In his short, three-year career, Phillip Adams has already spent time with the 49ers, Seahawks, Patriots, and finally, the Raiders. It was in his last stop, with Oakland, that Adams might have finally left his mark.
Though largely unheralded, Adams has flashed competence wherever he’s played, no matter the competition.
In 2010, with the 49ers, Adams saw 77 snaps, allowing six receptions on 10 targets for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Though this was hardly a successful season, he was largely victimized by Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Rodgers. Which is to say, his struggles as a rookie were warranted and even expected.
In 2011, with the Patriots, Adams saw 180 snaps, allowing 12 receptions on 23 targets for 146 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. This, clearly, is a vast improvement. It is even more so when we consider the level of competition. Adams faced offenses coordinated by Kevin Gilbride in New York, Marty Mornhingweg in Philadelphia, and Charlie Weis in Kansas City. Three offensive minds that no doubt were targeting the young and inexperienced Adams. Still, Adams proved up to the task.
Last year, with the Raiders, Adams saw a career high in snaps with 178. Despite this, he was only targeted 15 times, allowing nine receptions for 87 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and two passes defensed. In total, he allowed an average quarterback rating of just 36.7.
As you can see, Adams best games came towards the end of the season. Though he struggled early — which could be attributed to the fact he joined the team a week before the start of the regular season — he found his stride against Denver’s top-five passing offense. In a game in which he played the most snaps of his career (56), Adams was in coverage 27 times. Denver quarterback tested Adams only five times and Adams successfully answered the call each time.
This fact alone is encouraging, so much so that ProFootball Focus named Adams one of their “Secret Superstars.” Given his injury history — especially with concussions — and the additions made by the Raiders in the offseason, Adams road to the 53-man roster is anything but paved. But, as Rick Drummond of PFF notes, “all signs point to him being worthy and from what we’ve seen, he’s an excellent example of a Secret Superstar.”