the ball in 2015. He didn’t go to the ball. He likes to wait for it to come to him. Time will tell and reveal all.

  5. Thorny
    May 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Robert Reischel actually got the ball rolling on this talk. I know because I used his article to support the idea Davante could be cut before Silverstein penned his article in another venue.


    In the above piece Davante was the worst Packers WR in 65 years in YPC for a receiver who caught 25 passes or more. PFF graded him as 118th out of 119 WR’s who played more than 25% of their teams snaps.

    Some refer to his season as a sophomore slump. It was well beyond just a slump. Basically, if you took the top 4 WR’s from each team Davante would be one removed from the worst out of all of them. If that doesn’t conjure thoughts of a bust I don’t know what would.

    His ankle injury was a Grade 1. He tweaks it vs. KC and is out for a month. The ankle injury doesn’t make you drop balls and look lost out on the field. He was nothing short of horrific. His cap hit for being cut is well within tolerable levels, about half a mil, if memory serves.

    Unless we keep 7, or someone gets injured, I don’t see why we would keep Davante? Jordy, RC18, Montgomery, Janis and Trevor Davis are virtual locks. No way one of the best gunners in the NFL is getting cut in Janis, plus he makes big plays. That leaves Abberederis who Michael noted was better than Davis in college and is likely to be better in the pros. Why cut a guy like Abby who knows how to play the game in favor of Adams? Keeping 7 sounds ridiculous to me so if it’s only 6 somebody has to go and I don’t see why, save for draft status, it wouldn’t be Davante?

    Davante does have numbers but look at the opportunities he’s had. He had 21 targets in the Lions game at Lambeau alone. The numbers he’s put up, I think any UDFA Ted could find would easily outperform. Some will say Abbrederis and Janis don’t have the numbers Davante does. No, they dont…but have they had anywhere near the opportunity? No.

    Look at Davante and compare him with what we have. Is there an identifiable skill he has that separates him or makes him special? There isn’t a single one. He’s not fast, not strong, doesn’t win contested catches, doesn’t run great routes. What is his calling card or necessitates us keeping him outside of being a 2nd rounder? He should be done in Green Bay unless he has a dramatic turnaround.

  6. Nerd
    May 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    If anyone is a surprise cut, it could be Jordy. We don’t even know if he’s got it anymore.

  7. Joe Madison
    May 12, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    To me, the best way to solve this log jam would be to trade a WR for either DL, RB or CB depth.

  8. Nerd
    May 12, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    It just seems to me that people say the same things everytime Ted drafts a WR.

    Not flashy, marginal skills, not fast enough. Try hard guy. Can’t get deep. Same thing I’ve heard about Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones. And now Davante Adams.

    Jones went through that phase where he couldn’t make catches over the shoulder, worked through it.

  9. TJV
    May 12, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I think Adams had a good rookie season. On a team where the #1 WR caught 98 balls for more than 1,500 yards and the #2 WR had 91 receptions for almost 1,300 yards, Adams had 38 catches for 446 yards and 3 TDs. And in two playoff games he had 8 catches for 124 yards for one TD and 5 first downs. Expectations for Adams going into last season were incredibly high. As MR mentioned, before Nelson’s injury Rodgers was quoted as saying: “Davante is a very polished player, and he has an excellent demeanor for a guy who’s going to be a star. I mean, he carries himself like a star – which is a very high compliment. There’s only been a few guys around here who’ve had that charisma: Charles [Woodson], Julius [Peppers], Greg [Jennings] always had it as a young player. But there’s very few guys that really ‘get it.” And he has supreme confidence, and it’s contagious. And I’m really proud of his approach and his attitude. It makes you want to get him the ball more. It makes you watch the film and have regrets about not giving him more opportunities. And that’s again, another compliment for him.” I don’t think Rodgers was just saying that, I think he was truly impressed.

    Then of course he had a horrible 2015 season. We’ll see how much of that was due to injury this summer and preseason. If he builds on what we saw of him as a rookie there’s no chance he’s gone. If his play last season was caused by lost confidence that he can’t regain, or lack of motivation I don’t think it’s completely out of the question they’d waive him. Eight years ago they waived Brohm – a second rounder before his second season at a more important position.

