In Adams’ sophomore season with the Packers, he was targeted 94 times and only caught 50 of those passes. That catch percentage, which is 53%, is the worst of his career up to this point in time. It was a sure low for him.
Packer fans everywhere doubted Adams’ ability. It wasn’t only fans that called him out on his poor play, head coach Mike McCarthy did as well. In Adams’ second season, McCarthy said this about Adams after a loss to the Chicago Bears, “Didn’t have a very good day today,” McCarthy said when asked about Adams dropping several passes. “The consistency we’re getting in certain areas needs to pick up.” and, “It’s a basic route,” he said. “It didn’t look like it was a very good route.”. Adams had some explaining to do. It wasn’t as if there was a drop here and a drop there. It was on a consistent basis. It was demoralizing and depressing to watch. Opportunities missed, trust shattered, and everyone knows that a wide receiver needs to have the trust of the quarterback which was something that Adams didn’t.
On explaining his thought process during this time, Adams said: “It’s hard to let it go,” “You really want to have that, they call it, the DB (defensive back) mentality. Just let it go, and go to the next play. Forget about it. But it’s hard. I try not to drop any ball. It’s not a great feeling. You don’t want to have moments like this where that’s all they’re talking about now.” He knew it wasn’t a great feeling and he brought that feeling with him.
Fast forward a year. This time, it was against the same team that McCarthy called out Adams on, the Chicago Bears. Adams dropped not one but two touchdown passes against the Bears. The feeling was all too familiar, so what did he do about it? He shredded his gloves, “I shredded those things since they didn’t do their job,” Adams said, via ESPN.com. “That’s what it was. It wasn’t me; it was the gloves.” From the outside looking in, it looked like Adams just couldn’t shake the drops. He knew what had to be done to get where he wanted to be. He knew he had to work harder than ever before.
Fast forward again, to week six of 2017. Anthony Barr hits Aaron Rodgers, and Rodgers brakes his collarbone. Aside from Rodgers and the Packers’ team as a whole, Adams was deemed as the biggest loser. And for the most part, it seemed that way. Jordy Nelson was the key receiver for the Packers with Rodgers under center and almost everyone expected that to be the status quo with Brett Hundley.
Except it wasn’t. Davante Adams found a connection with Brett Hundley, one that is similar to Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers’.
In six games with Rodgers as the quarterback, Adams had 40 receptions, for 342 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
In eight games with Brett Hundley as the starter, Adams had 46 receptions, for 543 yards, and 6 touchdowns.
Even though Adams had more games played with Hundley as the starter, that stats still show that Adams doesn’t need Rodgers in order to be a successful wide receiver.
On the challenge of connecting with Brett Hundley, Davante Adams said: “…I think we have kind of connected along the lines, somewhere in there and obviously him being behind Aaron, we have a great connection…”. Adams was extremely successful this season, and it showed on the field.
He has proven himself this season. After being viciously bashed time and time again he has now placed himself in the elite wide receiver conversation. Not only that, but Adams got paid. The Packers signed him to a 4-year, $58 million deal. There is so much to look forward to for Adams. Sure, he was almost knocked out twice this season and that could impact his health in the future, but he has shown what he can do with any quarterback under center when he is healthy. Hopefully, we will see more of a healthy Davante Adams next season, and watch him do what he does best.