Green and Bold: What is Davante Adams' Formula for Success?

Of all the players that the Packers are looking to see make strides to improve from 2015 into 2016, wide receiver Davante Adams is at or near the top of the list. 

As he enters his third season in the NFL, the former second-round draft pick has yet to solidfy the kind of player he is.

Is the "real" Adams the one we saw average 11.7 yards per reception and score three touchdowns in 38 receptions in 2014? Or is it the player who, in his sophomore season, totaled just 9.7 yards per reception on 50 receptions and found the end zone just once?

Adams played a full 16-game season in 2014, but missed three games in 2015 due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. Injuries also factored into the end of Adams' season, when he injured his knee against the Washington Redskins and missed the divisional game against the Arizona Cardinals. 

In between, Adams struggled with drops and route-running, dropping six passes, per Sporting Charts, and catching 53.2 percent of the targets that came his way. 

This summer, rather than clarifying what kind of performance we'll see from Adams on the field when the 2016 regular season starts, is muddying the waters even further.

Though Adams got off to a hot start at Family Night on Sunday, connecting with Aaron Rodgers on a 35-yard catch on the outside, he dropped an easy one and missed a sure touchdown. 

What makes Davante Adams tick? What dictates whether he's a sure-handed game-changer or designated as an inconsistent No. 4 receiver?

That may depend on newly annointed wide receivers coach Luke Getsy. The former offensive quality control coach has been working with Adams this offseason to strengthen his fundamentals.

During practice on August 1, Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette shared that Adams and Randall Cobb were tossing a foam ball back and forth and squeezing it to improve their hand strength:

And Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette shared a photo from practice on that same day of a drill in which Getsy threw tennis balls off a wall to improve Adams' reaction time:

Getsy seems enthusiastic about Adams' progress and potential. 

"He's come back with a fire behind him," he said, via ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "He's attacking the meeting room, he's attacking the practice field, the individual periods, everything. There's a fire lit inside of him, and he's ready to rock and roll. He's got to continue to grow every single day though."

However, the best practices in the world ultimately don't matter if Adams can't produce on the field. There are two factors that should enable Adams to shine this season: beginning the year injury-free (and hopefully staying that way) and the return of Jordy Nelson, which changes the role Adams is expected to play in the offense to something that better suits his strengths. 

The issue for Adams seems to be that he starts to fall apart when he's asked to do too much. In Week 10 last season, the Packers targeted Adams a whopping 21 times, and he was only able to bring in 10 catches. Both he and Cobb had a handful of drops, and Adams averaged just 7.9 yards per catch. 

However, in the Wild Card game against Washington, Adams was much more in his element prior to getting injured in the third quarter. He caught all four of his targets and also found the end zone. This late-season success was likely due to the emergence of Jared Abbrederis and the success of James Jones; once the pressure on Adams deceases, he seems to perform better. 

Given that the Packers look to have a full group of six healthy wideouts with complementary skills this season, the team should be able to only ask what it needs of Adams, and put him in position to succeed.

However, it's up to him whether he earns the No. 3 spot or only comes on the field in five-wide sets. 

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Comments (18)

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The TKstinator's picture

August 03, 2016 at 06:11 am

Formula for success:
1. Get open
2. Catch ball
3. Repeat

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Allan Murphy's picture

August 03, 2016 at 06:23 am

Ha ha ha ha right !

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 03, 2016 at 07:27 am

I really think Adams is going to have a bounce back year. Last year there were many factors into his poor performance. The first was due to the fact that Nelson was injured but also Cobb was injured. The 2 guys ahead of him were injured which put a lot of pressure on him. Then he got hurt and tried to come back from his injury to soon. Late in the year the last 2 games he played in he really started to come on.

At the Family night Adams was inconsistent. Then reports from camp 2 nights ago he had a tremendous night. The key for Adams success is to remain consistent.

One thing that Adams has been doing really well is playing the jump ball. He does a really good job of high pointing the ball. Don't be surprised if he is one of the team leader in TD's this year.

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lucky953's picture

August 03, 2016 at 07:32 am

Adams has really needed coaching. The Packers didn't do him any favors last year and his confidence went in the tank. I'm hopeful coach Getsy can get him believing in himself again.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 03, 2016 at 07:37 am

One thing I like about Getsy is all the different things he does with the WR's to get them to concentrate and work on hand-eye coordination. He is definitely creative.

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stockholder's picture

August 03, 2016 at 08:00 am

Drop Vante isn't a player. He had his chance. To many times he could have helped the packers only to drop his chances. One good hit and he'll be the guy who resorts back to his old self. (drop-Vante.) He'll continue to be that lazy route runner costing A-rod more interceptions. And it could ruin his chances to be in the Hall of Fame. Let's take devante's gloves off. I want the Packers to win. Everybody in this world wants DeVante to show he's not a bust. Even if he turns into a 1 year wonder, he'll screw the packers WR tandems up for years to come. Stop with the injury crap. If he isn't alone on the field, he'll screw up the play someway. He'll never succeed on or off the field. The guy just does not have it to be a Packer.

