Nine year veteran safety Mike Adams has some huge shoes to fill on and off the football field.
When Brian Dawkins announced his retirement this spring, it became apparent that Adams would need to be “that” guy. Part of the battle is done. He’s been No. 20 his entire career.
Adams chose No. 20 because of Dawkins and longtime Jaguars safety Donovin Darius.
“I watched him (Dawkins) all my career, especially when I was in Delaware, watching him at the Eagles,” Adams said. “Dawkins is a great player. He brings great intensity, and I try to bring that much intensity when I play the game.”
Mike Adams came into the NFL as undrafted rookie out of the University of Delaware. It’s no wonder now that he’s nearly a decade in, he’s seen as a sage by the younger guys. He’s also seen as a work horse with a chip on his shoulder.
“Coming from I-AA, I just had a chip on my shoulder,” Adams explained. “I believe I could have played at Miami, Norte Dame, and all these other places.”
So why didn’t he get recruited by them?
“That was my question,” Adams chuckled. “I bet they wanted me once I made it to the league though. They made a mistake.”
The Broncos’ scouting department saw something big when Adams played for Cleveland last season. They saw a leader who naturally helped guide his young secondary to the second best passing defense in the entire NFL in 2011.
“We were young there,” Adams said of his secondary in Cleveland. “We were still growing. Coach Dick Jauron, he just put us in a position to our strengths. We played man-to-man and we challenged people. We didn’t have the front seven as in Von (Miller) and Doom (Elvis Dumervil). We didn’t have that, but we did get the job done. I’m pretty sure here, I’m looking forward to stepping that up a couple of notches.”
Imagine if Adams, Champ Bailey, Tracy Porter, and Drayton Florence can get on the same page like the young guys in Cleveland? That would make for the top all-around defense in the league.
“We have the speed, we have the experience, we have the talent,” Porter acknowledged. “We just have to put it together because you can have the most talented team on paper, but you still have to play the game on Sunday or Monday. If you don’t show up, you’re going to get beat.”
The Broncos secondary has the experience to know how to put it together. It’s simply a matter of getting the job done.
As for Adams who currently sits in Brian Dawkins’ large retired shadow, he hope the work he puts in will impress his idol.
“He’s definitely an inspiration in the locker room, on and off the field,” Adams said of Dawkins. “Hopefully I make him proud wearing that number.”