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Point of Veau: Don't Count on Davante Adams Playing Meaningful Snaps Early

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Point of Veau: Don't Count on Davante Adams Playing Meaningful Snaps Early

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams by Jasen Vinlove—USA TODAY Sports.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams by Jasen Vinlove—USA TODAY Sports.

Based on the way the preseason has played out, don't expect to see Green Bay Packers second round draft choice Davante Adams to play a big role on the Packers offense early in the 2014 season.

Of the 86 snaps Davante Adams has played in three games this preseason, exactly four have come with the first-string offense and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Asked specifically about rookies like Adams, Richard Rodgers and Jeff Janis, Rodgers was bullish on their readiness to contribute immediately.

"They need to catch up," said Rodgers. "I think some of them are playing it the right way, and some of them got to catch up. They're going to need to if they want to be on the field. We're going to play the best guys whether that's putting an extra tight end on the field or putting an extra receiver on the field.

"We're taking a couple of those guys off and going some two-back stuff with (John) Kuhn out there. Mike (McCarthy has) done a great job of really putting our best players on the field, and regardless of the personnel set, whether it's three receivers, two backs or two tight ends and one back or our Zebra personnel we run a lot of no-huddle stuff out of, it's going to be the best players out on the field, and the best players are going to be the guys who are most prepared and doing it in practice every single day."

Among the two, Richard Rodgers appears more likely than Adams to play a meaningful role when the Packers open the regular season against the Seattle Seattle in a little more than a week.

The rookie tight end has started each of the team's three preseason games and already has significantly more experience operating out of the Packers no-huddle offense with Aaron Rodgers directing the show.

It's not easy for a rookie to come in after the draft and pick up the Packers offense without a hitch, explains McCarthy.

"I think it's a normal process that these guys go through," said McCarthy. "I think if you ask Richard and Davante, they'd probably think they're preparing more than they ever have before. They think they're probably doing a heck of a job. And the reality of it is, being a rookie, it's never enough. It's just not enough, and once you're able to catch your breath and things slow down for you. Then you realize that there's a whole other level of learning that goes on.

"So right now the younger guys are trying to do the right thing, get the timing within the system with Aaron in particular. But once again, you have a system of football. We refer to the cheat system or the system of experience. All the little things that go on on a daily basis aren't things that are written down in a book. They're not just things that you can tell someone. There's a process you have to go through, and every rookie has to go through that."

Thus far through the exhibition season, veteran Andrew Quarless has gotten his fair share of time at tight end and looks to share at least some time with Rodgers.

But at wide receiver, Adams looks far behind the trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin.

Nelson and Cobb are easily considered the top two wideouts on the Packers roster, but the performance of Boykin this training camp has proven there's still a big gap between No. 3 and No. 4 wide receivers.

"Jarrett Boykin, just clearly he's taken the next step," said McCarthy. "I just love the way he plays. He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I think he's exceptional at the top of his route. His ability, you see his strength and balance to separate from a DB, so I think he's had an excellent camp."

It's been difficult for Adams to stand out in preseason action with so many other players on the roster, grabbing just four passes for 50 yards and averaging 12.5 yards per catch.

There's still one more preseason game for Adams to prove his mettle on Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs, although he isn't likely to get much of a chance with the first-string offense. Being the exhibition finale, the Packers typically play their starters either sparingly or not at all.

Most likely, Adams' path to playing time will be through hard work and patience, taking advantage of every snap in a practice environment. His time will come, but don't expect it arrive Week 1.

 

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor at Cheesehead TV and its "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac34's picture

GB doesn't really need Adams early on in the season so it is fine that he is a bit behind the curve. Nelson and Cobb weren't exactly world beaters when they were rookies either

RC Packer Fan's picture

That's exactly it... They don't need Adams right away. We knew going into camp that Boykin was going to be tough to unseat as the 3rd WR. All Adams needs to do is keep getting better, and be ready to roll when needed and hopefully as the season wears on he will be contributing more and more.

Rodgers however they do need right away and they need him to play well. He seems to be playing well so far.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Well...Said...

GoldFinger's picture

I don't think anyone here that knows football was really counting on Davante Adams to contribute much if any this season. Rookies very rarely do. It's like wasting a year with a draft pick to let them learn but it's simply part of the process with receivers. Jennings and maybe James Lofton were the only two Packers receivers that actually did something their first season that I recall. Jordy Nelson was almost a bust until he finally reached puberty in year three.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Greg Jennings and James Jones each caught over 40 passes for over 600 yards in their rookie years. No other rookie receiver going back to and including Javon Walker did that well. Jordy Nelson caught 33 passes for 366 yards, which was above average for a rookie, but he did not take a 2nd year jump. Not sure if he had any injuries. Looking over the stats for rookie receivers going back to 1999, 20 to 30 receptions for 200 to 300 or so yards is pretty common, even for rookies drafted in the first and second rounds.

