Now in his sixth season in the NFL, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams has established himself as one of the best pass catchers in football. His connection with quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the most potent in the league.
The Packers are off to a 6-1 start this season, but unfortunately, Adams has missed the last three games with turf toe. Others have stepped up in his absence, but Green Bay could use its big-play threat back.
We caught up with Adams this week to discuss how he’s handling his injury, what he thinks of the Packers’ young wideouts and why he’s excited about the newest release in the “Call of Duty” series. There’s all that and much more in our Q&A.
Let’s get started…
The Spun: “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” comes out on Friday and you’ve partnered up with the franchise to celebrate the release. When did you get hooked on the game?
Davante Adams: Honestly, I feel like I was late to it. I didn’t start playing “Call of Duty” until World War II. One of my guys got me back into playing games; I really was a Madden guy. But he got me into “Call of Duty” and from then I stopped playing Madden. That will tell you how much I enjoy playing [Call of Duty].
The Spun: Do you play with any other guys on the Packers or in the NFL?
DA: Yeah, I play with some of my teammates and a few guys that play around the league as well. I’ve got a couple of teammates that are really, really good at it, so I usually keep it within that group.
The Spun: Who is the best “Call of Duty” player on the Packers roster?
DA: I’d say probably the best one, other than me, is [wide receiver] Equanimeous St. Brown. EQ is good. He’s been playing for a really long time.
The Spun: Where is there more trash talk: on the field in the NFL or when you’re playing “Call of Duty” online?
DA: Honestly, probably in “Call of Duty.” I don’t really have much trash talk out on the field. I don’t really run into that too much when I’m playing. I’d probably say “Call of Duty” because that’s where people get more sensitive and emotional when it comes to the game. Everybody knows they’re good at football so you don’t have to talk as much.
The Spun: Moving on to football, what has been your focus and mindset the last few weeks dealing with turf toe? Obviously your team is doing really well but you’ve been sidelined.
DA: It’s been killing me, it’s been ripping me apart to not be out there with my team. But I’ve been doing everything I can. It’s a tough injury. It’s not the worst injury in football but it’s definitely one of the trickier ones. There’s a lot that I have to do to get my mind right. I’m really just trying to help the young guys out at this point: let them know I’m there for them and engaged in the game plan. That’s what they need, to feel like I’m coming back as soon as possible, which I am. I’ll be out there soon but I’m taking it day-by-day at this point.
The Spun: Speaking of the young guys, with you being out, a lot of them have had a chance to play and shine. What is the key for a young receiver or a new receiver to the Packers in terms of developing a connection with Aaron Rodgers?
DA: It takes time. I just basically tell them it’s about consistency. If you go out there and you make a play, you make a tough grab or whatever, you’re setting the standard for what he’s expecting from you now. Once he knows you can do a certain thing, he expects it and he holds you to the standard that he holds himself to and he’s a perfectionist. It raises the level of play of the guys around him. Basically, I just let him know that consistency is what builds that camaraderie with Aaron over the years.
So proud of my boys man. Cant wait to be back with yall!
— Davante Adams (@tae15adams) October 21, 2019
The Spun: How has the offense changed and evolved over the first few weeks of the season, especially considering there’s been some injuries and guys have had to step in?
DA: It’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster, because we all thought we were going to shoot out of a cannon and come out putting up splash plays and 40 and 50 points out of the gate, but it took a little bit of time. New coach, new system, everything is new to us. I think my absence has also helped elevate the play of other people so that when I get back, they’re going to have to respect certain other guys because of what they’ve done. All around, I think it’s been kind of a blessing in disguise with me not being able to play, because you see that urgency of some of the younger guys who haven’t had that experience yet. We’re a tough team to deal with right now, so we’ve got to stay levelheaded and keep our foot on the gas.
The Spun: At this point in the season, being 6-1, do you pay attention to what’s going on around the whole NFC? Not just about your division, but when do you start thinking about stuff like home field advantage for the playoffs? Is it still too early?
DA: Well you want to stay focused on the next game, but at the same time, you know what type of team you have and it’s not out of the question to start thinking about what type of postseason you’re gonna have. It seems like us, the Patriots, that’s how we come into the season. It’s not just about going 10-6 and doing well in the regular season. We’ve been in the position in 2014 where we had a first-round bye, beat Dallas and then went [to Seattle] and played in the NFC Championship Game and didn’t take care of business. We all got a chance to taste that and for the guys that were here, we know what that feels like and we don’t want to feel that again.
The Spun: For you as a receiver, who were some of the guys growing up and even now that you used as an influence? Maybe you watched or studied them and tried to imitate what they did.
DA: It’s a bunch of different guys. For route running, guys like Santana Moss, we don’t have the same body type but I’m able to do different things with my quickness that I saw in his tape when I was in high school. Obviously Randy [Moss], Randy’s the GOAT. He’s my favorite receiver ever. I still watch his highlights before games to this day. That stuff will never get old.
Obviously Jerry [Rice] is one of the GOATs as well. The thing that I love about Jerry and I try to mimic this is what when you watch his tape, you never see anybody hanging all over him on any reps. That inspires me. If Jerry can go out there and make dudes look silly and have them in hot pursuit the whole time, that’s my goal too.
The Spun: Our last question, and we asked JuJu Smith-Schuster the same thing, since you came into the league, who have been some of the toughest cornerbacks that you’ve had to go up against and what made them so tough? Who have been the guys who have been the most fun to go up against because they’re a challenge?
DA: Well those can be two different answers. I have fun games because I got some good corners in my division. Me and [Detroit Lions cornerback Darius] Slay, me and Zay [Vikings cornerback Xavier] Rhodes, we go at it. We’ve got kind of a mutual respect for one another. We battle, we go at it, we talk a little bit of [smack] here and there, but it’s nothing malicious. It’s just our competitive nature.
Some of the best ones I’ve gone against, I think Pat Pete [Patrick Peterson] is the best one I’ve played against. I think [Jalen] Ramsey is really good too. I got respect for Casey Heyward, one of my old teammates. I think Stephon Gilmore is probably the best right now. There’s some good ones out there.