  10. Thorny
    May 13, 2016 at 4:16 am

    That’s true for all of them save for Jordy Nelson. Why do you think we drafted Trevor Davis?

    It seems Packers nation has a mental block with the idea that a WR Ted took in Round 2 could actually be a bust. Heaven knows he’s drafted enough busts in Round 1 for it not to be an issue for a 2nd round guy.

    This had to be another Sam Seale special with the drafting of Adams and Richard Rodgers, also. Let’s hope Sam is more on target with Trevor Davis.

    I don’t think Davante will be one of our cuts. That’s just not Ted. However, we don’t know what kind of a guy he was in the locker room or how bad his attitude may have been and if it was as bad as his play then maybe he is in some trouble.

    Just don’t see how any of the other guys are going to be cuts even though Abby was a previous cut. The only one who makes any sense to me based on last year is Davante.

    Back to the can’t get deep thing… who on our roster can outside of Jordy and Janis? Randall Cobb has very few receptions of any distance in his entire career. He’s not a deep threat even with his much better timed 40 at the combine. James Jones couldn’t beat Eddie to the buffet line. Davante is not fast. Abby is another 4.5 guy. Janis and Davis can fly. That is what we need. We sure don’t need more guys who run mid 4.5. Even Montgomery runs in that range but he looks faster and has explosion.

    I can make a case for the skillset each guy brings that is worth keeping but I honestly can’t do it for Davante Adams. He’s a whole lot of ordinary and is the most easily replaceable in my opinion and therefore should be in danger.

  11. Nerd
    May 13, 2016 at 5:53 am

    They PS’d Brohm iirc. He ended up getting called up to Buffalo.

  12. May 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

    My ankle had been twisted the game before and as hard as I was trying I couldn’t get or maintain position on my opponent. The coach looked at me at the break and asked how I felt and I said “fine”. After my guy sent an assist that I might have been able to stop had I been 100%, the coach sent in my replacement. I was hurt by being pulled, but more for letting that score take place. I was playing lacrosse, and my ankle wasn’t nearly as bad as Adams. The difference between me and him….nobody to send in. Now we can argue that Abby or Janis should have played more of a role, but Abby was hurt and Janis was benched until he was the last man standing in the AZ playoff game. That was criminal on MM’s part, Adam’s not being the player he should have been…..was to be expected once the injury happened. He will come back, and be better then ever. He’s a professional and last year left a nasty taste in his mouth that he can’t get out until he gets back into the game.

  13. Joseph Blowinski
    May 13, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Ahh. The voice of reason. Devante should be gone.

  14. Southerner
    May 13, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    The Receivers couldn’t get space last season and the offense stalled. Possibly with Nelson back and some new faces things may get a bit more exciting!

  15. TJV
    May 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Aren’t you a member of Packers nation? 🙂 You don’t have the mental block you’re talking about and as far as I can tell, you have a lot of company. Thompson does have a great record drafting WRs in the second round, but as I posted, they waived a second round QB after one season. (Nerd, they waived Brohm in order to get him to the PS and every other team could have signed him once he was waived.)

    What did you think about Adams’ rookie season (with the limited opportunities he received) right after it concluded – without the hindsight of last season? He certainly displayed some potential for a rookie, didn’t he? He averaged about 12.4 ypc overall. If it was mainly an injury and then loss of confidence that affected his play last season, it’d be foolish to give up on him, wouldn’t it?

    But hey, if he doesn’t come to camp this year with a huge chip on his shoulder – he’s got a lot to prove – and his play last year doesn’t look like an aberration, then of course I and a lot of Packers fans would favor waiving him. But basing his roster status just on last season’s performance doesn’t make sense – and neither does ignoring Abby’s concussion history.

    Who on the roster can get deep? Nelson, Janis, and perhaps Davis if he can beat press coverage. By the way, Nelson is an example of why 40 times don’t exactly correlate to an ability to get deep.

  16. Danang Marine
    May 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Here is a great summary on Adams 2015, Often times, Adams seemed a little like a scapegoat for the lack of offensive production – but the numbers indicate that he was among the least efficient receivers in the NFL.