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dobber's picture

August 03, 2016 at 08:36 am

"There are two factors that should enable Adams to shine this season: beginning the year injury-free (and hopefully staying that way) and the return of Jordy Nelson, which changes the role Adams is expected to play in the offense to something that better suits his strengths."

This should be true of most players: putting them in a position to be successful should allow them to be successul. On the second point, most players will benefit from playing next to a high-end (if not elite) player.

Whether it's a function of coaching or not, we all were led to expect that Adams would take a major step last year and we wanted him to rise to the challenge and become formidable as he filled the hole left by Nelson. Instead, he became feeble. As a result, there are very few people here who have much of any expectation for Adams in 2016 and many (see above) who would rather just see him gone. He needs to get back to where he was in 2014, then work from there.

When I saw the title of this post, my first thought was: this should be "interesting". We'll see where it goes from here...

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 03, 2016 at 02:48 pm

I agree. Health and not being forced into the #1 or #2 option too soon should bring much better results. I can't wait 'til he prove so many doubters wrong. I see the Abby has some folks slowly coming around. Next up is Adams.

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Since'61's picture

August 03, 2016 at 09:12 am

There is only one formula for success for a WR and that is to catch the ball! Case closed! Thanks, Since '61

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T-Buck's picture

August 03, 2016 at 10:33 am

Davante Adams is Robert Ferguson. To the "T". Second round draft pick. Low catch %. Always sorta hurt. Prone to drops. Low energy. Never achieves full potential. Old Fergy was on the roster 3 years too many. Here's to hoping TT doesn't make the same mistake with Davante.

Oh, and like Robeert Ferguson, Davante would look great in purple.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 03, 2016 at 11:49 am

Formula for success? How about we start with catching and holding onto the ball first.

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Nerd's picture

August 03, 2016 at 11:56 am

Dude needs to be able to get open.

His game is based on competing for the ball in the air. That's his strength. But he needs to be able to get open too.

Keep those ankles healthy. Run good routes.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

August 03, 2016 at 02:28 pm

It takes grit and sacrifice. "Fancy Pants' is too concerned with his toys and his ego. He may be one of those guys that avoid the pain involved with success in a very painful game where sacrifices have to be made both mentally and physically. So I'm not sure he can be trusted as # 3. But then the big question would be then who would be # 3?

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Ryan Brunner's picture

August 03, 2016 at 05:22 pm

As others have said, get open and catch the ball is the formula. What helps put the formula into play is practicing hard and practicing right. I just don't get the feeling that Adams has that desire to get better.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 04, 2016 at 02:15 am

I am not impressed by tossing tennis balls against a wall. Adams problems catching the ball IMO were concentration issues. A waterboy could do that drill with Adams, rather than Getsy. I am not saying the drill should not be performed, but it seems to me to be a waste of Getsy's time and attention. There is nothing wrong with Adams' hand to eye coordination or reaction time - the drill is just a maintenance drill. That Getsy was doing the drill with Adams suggests to me that the coaches are still heavily invested in Adams - this looks more like a politician's photo op. All things considered, Cobb should have been standing next to Adams doing the same drill, as he has a history of drops, and dropped more passes than Adams did last year.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 04, 2016 at 06:20 am

Last season was the "Perfect Storm". Nelson goes down with an injury followed by Cobb, Adams, Montgomery, and most of the O-Line. Eddie is just too large to be effective. He was so large and in such bad shape by the end of the season he couldn't run 60 yards without being completely out of breath.

Both Cobb and Adams were simply asked to do MORE that they're able to deliver. Both need a #1 like Nelson to be able to do their jobs at a high level. Montgomery was a rookie and actually was doing a hell of a job until he was injured. THAT'S when the Offense completely fell off the cliff.

We kept waiting for an offense to take off that wasn't capable last season. The Packers were playing the first part of the season without the #1, the #2 never really healthy from the shoulder injury. Our #3 hurt his ankle week 2 and wasn't close to 100% by week 16 or 17. Our #4 was done in week 6. Our #5 couldn't remember what route to run, where to be, and by the end of the season could have been wide open and Rodgers wouldn't throw him the ball because he doesn't trust him, and our #6 was injured with concussions and a rib injury. OH BTW.. The Packers TE position continued to be ignored for the 3rd season by our GM. Sure Rich Rod has a place on our team and actually put up decent numbers. But he couldn't stretch the field and open up the middle if he was covered by A.J. Hawk

Now, name a team who would have been successful. The #23 Offense sounds about right to me. Now if this continues this year with a healthy group, then it just might be the 4 or 5 WR the Packers have not named Nelson or Cobb just aren't very good. I guess we find out soon.

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DannyPatterson's picture

August 07, 2016 at 09:08 am

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Alaina15's picture

September 09, 2017 at 12:59 am

Amazing post . I love to see more post like this

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