Star wide receiver Davante Adams raised some eyebrows when he said that he wasn’t necessarily seeing “eye to eye” with the Las Vegas Raiders’ front office in a recent interview with The Ringer. But he was more positive in regard to his new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.
“He’s a really cool dude, talking to him. I really haven’t been around him enough to truly know what type of leader he is,” Adams said, according to Mirin Fader’s story, published May 16. “I’ve only heard good things from his teammates, though, so that’s a good thing, because it’s guys that I know wouldn’t mess around with stuff like that.”
A major reason that Adams signed with the Raiders in 2022 was to play with Derek Carr, Vegas’ quarterback at the time and a former teammate at Fresno State University. After they went 6-9, the Raiders benched Carr before the end of the season and then released him in February after nine seasons with the team. A month later, , who was widely seen as a downgrade at quarterback.
Davante Adams Wondered About the Las Raiders’ Style of Offense
Adams could be in for a rough season. He is among the league leaders in catches of over 20 yards since 2018 but new quarterback Garoppolo is among the worst in the NFL at throwing the ball over 20 yards. His arm strength has been called one of his biggest weaknesses, so Adams’ ability to make deep plays could be limited.
In the article, Adams did express concern with how the Raiders plan to run the offense with a new quarterback. He said he thought he could have success with Garoppolo but not if head coach Josh McDaniels utilizes him in the wrong way.
“It all depends on the style of ball that we play,” Adams said. “If we play a certain brand of ball, I can get [Garoppolo] to conform to whatever. But if we use him a certain type of way, then it’s going to make it tough for us to maximize who we should be this year.”
Pro Football Focus suggested Garoppolo’s strengths — accuracy and efficiency — give “serious ‘game manager’ vibes” and could mean that Garoppolo actually turns out to be an upgrade over Carr — if he stays healthy.
“Garoppolo’s 78.8 passing grade against zone coverage in 2022 was the ninth-best in the NFL. Carr, meanwhile, posted a 64.8 that ranked 30th,” PFF’s Dalton Wasserman wrote in a story published April 12. “[Garoppolo’s] a high-level processor who can rip apart zone defenses over the middle when protected. This is exactly what was missing from the Raiders’ offense last year that may have made the difference in their season.”
Davante Adams Still Wants to Bring Super Bowl to Las Vegas
Adams said he had concerns about the direction of the team but said his goal remained the same. He said he wanted to win a Super Bowl and he wanted to do it with the Raiders. Though Carr was a big reason he came, it wasn’t the only reason. He made it clear that he was committed to the team.
“My goal is to win a Super Bowl with this team. And that’s why I didn’t come here to just be cute with Derek,” Adams said. “It is to really try and have a shot and change this organization.”
On paper, the Raiders don’t look like Super Bowl contenders in 2023.
In Sports Illustrated’s post-draft power rankings, Hondo S. Carpenter Sr. put the Raiders in his “so you’re saying there’s a chance” category, ranking them No. 18.
“Las Vegas Raiders are a team that is improving. I predicted nine wins and missed the playoffs. They can do it if Jimmy Garoppolo stays healthy, and while everyone loves Jimmy, this isn’t a popularity contest,” Carpenter wrote in the May 16 opinion piece. “Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler gambled big on Jimmy; now he has to reward them.”