    According to Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics—Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) and Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) – Adams’ overall rating in 2015 was second-last among receivers who qualify (targeted at least 50 times), and better only than Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams.

    In layman’s terms, DYAR ranks a wide receiver’s overall value, while DVOA ranks a wide receiver’s value-per-play. Of the 87 receivers targeted 50 or more times, Adams was No. 86 in DYAR and No. 84 in DVOA.

    Adams’ yard-per-catch average (9.7) exceeded only Austin (9.1) and the Lions’ Golden Tate (9.0), and was the worst the Packers had seen since 1951.

    Adams had just one touchdown reception in 2015 – a number that seems nearly impossible for a receiver that was healthy most of the season and the reigning NFL MVP throwing him the ball.

    The travesty was the team still starting him week after week when he could not seperate and not catch the football and his blocking was on a par with those areas. As noted in an above post, it was CRIMINAL not to get Janis on the field at WR until he was the last man standing. Anyone supporting him after last year is in a gun fight holding a rubber knife.

  17. CJS
    May 13, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Let’s review 2015:
    Davante didn’t play well when he was hurt. Montgomery didn’t play at all when he was hurt. Cobb played below his usual self, but was at least solid when he was playing hurt. Rodgers didn’t play up to his usual bar either when he was hurt. The OL was hit and miss depending on the health of the starters.

    Oh – and Jordy was out and Eddie was fat. AND McCarthy gave up play calling duties for no good reason.

    Look, it was a bad year for everyone on offense. If you’re a scientist (I’m not), you look for control groups to analyze data in as unbiased a manner as possible. With this many negative factors occurring at the same time, you really can’t sort much of this out.

    Davante will get another shot in training camp – as he should – and if he plays well, he’ll stay on the field. If he doesn’t he’ll be replaced as quickly as possible. Simple as that.

  18. TJV
    May 14, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Thorny, compare Adams’ rookie season with Nelson or Cobb’s rookie seasons: He showed promise – the operative word being “rookie”. But you must think Aaron Rodgers is a complete moron for what he was saying Adams before last season, right? And Rodgers is selective with his praise for teammates. But what does Rodgers know… Look, as I posted, Adams was horrible last season, but deciding now he should be first in line to be waived is nonsense.

    As for Thompson’s record drafting WRs in the second round, I don’t remember seeing the word “genius” being tossed around. I wrote he has a great record drafting WRs in the second round and he does. But you’re hyperbole and writing that needs reinterpretation because Cobb was awful last year and Jennings wasn’t good with the Vikings tells me there’s no reasoning with you. And by the way, that’s the kind of thing that gives others the impression your anti-Thompson, in spite of your writing ‘he’s OK’ now and then. And there’s nothing wrong with being anti-Thompson, I just don’t know why you don’t own up to it.

    And it’s not that I would vote you off the island, you sometimes write as if you’re not on it: “It seems Packers nation…”

  19. Thorny
    May 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Hey, I’ve said I’m a critic of Ted’s. Can be okay and a critic. Nothing wrong with expecting more.

    I laughed when I read you comment on Aaron praising Davante as if that is any validation. I do think Aaron Rodgers is a complete moron when it comes to praise he doles out. Do you not recall him calling DuJuan Harris “special” to Michele Tafoya during an on field interview after a SNF victory? He also thought Finley could be one of the all time greats. Is DuJuan Harris even in the league anymore? He was “special”. Finley never came anywhere near greatness or being one of the all timers. Reading into things players or coaches say about their own is a very dangerous thing to clutch and grasp onto. MM said the same things about Davante last year. MM also said he wasn’t higher on anyone than Jarrett Boykin once upon a time. Jarrett Boykin? Gone…just like DuJuan Harris.

    So, yes, I think what happens in practice and what is said about it is almost 100% meaningless when coming from a player or coach.

  20. Thorny
    May 26, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Anyone catch Rodgers commentary on Jeff Janis?

    I thought of you TJV. Said he didn’t want to make a mistake like last year (Davante praise) but said Jeff had a nice day. Yes, Aaron…that was a mistake. 🙂

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