GoldFinger's picture

Thanks for putting those stats out there. Yeah I was going to say James Jones but I didn't because he never upped his game. He was pretty much the same player in his last season as he was in his first. Greg Jenning I remember was the rare guy who pretty much knew all the plays and routes from day one of training camp and Favre trusted him big time which is huge for any rookie. He caught on immediately and made a ton of big plays his rookie year.

James Lofton also had a great year as a rookie. I believe he was rookie of the year. Nobody else comes to mind. Yes they are rare. 2nd year guys are different and this is where I am sure most of us are expecting Davante Adams to make the jump. Javon Walker made a huge jump his 2nd year I believe. It's unfortunate he got hurt. He could have been one of the best ever playing with Favre and Rodgers. What a shame.

Stroh's picture

The passing game was much less complex is the 70's than it is now. So going back to Lofton is too far. Lofton had a good rookie year w/ 46 800 yd 6 TD's. By comparison J Jefferson has 56 1000 yds and 13 TD's. Jefferson had a great rookie year Lofton had a good rookie year. Both came in in '78.

BTW Jennings had a very solid rookie year, and he did pick things up quickly but 600 yds and 3 TD's so I wouldn't say he had a great rookie year or made a ton of big plays. Comparable to Lofton's given the passing game became more complex from the 70's to 00's

Imma Fubared's picture

This is another reason why I always admired the Vikes Philosophy ( not a fan ). Draft people with smarts so they can learn the system and learn it quickly.
They picked Ponder because he did the Wonderlic in like 5 minutes. Graduated from college in two years and in 3 finished with a masters.
Ya his arm sucked but he learned the system right now, was able to play right away and contribute and that is one heck of an important factor that gets left out.
I watched a few side line chats during the Vikes pre game and every person they talked too, spoke in complete sentences, were articulate and were able to talk constructively.
That's why I'm not a big fan of undrafteds and later round picks.
I think the pack has some developmental issues with some people. And its the reason they are slower to catch on.

jmac34's picture

Spoken like a true Vikings fan. Immediate returns are nice but long term/sustained success should be the goal. The Vikings have really had much of either with their "smarter" football player

DrealynWilliams's picture

I lol'd @ the "( not a fan)" part

Stroh's picture

Yeah cuz Ponder has really helped turn that franchise around hasn't he?! That guy that wears #12 in GB is pretty F'in smart too. It took him a couple years, but look at him now. As opposed to Ponder who has LOST HIS JOB!!

A draft pick is an investment in the FUTURE, not intended for immediate dividends!

zeke's picture

Which explains all of the Lombardi trophies lining the walls in Eden Prairie: because the Vikings draft people like Christian Ponder, whose special talent is that he finished the Wonderlic in less than six minutes. It should be physically painful to type something that stupid on a keyboard.

Nick Perry's picture

Yup those well spoken folks playing ball for the Vikings have been world beaters on the football field haven't they? Matter of fact, the only time the the Vikings actually seemed to be close to making a SB, they had signed some slow, inarticulate former Packer to play QB. Oh and Imma, who cares about a Wonderlic score when they play like Ponder????

GoldFinger's picture

Surely you can't be serious Fubared. You are not a fan but you admire the Vikings philosophy of picking smart people and Christian Ponder is your role model for your philosophy? lol Come one man. Does Demetrius Underwood ring a bell?

Clay's picture

Wow Imma. Wow wow wow.

How has that philosophy worked out for the Vikings?

They haven't even chosen a coach that can stay with them long term.

Did they analyze Bret Favre's wonderlic score too before they paid him 20 mil?

Ponder may be smart, but your suggestion that Ponder the genius has helped the Vikings in any way makes you seem d***.

I don't want to be insulting, but I can't resist at the moment because I am starting to think you are the reincarnation of our old friend Cow (who seems to have changed a bit for the better).

I guess more power to you if your goal is to get us Pack fans all worked up with such stupid statements as you have been making.

It will be up to us to ignore you or to feed your desire for attention by actually responding to you as I am guilty of now.

I will look forward to thoughtful objective conversations by others here who have educated me and made Cheesehead TV a great forum.

Go Pack.

ron7's picture

Ponder had a 35 on the Wonderlic, same as Rodgers. Maybe he should have been less cocky and taken the full 12 minutes, if that story is even true.

Ryan Fitzpatrick supposedly had a 48/50 and did it in 9 minutes and left at least one question blank. Now that is amazingly smart.

Evan's picture

You guys are really too easy...

BradHTX's picture

Hey, it's never too premature to declare a rookie a bust! LOL

lucky953's picture

As many commentators have remarked, it's a BIG jump up from college to the NFL game for receivers. The defenses are far more varied and disguised. Rookie receivers end up doing a lot of thinking on the field and that's not good for QBs. Then there's the matter of beating press coverage from an NFL corner--they don't face that in college.

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