HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, coming off just two catches in a win over the New England Patriots, acknowledged Wednesday he is growing frustrated with his seemingly diminished role, despite the team winning two straight games.
“I’m a human being and I have extremely high standards for myself in this offense,” said Adams, who has been targeted a combined nine times the last two games, with six catches for 74 yards without a touchdown.
“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.”
Adams has not had a touchdown since a Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he was targeted 20 times and had 13 catches for 172 yards and 2 TDs.
He is also dealing with a right shoulder injury suffered in the Week 4 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.
“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,” Adams said. “Because I have the opportunity to go and change that and make it look like a much better picture out there. And if that doesn’t happen, then I’m going to be frustrated. If Jacobi [Meyers] goes out and has a monster game or if the offense is scoring every five plays, like our first drive on the Bills, then it is what it is.
“It’s not about me, but I’m one of the bigger pieces as to why this offense is going to go. And if I’m not getting it, then that’s obviously not according to plan.”
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, the team’s offensive playcaller, echoed Adams’ frustrations.
“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,” McDaniels said. “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.
“Our job is to make sure our best players have an opportunity to impact the game, and they can only do what they can do. So, he’s going to do everything he can to help us win, I know that for sure. He’s got a great attitude and mindset. He’s as competitive as a guy I’ve ever been around, and he should want the ball and he should want to contribute … he’s great in every way and this is no different.”
Adams appreciated the sentiment.
“I’m sure people are thinking, ‘They won the game, why is there 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.”
Raiders WR Davante Adams
“It definitely makes you feel better that other people see it the same way as you, but that don’t fix it,” he said. “You’ve still got to do something about it as a whole. Not [McDaniels], but as a whole. We’ve still got to find a way to get it going, but obviously, it makes me feel a little better knowing that I’m not crazy, that people are thinking the same way.”
While McDaniels said it was his “job” to scheme ways to get Adams open against double- and triple-teams, perhaps complicating things is the lack of continuity with the Raiders already having to play three quarterbacks.
Starter Jimmy Garoppolo missed the Chargers game with a concussion (rookie Aidan O’Connell started in L.A.) and left at halftime of the Patriots game with a back injury (15th-year veteran Brian Hoyer played the second half).
“I mean, I’m not naïve,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, it’s not easy throwing to somebody who gets the coverages that I get. It’s a lot of attention, a lot more than, what I’m sure Jimmy, Derek [Carr], Hoyer, whoever we got out there, Aidan, it’s a lot more complex picture that they’re looking at than the numbers that we’re studying throughout the week.
“It’s just the way that it is, so I’m aware of that and I know that it’s not easy, but I’ve done it and I even did it last year and we’ve had flashes this year making it happen. But we’ve got to have it on a more consistent basis in order for us to be the offense that we want to be.”
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