BGA: Scouting Phillip Adams

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Yesterday, the Jets announced several roster moves, including successful waiver claims on WR/KR Walt Powell and CB Philip Adams. Jets fans might not know too much about these two players, so I’ve been looking at game film to try and assess what each of them brings to the table. I looked at Powell earlier today but now we’re turning our attention to Adams.

The 26-year old Adams is 5 foot 11, 193 pounds, and was drafted by the 49ers in the 7th round in 2010. Since then, he’s also played for New England, Oakland and Seattle. He has started four games in his career but received plenty of playing time as a nickel back.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from his career so far and from this year’s preseason to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Phillip Adams?

Adams played collegiately at South Carolina State, where he intercepted three passes to become a first-team all Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection. Adams did not receive a combine invite, but put up pretty good numbers at his pro day, including a 4.50 forty time. The 49ers drafted him in the 7th round of the 2010 draft.

As a rookie, Adams didn’t play much on defense, although he did register six special teams tackles. However, he broke his ankle late in the year. In 2011, he was released, but picked up midseason by New England to fill in as a slot corner in five games. New England released him again once everyone was healthy and he signed for Seattle for whom he played one game. Adams joined the Raiders in 2012 and played there over the last two years. On each occasion he didn’t play much at the start of the year, but gradually increased his playing time and ended up starting a couple of games.

Adams re-signed with the Seahawks at the start of the free agency period, but was released during final cuts and claimed by the Jets who obviously lack depth at the position.

The Numbers

  • 53 games
  • Four starts
  • 66 tackles (including 11 on special teams)
  • Eight passes defensed
  • Three interceptions
  • One fumble recovery
  • 37 punt returns, 6.1 ypr average, three fumbles
  • Three 20+ yard returns, one 40+ yard return
  • One pressure in 14 pass rush attempts
  • Coverage numbers: 50-83-558yds, TD, 3INT
  • Slot coverage: 7-15-99yds in 97 pass plays while in the slot

I’ve reviewed footage from all four of Adams’ seasons in the league and will give my general thoughts later, but let’s focus on how he played in preseason, especially in light of the new emphasis on downfield contact.

2014 Preseason

Week 1 – at Denver

Adams entered at half time and played 27 snaps in this game. He wasn’t targeted in 13 pass plays. He did make one play against the run, getting off his block to stop a runner for a short gain.

Week 2 – v San Diego

Adams first entered this game with four minutes left in the second quarter, this time playing 27 snaps. He was targeted once, but it was incomplete. However, he could have done a better job of getting his head turned around on a throw to the outside which was dropped. Adams was also flagged for illegal contact when he was playing off and put his hands on the receiver as he latched onto him downfield, away from the ball. He made a good play against the run as he run-blitzed from the slot and eluded traffic to make the stop for a short gain. He added a good tackle on special teams as he broke free up the middle, forcing the return man wide and pursued him across the field.

Week 3 – v Chicago

In this game, Adams entered during the third quarter and played 19 snaps. He had one tackle and was targeted twice, giving up a 14 yard pass. The catch he gave up came as he played well off his man as it looked like the Seahawks were trying to set a trap as the slot corner tried to get over but was blocked off by the slot receiver. On his other target, he was again playing well off, but the throw was off-line and a diving catch attempt was unsuccessful. That wouldn’t have been a first down and the Seahawks were 34-0 up so perhaps playing prevent by design. Adams was also penalized for pass interference on a play where he was in a good position but had his hands all over the receiver before the ball arrived. Adams also fielded a punt but did not get any return yardage.

Week 4 – at Oakland

Adams played 38 snaps in this one, seeing action with the first unit in the nickel. Much was made over the fact that he gave up two touchdowns, although one came as he was in a good position in coverage and the ball was tipped right to the guy he was covering. The other was a bad one as he slowed up to look back at into the backfield and the receiver kept going. It was almost as if Adams thought he had deep help but it should have been obvious that he didn’t.

Other than those two plays, he gave up one other catch, a 13-yard gain where he was covering in the slot and playing press with safety support behind him. He allowed the receiver an outside release and was beaten on a route to the outside and in front of the safety. He did have some good plays in coverage too though, including this pass breakup that led to a pick-six for his teammate. He also came up to make a tackle for a loss after Greg Little had initially made a first down catch but then spun out of a tackle and lost yardage. Adams added a tackle for a short gain on a run blitz, drew an offensive pass interference penalty and lined up as a gunner and blew by his man outside for an immediate tackle on a punt.

Here’s my observations from watching the footage on Adams, including footage from his first four seasons in the league, divided into categories:

Usage

While Adams has mostly played on the outside, he does have some experience in the slot, especially in 2011 where that was his role with the Patriots. He did see time in the slot in preseason. While with the Raiders, he was usually left on one side or the other so he did face some top receivers.

