TUCSON, Ariz. — When the Patriots and Raiders met for joint practices last August, many who were there, including players, left with the same takeaway: Davante Adams is incredible.
To say that Adams dominated New England over the course of the two practices in Las Vegas would be a gross understatement. The superstar receiver was completely uncoverable, catching virtually everything thrown his way. It didn’t matter who was covering or what kind of route Adams was running. It was cheat code-type stuff from a player who this season only has reinforced his status as perhaps the NFL’s best overall wideout.
Belichick was among those blown away by Adams. During his Friday afternoon news conference, the Patriots head coach recalled Adams’ late-summer dominance while also referencing the time a then-rookie Adams torched New England for six catches and 121 yards in 2014.
“Good, really good,” Belichick, shaking his head in disbelief, said of Adams’ performance. “Really special to see him up close on the practice field. Obviously, saw him at Green Bay, that was his breakout game; got his career started there. But great ball skills, really smooth, very crafty runner. Slick. Good length. Does a real good job at changing speeds. He’s just a really hard guy to cover with elite ball skills and elite, I would say, intelligence and savviness — if that’s a word.”
In his first 13 games this season, Adams caught 82 balls for 1,247 yards and an NFL-leading 12 receiving touchdowns. After a brief and inconsistent acclimation period with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Adams took off and now has topped 120 receiving yards in four of his last six games.
Of course, the Patriots will get reacquainted with Adams this Sunday when they visit the Raiders in Vegas. Stopping Adams will be the top priority for New England, which absolutely needs to leave Allegiant Stadium with a victory.
Belichick finished his remarks on Adams by stressing the importance of being aware of where he is at all times and always deploying the correct coverage.
“You better have it, or he’ll kill you,” he said.