Raiders' Davante Adams taking on teaching role in new scheme

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Entering his 11th NFL season, and his third with the Las Vegas Raiders, three-time first-team All-Pro receiver Davante Adams is taking on more of a teaching role.

The first lesson to impart, then, is to not get too down with the Raiders' offense being dominated by the team's defense through OTAs and two days of mandatory minicamp. Not with the defense entering its third season in the same scheme and returning 10 starters while adding a premier defensive tackle in Christian Wilkins and the offense learning a new scheme and embroiled in a full quarterback competition between second-year returner Aidan O'Connell and free agent pickup Gardner Minshew.

Plus, Adams is already intimately familiar with the scheme authored by new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, Adams' former position coach with the Green Bay Packers. And Adams is a fan of the system.

"The frustration comes in midseason when we haven't made the progress that we need," Adams said Wednesday. "At this point, you're not a very mature or experienced football player if you're getting frustrated in mandatory minicamp. Obviously, I get frustrated every play if it doesn't work to a certain degree, but it's not [the kind of] frustration where you're losing hope in your teammates, or yourself, or a potential of what you can do as a team."

Adams was not at every voluntary OTA practice and has taken limited 11-on-11 reps in the first two minicamp practices.

"Thankfully, I've been in the system for a long time, so 90% of these calls, they're coming through and I know what to do right away without even getting in my book, for real," Adams said. "So it is a learning process for everybody getting comfortable with it ... trying to just figure out [how] things change on motions, getting lined up in different formations. You might hear some things that were similar to what you had before, [but] getting that out of your mind, kind of unlearning some stuff, is a part of the process."

Adams had 103 catches for 1,144 yards and eight touchdowns last season, the fifth time in the past six seasons he went over the century mark on receptions. But his 11.1 yards per catch average was the second lowest of his career and eight was the second-fewest TD catches he has had in a season in which he has played at least 16 games.

Last season, the Raiders moved on from quarterbacks Derek Carr and Jarrett Stidham in 2022 to seeing Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer and O'Connell start games in 2023. For all practical purposes, Adams had had only two quarterbacks after high school: Carr, at Fresno State and with the Raiders, and Aaron Rodgers with the Packers.

"So we're just going to keep working," Adams said. "That's all it is. It's the second day of mandatory minicamp, so we've got a lot of time. We've just got to make good use of our time."