Coverage skills

Adams had a couple of bad plays in preseason, but over the course of his career he’s not been too bad in coverage. He struggled against the Broncos in the last game of last year, giving up six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown on just seven targets. Prior to that, he had decent coverage numbers (17-28-146 and a 74.4 quarterback rating). In that game, he was mostly matched up with Demaryius Thomas, a much tougher match-up than you’d ever expect him to have if called into action with the Jets. Four of his other 17 catches surrendered were by Dez Bryant in a match-up with the Cowboys. In 2012, he had given up catches on all six of his targets entering the final month of the season. However, he turned things around and only allowed three catches for 22 yards on nine targets over the last four games, with two interceptions.

Athleticism

Adams has pretty good measurables (including a 34.5 inch vertical leap and a 124 inch broad jump) and his recovery and straight line speed seem good. He looks particularly fast when coming forwards.

Physicality

Adams was used in press coverage quite a bit and did a much better job of adjusting to the new emphasis than Leon McFadden. I wonder if his lack of size relative to the other Seattle defensive backs was a factor in him not making that team, which might be less of an issue for another team. Four of the five corners on their roster are over six feet tall.

Special teams

Adams is another player who has experience of being a punt gunner. The Jets have a lot of options for this position in 2014, which is important given Ellis Lankster’s release. He made one good play in preseason, but hasn’t quite stood out in this role as Lankster did in the past. Adams was also used in a variety of other special teams roles, including in kick coverage, as a blocker and in the vice role. The fact he has a lot of experience of fielding punts at the NFL level is important too, as I suspect the Jets fear Jalen Saunders might not be ready to do this yet. Adams’ numbers are not great but he did have a long return for a touchdown in preseason as a rookie.

Run defense

Adams’ play against the run was perhaps one of his most impressive traits from watching this film. He seemed to have a knack to come up and make a stop and isn’t afraid to stick his nose into the action. I didn’t see him allowing himself to be blocked out of too many plays either.

Tackling

Tackling, unfortunately, seems to be one area where he struggles. He’s good at attacking when going forward, but when he’s in the open field or chasing after someone, his technique can get sloppy, leading to a lot of missed tackles. He had nine missed tackles last season and in 2011 he had five missed tackles and only made eight. Bear in mind that if a player misses a tackle on a pass play, that will count against their coverage grade on PFF, so any low coverage grade might not always be as much of an indication of how badly someone struggles in terms of covering their man as you might first think.

Blitzing

There isn’t much to review here, but as noted he made some good plays when run blitzing. The one pressure he had came as he blitzed from the slot and missed the tackle on the quarterback who was sacked as he stepped up.

Ball skills

Adams managed to deflect some passes and has three interceptions in his career. One of these was as easy as you could get as he passed his man off to the safety at the back of the end zone and the quarterback just threw it straight to him. Another saw him intercept Peyton Manning, who underthrew a receiver as Adams dropped off with a safety coming across to give him coverage over the top. Manning, under pressure on the play, never should have made that throw and Adams made an athletic diving grab. The third one also came on an underthrow as he had press coverage with safety support behind him. That seems to be a situation within which he fares pretty well. I would note that sometimes his timing is slightly off when trying to play the ball in coverage.

Instincts

Other than the touchdown he gave up over the top, I didn’t see Adams involved in any coverage breakdowns. As noted, he seems to have a knack of making plays against the run and avoiding blockers.

Demeanor

Adams doesn’t particularly seem to be one of your really demonstrative cornerback types. I didn’t really see any bad calls go against him though.

Injuries

Adams hasn’t been affected too badly by injury although he did end up on season ending reserve right at the end of the year in both 2010 (broken ankle) and 2012 (groin). He also had a concussion in 2012. He was not listed on the injury list at all last season.

Conclusions

As a fan of Ellis Lankster, I was disappointed in the moves yesterday and not particularly impressed with Leon McFadden’s film. I therefore had low expectations for this one, but actually Adams isn’t bad. He made one really bad mistake in preseason, but other than that was right in the mix for a roster spot in a deep Seahawks secondary.

I guess what Adams offers that Lankster doesn’t is an ability to play in the slot. He’s also more experienced despite having entered the league a year later, has slightly better size and offers the added value of being an option to return punts. I assume those must be things the Jets covet for their fourth and fifth cornerback.

Adams is not practice squad eligible and therefore this move hasn’t been made with a view to adding him onto the practice squad once the team who got rid of him has already filled theirs up as may be the case with McFadden and Powell. However, as a vested veteran, the Jets might not necessarily want Adams on the opening day roster which will guarantee his salary for the whole year. How he fares in practice, together with the injury situation for the opener will ultimately determine his fate.

