Pass defense has been a major concern in Oakland for quite some time now. It is impossible to win in this league without a defense that can disallow a quarterback to consecutively make completions.
General manager of the Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie has brought in tremendous talent that should certainly help improve their secondary. Specifically ,at the cornerback position, big name free agents were signed such as Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, and Charles Woodson.
In addition, Oakland drafted D.J. Hayden at No. 12 in the draft who has the potential to become a shut down corner in this league.
With an abundance of talent recently signed and drafted, Phillip Adams will have to put on a performance in order to get in the mix by the time the season starts. With Woodson, Porter, and Jenkins already being proven corners, and the youngster Hayden with significant upside, Adams has extreme competition.
Nevertheless, do NOT count him out. Entering his fourth year in the NFL, Adams has shown head coach Dennis Allen significant promise in every little opportunity he has received.
Adams started in Oakland as a special teams guy, returning punts and covering kicks, but began to see time on defense about mid-season as the team began dealing with numerous injuries.
In Week 13, Adams recorded his first interception of the season against the Cleveland Browns, and the week after that is where the young prospect made his trademark. In week 14, a Thursday night match-up against future first ballot Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, Adams put on a performance that opened up Allen’s eyes.
Adams posted his best-ever coverage grade of a +4.0 and tacked on an interception on the superstar Manning. He put in by far his most extensive single game playing time of the season, as he played 56 of 84 defensive snaps. In this standout performance he logged five tackles, a pair of defensive stops, gave up just two catches on five targets for only six yards, and added a batted down pass as well.
Suffering his second sustained concussion in three weeks sidelined the promising youngster till Week 16, but was forced to sit out from that contest as well with a groin injury. Adams was in the midst of proving himself, and was doing it in great fashion. He was looking at a potential bright future for himself in Oakland, maybe even earning a starting role.
The cornerback position is an area where depth is essential, and by having such thing diminishes fatigue and ultimately keeps those speedy wide receivers contained.
As long as Adams can remain healthy, I have faith in him to show the coaches that he deserves to be a part of the rotation. I hope injuries will not keep him from excelling into the player that he can be.