Elite players have a tendency to look a little different on the practice field.
Sometimes it’s subtle. But when one of the best players in the league lines up and goes through drills, it’s usually not hard to differentiate between him and the average player.
Raiders receiver Davante Adams apparently had that effect during the team’s offseason program, impressing even his teammates.
Tight end Darren Waller said in an appearance on the Green Light podcast hosted by Chris Long that he spent plenty of time observing Adams to try and pick up some of what makes the receiver so good off the line.
“I try to go get in the line with him in individual [drills] when they’re releasing, doing releases on the little tire man over there in the corner,” Waller said. “He’s working his little double-hand swipe, windshield-wiper off the line. I don’t know, it’s just like, you know what release he’s going to do — the little split with the shake — but it’s just so smooth, and quick, and effective. And guys are just about to shit themselves trying to stop it.
“And I’m over there in line just watching him, or if it’s in a team drill and I’m not in and he’s in, I’m just trying to be like, what is it about that that makes it so effective? And I don’t know man, it’s just a balance, a mindset of, ‘I’m running shit out here. Nobody’s going to make me move at a pace that isn’t my own.’”
Adams has become arguably the best receiver in the league by honing that skillset. Last year, he caught 123 passes for 1,553 yards with 11 touchdowns in 16 games.
Adams’ numbers in 2022 may go down given that he’s in a different offense with a different quarterback. But his elite ability to separate is unlikely to change no matter where he’s playing.