Unless the Jets make any more signings between now and opening day, I’ll be back on Sunday morning to preview the season opener!




55 comments
Boozer32
Boozer32

Idzik must have been in contact with Sandy Alderson. Both GM are ruining their respective teams by dumpster diving for talent and not paying players to stay. I've boycotted everything Mets and looks like I'm headed that way with the Jets. 

jvsvn
jvsvn

Obviously, our CB situation isn't great. But I don't think it's as bad as people are making out (particularly when Dee gets back). Most corners in the NFL get toasted if the QB has time and open throwing lanes. We've been talking about ramping up the pass rush for years so now it's put up or shut up time. If you listen to the Jets, Babin's a beast, Coples is on the verge of greatness, Richardson is vastly improved, and even Snacks is ready to make his mark as a rusher. Combine that with Mo, Pace and blitzes from Davis, Pryor and the rest, and our pass rush should diffuse a lot of the issues we have at corner. If the pass rush isn't there, our corners will be in trouble. But that's true for most of the rest of the league as well.

NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

McFadden to PS, sign Lankster back, keep Lankster & Adams active

al_toon
al_toon

The BGAs are brilliant.  I've got a question here - I've been trying to figure out why Tommy Bohanon gets a spot on the team and, say, our best special teams player gets cut (for now).  Drop that particular comparison, there are others (for example, why does Bohanon equal more production than Richardson (who signed to the PS) or potentially Hill (although not a fan of Hill).  Now, I'm not against Bohanon in general here, he's ok, but I'm not really sure what he offers that another back cannot handle. I'd like for someone to argue on behalf of why (or why not) Bohanon should be on the team quite frankly. 

Steven Windeler
Steven Windeler

I think we got Pryor to play Rex' Ravens' centerfield  defense, and get away from the Jets CB island

defense. I think Rex, and Pryor are going to surprise some folks.

I think this will cause a lot more turnovers, and force QBs to second guess themselves.

I'm a little tired  of hearing Rex needs shutdown corners for his defense to work.

That was because we had neither a pass rush, or a rangy playmaking safety, and we did have a shutdown corner.

If DD plays better coverage in the middle, and we get 4, or 5 man pressure the corners should be able to use the sidelines, and stop worrying about the middle of the field.

That's why we weren't so worried about spending on CBs.

I mean I don't think we wanted two injuries, and one defection, but we weren't going to spend 12mil+ on a CB.

When Dee gets back I think we're going to be more than fine. Allen can get back in the middle, and Wilson, can please go elsewhere. My one real concern is that a smart QB will realize that anyone he's covering is open, even when he's covered.  




Bent
Bent moderator

Hill to the Panthers...


...practice squad.

Bent
Bent moderator

OT: New uni numbers: WR Walt Powell is 18, CB Leon McFadden 22, CB Phillip Adams 24, LB AJ Edds 55 (from 47), LB Trevor Reilly 57 (from 49).

juunit
juunit

Yup, there it is. Derek Carr's brilliant TD pass.

tsjc68
tsjc68

Who wants to see two really nice, athletic Phillip Adams interceptions, viewed over and over again from multiple angles to make it seem like it's a season's worth of highlights even though it's only two really nice plays?


What if it's 1:17 long and set to an NSFW Fabolous track where he uses the stellar couplet of "Nursery rhyming, hickory, dickory"?


No?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjRoSIxVGsc

Steven Windeler
Steven Windeler

@al_toon  I've said this a lot. Not that I want to use Powell as a lead blocking FB, but that he can pass block, and draw coverage, as well as Bohanon can lead block.

There's more than one way to clear a hole, and drawing a LB to the flat then keeping him there is just as good if not better than a FB cogging up the hole, which quite often is the wrong one anyway.

Like Rex said about Antonio. Let's get the best players on the field. T-Bo is not one of them.

tsjc68
tsjc68

@al_toon

We have plays in the playbook that call for a fullback.  If we don't have a fullback, you'd have to play an RB or an H-back in that role, and we don't have anyone who can handle that mix of blocking and route running as well as Bohanon does.


Simple as that.

carlhungus
carlhungus

@tsjc68 makes sense for them, they need a pass rusher to replace Ware... and jerra loves him some publicity.... maybe it will distract everyone at BSPN from the pointing the finger at him for his team sucking so bad this year. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Bent Wait... I thought the Patriots were signing all of our cuts and making them All Pro

tsjc68
tsjc68

@Bent

Good for him.  He needed to have a good preseason to keep a roster spot and didn't, but maybe he can find some PT down in Carolina.  Stranger things have happened.

tsjc68
tsjc68

@Bent

Once Quincy Enunwa gets back on the practice squad later today (presumably), he's gonna be bummed that he was off the roster for the 24 hours that they handed out new numbers and he can't get his #18.

juunit
juunit

@Bent 

He really took 24? What a doofus. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

@tsjc68 I think Walls would have made those catches too

Bent
Bent moderator

@Steven Windeler @al_toon Powell is no fullback but the team did experiment with some two back formations (CJ and Ivory) in camp, which are  an interesting proposition.

al_toon
al_toon

@Steven Windeler @al_toon Yes, this was basically my line of thinking (although more articulate). I agree. He seems like a hard-worker and decent player but skill-wise, I don't think he brings enough to the table to justify his spot on this team.  

