Leading by Example: Adams setting a blueprint in Packers' locker room

Assuming a leadership role in the Packers' locker room could be Davante Adams' greatest achievement yet.

-- Davante Adams is all kinds of things. A nuanced route runner, a possessed man off the line of scrimmage, a back-to-back Pro-Bowler.

But maybe the most important accolade of all is that he's a leader.

Adams tipped the scale last season, finally breaking the 1,000-yard mark -- significantly -- in his fifth NFL season and tallying double-digit touchdown receptions for the third year in a row. There's little question, if at all, that he's the best receiver in the Green Bay Packers' locker room.

Far beyond his talent has been his adaptation of becoming the example he wants to set for the young players behind him on the depth chart.

"I feel like that's kind of the way people have been feeling about me before," Adams told Packers.com after Wednesday's practice. "It's just a natural ability that I have and I try to share it with other people by making people better. I think that's what the ultimate leader is, how you make other people around you better.

"I do everything I can, I don't try to do anything outside of my boundaries. I don't try to coach, but I do whatever I can to make sure the young guys are moving in the right direction. We're all still learning at the same pace right now and with a new offense and all of that, so we all help one another."

The Packers selected three receivers in last year's draft: J'Mon Moore in the fourth round, Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth and Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth. The latter pair were forced to play significant snaps during the season after Geronimo Allison finished the year on injured reserve -- a detrimental blow after what was a four-game start to the season.

Overflowing with youth, the Packers' wide receiver room is spearheaded by someone with not only experience but someone who has been through the trials and tribulations that come with ascending in the NFL. When the Packers spent a second-round pick on Fresno State's Adams in 2014, his career hit a standstill in just his second season.

A nagging ankle injury limited Adams' attempt to stack success on top of the flashes he showed in his rookie season, and as a result, had a good majority of the fanbase turned against him in hopes of a healthier, more impactful suitor rising to the occasion.

But persistence overcame resistance, leading to Adams' 2016 campaign landing him just three yards shy of 1,000, but 10 touchdowns for the first time in his career were under his belt.

Adams' excellence on the regular-season stage doesn't make him immune to criticism on the practice stage, however. New head coach Matt LaFleur has spoken to in the middle of practice -- in the two public OTAs that we've seen -- to make sure even the finest of details are mastered.

"That's something that we talk about," Adams said. "I'm like, 'Hey, I'm the most coachable guy out here. So if there's anything you see in a route that I run or whatever it is, I want you to make sure that you let me know because I want to perfect it as much as possible.'"

"And, obviously, the young guys, they watch the way that I do things and they want to emulate that. So if I'm doing it wrong and they let me slide because of who I am or my years or whatever you want to say, then they go out there and do the same thing and it's not right. I feel like that's not right. So I do whatever I can to be open with him so that he can be open with me and feel like he can coach me up at any point."

The Packers are in the process of implementing a new offense, featuring new designs, new concepts and new formations for Adams and co. to hone in on before the start of training camp this summer. It's a system in which Adams could flourish -- even more so than he already has.

"It's complex. There's a lot to it. But it's nothing that we can't handle."

Adams' well-versed skill set would help quickly accommodate him to any scheme, but LaFleur's is expected to help maximize the capabilities of each and every contributor.

"It's really early still so we're still getting a good feel for how we run certain routes, the quarterbacks on certain timing but that's what this time is for - to practice and get better and get on the same page."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

1 points

Comments (14)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
RCPackerFan's picture

May 30, 2019 at 06:17 am

With what I keep hearing about what this offense will be, I fully expect Adams to have a monster year.

Adams already is one of the hardest WR's to cover in the NFL. Now he is being put in an offense that will have more deception and will not be as predictable. And when we say not as predictable we are talking about formations, routes, and simply snapping the ball. With defenses having a harder time to keying in on what they are going to do offensively it should really allow Adams and others to take a major step.

I'm excited to see what it looks like!

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Turophile's picture

May 30, 2019 at 08:54 am

I really began to appreciate D.Adams more, after I heard him talking about route running and how he dealt with coverage.

A very intelligent, well spoken guy, whose constant desire to improve has taken him to the rarified heights he is at today.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
porupack's picture

May 30, 2019 at 01:07 pm

well said, Turo. Hope that trajectory continues into legendary status.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Boneman's picture

May 30, 2019 at 06:48 am

I really think the focus will be on spreading the ball around and creating unpredictability. That means Adams may actually see a little decline in targets and in his overall numbers. It wouldn't mean he has a lesser year because team success is the goal.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
PeteK's picture

May 30, 2019 at 08:26 am

Don't leave out Kumerow in the group of young receivers. He might be the best route runner of them all.

+ REPLY
-2 points
1
3
Packers2019's picture

May 30, 2019 at 09:05 am

PeteK,

I am thinking Kumerow will not even make the team. Allison is back and we have three WR's that will hopefully take a jump. Also, Allen Lazard is only his 2nd year in the league and is big and fast as well.

Kumerow is now 27 or 28 and has not made an NFL roster until last year. He is like the Janis of the team right now. Everyone is rooting for him because he is from UW Whitewater.

I hope he makes the team but I would not be surprised if he gets cut.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
IceBowl's picture

May 30, 2019 at 10:58 am

Packers2019

You say ...."Everyone is rooting for him because he is from UW Whitewater."

I am rooting for Kumerow because he catches the ball.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 30, 2019 at 11:09 am

I am rooting for Kumerow because he catches the ball too.

And because he's a Packer. Which is also why I am rooting for Gary.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
MikeDV34's picture

May 30, 2019 at 03:37 pm

No.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

May 30, 2019 at 09:31 am

Janis never had the hands and route running ability that Kumerow has. Maybe Sheppard or Jawill because of their return capabilities. It will be an interesting battle in camp. My money is on Kumerow because he seemed to have a connection with Rogers.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
fastmoving's picture

May 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

Janis was way faster than Kumerow and more athletic overall. Highter Wonderlic as well.
Sometimes too much bodycatching, but if he had AR "trust" (whatever that is) back then, he could have been a real good WR. If not more….

+ REPLY
-3 points
1
4
PeteK's picture

May 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm

A QB will have trust in a receiver because he will read the defense correctly and be where he's supposed to be on a given play. I don't want to bash Janis because I always rooted for him, but body catches says it all.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

May 30, 2019 at 10:48 am

I remember well the days of Adams bashing. You could see in his rookie year he was going to be a special player. He dealt with a high ankle sprain in his 2nd year and gutted it out, without making excuses. He had one distinct advantage, he had AR in his corner. AR kept touting his skills when most people weren't.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
porupack's picture

May 30, 2019 at 01:12 pm

Thanks Zach, and timely article, to focus on DAdams, and a solid ascending veteran after months of focusing on the draft and FA. Very nice to hear from Adams, his desire to keep ascending, and to be leader to other WRs.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.