Davante Adams is from Palo Alto and went to Fresno State. That’s why the Green Bay Packers receiver put in a huge ticket request for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
This is a rare opportunity to play for a huge prize in front of family and friends.
“There are going to be a lot of people there,” Adams said. “I think I bought 18 tickets. It’s pretty crazy. This is really a dream come true for me. It’s obviously not playing a Super Bowl in the Bay Area, but it’s the next best thing. Being out here in Wisconsin and a Bay Area kid, you don’t get a lot of people coming out from California as much as you’d like.
“Being back home earlier this year and being able to come back for a big game like this means a lot to me. It’s going to be awesome.”
It’s also an opportunity to show off some of what he has learned from someone who thrived in this market and widely is considering the best receiver ever.
Adams has taken a ton from several influences, but his expert release off the line of scrimmage is due in part from what he has seen from 49ers great Jerry Rice.
“It’s must easier to run a route with a guy two yards away than someone right next to you,” Adams said. “That’s the biggest thing when I watched a guy like Jerry Rice back in the day. When you watch his clips you never see a guy hanging all over him. It’s never that. It’s always him running free. If that doesn’t work out, it was always something within the play that has nothing to do with the DB. I try to put myself in that position as much as possible.”
Adams creates consistent separation with releases, which 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman considers some of the best in the league. Sherman said so before a Week 12 clash with the Packers and that belief suggests he holds great respect for Adams.
That’s a two-way street and could produce great matchups when Adams and Sherman line up against each other. That won’t happen all the time, with Sherman locked on the left side and Adams splitting time between the right, left and the slot.
Adams has been highly targeted and red hot recently, with at least 93 yards in his last four contests. That includes an excellent showing in last week’s playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks, where he had eight catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
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Some of that comes from precise route running and chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A large part is due to his elite-level releases.
Adams says he’s “obsessed” with creating separation at the line and works on it constantly. He doesn’t alter technique or approach, however, even with dealing with someone of Sherman’s caliber.
“It doesn’t change really. It’s not the same as playing anybody else because Richard’s definitely a great player,” Adams said. “People have wondered a lot if he has fallen off or whatever, but I don’t see that. He’s still the same guy out there making plays. He’s a respectable corner, but that doesn’t change how I attack it because you have more talent than the next guy. I just try to play my game and make you play my game. Hopefully that changes how [opponents go about their] business.”
Adams had a ho-hum day in the previous matchup with the 49ers, totaling 43 yards on seven catches. He’ll surely want to do better with family and friends in the crowd.