Steven Windeler
Steven Windeler

@tsjc68 @al_toon  I hate those plays. Yes, for blocking on the move, we really don't have another option, but I'd be fine with throwing out that section of the playbook.

The FB seems to just create more traffic in the middle most of the time.

If you have a really smart FB that can help a RB find the proper hole, then that would be good, but if your backs are smart, and your FB is not so much, then you're better off without one.

In short yardage there are better options than T-Bo on the team.


al_toon
al_toon

@tsjc68 @al_toon Well, that makes sense.  I guess I'm just questioning 1) how good his blocking and route running actually are and 2) the play book can be changed to compensate for our needs in other areas.

tsjc68
tsjc68

@BDarc23 @Bent

I'm still terrified of Belichick unleashing the Tebow package against us.  Sure, he's not on the roster now, but that's probably just the Pats lulling us into a false sense of security.


It's coming.  When you least expect it... it's coming.

Bent
Bent moderator

@tsjc68 @Bent George cleared and is on the PS now.  No news on Quincy yet...


Or who they're releasing to make room for George.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@juunit aren't you busy rewatching all those preseason Redskins games?

tsjc68
tsjc68

@juunit @Bent

Looks like #28 is his preferred number, so he had to take something else.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Steven Windeler @tsjc68 @al_toon In his defense, Bohanon looked to have improved a bit this preseason.  Let's give it a chance to see if he can be more effective than he was last year.

Brendan
Brendan

@al_toon Having watched enough Philly games over the past X years, you really don't want to see Amaro or Sudfeld running as a FB when you could've had an actual FB. 


Tommy Bo needs to improve this year compared to last year, but he's not worthless. He had a good preseason. I also could've sworn I saw him on STs this preseason, but I'm not sure about that. 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@Bent

No need to release anyone from the PS for either George or Enunwa.  We only had 8 people on it and there's 10 spots now.

juunit
juunit

@BDarc23 @juunit 

Ha, no. Did my best to watch all those live or immediately after they were broadcast since my friend was trying to make the team. AND HE DID, by the way. 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@BDarc23 @juunit

Seastrunk and Royster remain unclaimed and available to anyone's practice squad for just money.


Just throwin' that out there.

juunit
juunit

@tsjc68 @juunit @Bent 

Should've taken 0 before he took 24. Everyone's gonna hate him as soon as he gives up a completion now.

al_toon
al_toon

@Bent @Steven Windeler @tsjc68 @al_toon Although I agree with Steven's assessment, I like the optimism Brent.  Although quite frankly I'd rather see him on the practice squad.  Obviously though, combined with the fact he's an Idzik guy, he's apparently impressed enough people this training camp for the job so lets see what happens ...

Bent
Bent moderator

@Brendan @al_toon He's a regular ST contributor, particularly as a KOR blocker.


Don't have preseason numbers but he played 75 snaps as a KOR blocker in 2013 and a total of 11 on the punt coverage and punt rush units.

tsjc68
tsjc68

@juunit @tsjc68 @Bent

Meh, Revis moved on, we moved on, we're not going to retire it (unless it's for Freeman McNeil), time to start issuing the number and getting on with actual business.

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent That makes me feel even better about him being on the roster. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@juunit @tsjc68 @Bent


John Griffin: Injured

Darius Reynaud: Non-entity

Dimitri Patterson: Comically AWOL

Phillip Adams: ???

Bent
Bent moderator

@al_toon @Bent @Brendan I'm sure it does, although you do have a point.  Cumberland, Reuland and guys like that were just as effective at FB as Bohanon last year so if he DIDN'T improve, he should be expendable.

jetsjerk
jetsjerk

@Bent @al_toon @Brendan If you watch Bohanon seal and open holes he's good, not great.  The game plan keeps opposing D honest with a few offensive plays for him.  While he did an ok job in pre-season, there were a few plays where he bounced off guys and didn't seal or block like the assignment called for. But, overall, he helps makes the running game great. As per the team MO, they brought in some competition for him, but he was better.  His contribution on ST is very good. Hopefully, he will improve, and should, as the year progresses. Brass will continue to look to get someone better if he doesn't improve.