Update — Raiders beat reporter Tashan Reed lays out what he believes Adams was getting at when talking about needing the ball more.
The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off back-to-back wins over the Packers and Patriots and are set up with a good matchup against the Bears and backup QB Tyson Bagent. If they can win this week, they get back over .500 with a 4-3 record. But, even with their recent success, star wide receiver Davante Adams isn’t happy about his role.
In the Raiders Week 6 win over the Patriots, Adams only had two receptions on five targets, while wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and tight end Michael Mayer both had more targets and receptions. The week before, Adams had just four targets, which was behind Meyers and running back Josh Jacobs. Adams has been dealing with a shoulder injury, but he hasn’t missed any snaps and caught all four of his targets in Week 5. His injury hasn’t seemed to hinder him, but his lack of usage is starting to bother him.
Adams was to the point in his comments to ESPN:
I’m sure people are thinking, ‘They won the game, why is there an issue?’ I mean, you see why it’s an issue. Y’all should know who I am, know what I’m about at this point ... when you’re a player like me, mentally, my benchmark is not wins and losses — it’s greatness. So when I go out there, I expect to be able to have that ability to put that on tape and have an influence on the game. That’s my purpose for being here. I’m not here just to hang out; I came here to win and to do it the right way. So if it don’t look like it’s supposed to look, then I’m going to be frustrated if I’m not a part of that plan.
For his side, head coach Josh McDaniels sees nothing wrong with Adams voicing his frustration.
Honestly, great players wouldn’t be great if they didn’t want to try to help the team win in every way that they can Look, the game is different for them because they’ve achieved a certain status, and they want to contribute every single time that they’re out there as much as they can. So, that’s part of them being them. I would never tell them to squash that. He’s been a great leader, a great influence.
Adams may sound selfish as the team has won these last two games, but there’s also no doubt they were in games they could win without Adams being the go-to guy. They also have dealt with QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s injuries of late, which has likely thrown off the rhythm of the passing game.
With a game in Week 7 against a below average Bears defense, we can expect the team to look to get Adams going early on, no matter who is at quarterback. We’ve seen it time and again. When a star player complains, the team tries to get ahead of it by giving him more looks. It’s an easy fix and it usually isn’t a bad thing, especially when it’s someone at the elite level that Adams is.