Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws a pass during NFL football
minicamp, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAYŚ Davante
Adams doesn't know what it means to be the Packers' offseason MVP. The
second-year wide receiver knows this much: His coaches and teammates
are excited about him.
Now, he has more work
From coach Mike
McCarthy to quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to the
team's top wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, the one
player who seems to have everyone in Green Bay buzzing is Adams, the
team's second-round pick a year ago.
Rodgers has been
especially complimentary of Adams, singling him out repeatedly
throughout the offseason, saying Adams is "going to be a
star" and praising him for his approach.
Rodgers also said
during organized team activities that Adams has a "humongous
upside and he's starting to reach that upside" - public praise
that the quarterback doesn't hand out without meaning it.
McCarthy struck the
same tone before the team's final minicamp practice Thursday,
indicating that Adams may have had the best offseason of any player on
if you want a clear illustration and example of a first-year player
taking a jump in his second year, you just saw it here the last four
weeks," McCarthy said. "I think Davante has done a great job
in the strength and conditioning. He's been really, really good in
practice throughout this deal. Davante, if you wanted me to pick an
MVP or an all-star (of the offseason), he would definitely be atop the
As a rookie, Adams
caught 38 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns in regular-season
play and eight passes for 124 yards and another TD in the playoffs,
But he had two big games in high-profile matchups: Six catches for 121
yards against New England and seven catches for 117 yards and a
touchdown in the playoffs against Dallas.
With Nelson and Cobb
combining for 189 regular-season receptions last year, the Packers'
high-powered offense could be even more balanced in the passing game
if Adams' 2015 performance matches what his coach and quarterback are
expecting from him.
"It means a
lot," Adams said of the praise he's received. "It means that
my work and my approach to practice and meetings and everything is not
being ignored. They're taking note of everything I'm doing, which
means a lot to me. I want it to be more than that. That's the first
step. Now, I want to be the MVP of the minicamp and training camp and
then go out there and do some damage."
In recent years,
Rodgers hasn't been afraid to say he doesn't want a receiver on the
field with him if that player isn't ready to keep up with the offense.
Last year in camp, when Rodgers was tough on him, Adams said he
actually appreciated it.
"In the early
stages - like, this time last year - he's frustrated because he knows
what we could do together," said Adams, who had 131 receptions
and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore at Fresno State before declaring for
the draft. "For him to hold me to that standard, I've always been
coached like that my whole life. So I told him, 'Keep getting on me.
If I don't do the right thing, that's how it's supposed to be.'"
NOTES: McCarthy gave
the team's veterans the day off from practice, sending players with
seven or more years of NFL experience into their vacation early after
morning meetings and strength-and-conditioning work. Other veteran
players who didn't qualify did very little in practice. . Players are
now off until they report to training camp on July 29. McCarthy said
the team had its annual meeting with NFL security, during which
players were reminded of "all the things you shouldn't do or that
have been done in the past."