B/R Interview: Davante Adams Talks Packers Season, Super Bowl Sleepover and More

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2021

Green Bay Packers' wide receiver Davante Adams during NFL football training camp Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

If any team knows how to overcome a bad start to the season, it is the one with Aaron Rodgers under center.Β 

After all, the Green Bay Packers quarterback famously said, "Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X," after the team's 1-2 start during the 2014 campaign. All that happened the rest of the way was an MVP for Rodgers, a 12-4 final record and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

That was Davante Adams' rookie season, and the wide receiver revealed that mindset has not gone away in Green Bay.

"The relax thing, that started my first year here," Adams told Bleacher Report. "That's kind of the mindset we live by, especially now with 17 games. It's a long season, so it's not something that anybody is going to let shake them. At this point, it's all about responding and coming back this next week."

The Packers will need to respond if they are going to challenge for another playoff spot, because the 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 was a stunning result.

Everything seemed to be building toward a straightforward win for Green Bay. The game wasn't even played in the Caesars Superdome where Saints fans make life so difficult on opponents and was instead moved to Jacksonville because of Hurricane Ida. That meant there were tons of Packers fans in attendance, and the Saints didn't have an injured Michael Thomas or a retired Drew Brees.

New Orleans missed the memo that it wasn't supposed to put up a fight, and Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes while Rodgers threw two interceptions and failed to lead a single touchdown drive.

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While Adams was one of the lone bright spots with a game-high five catches for 56 yards, he knows things will have to improve right from the opening kickoff in future games.

"We came out really flat in that game," he said. "We came out like they were just going to lay down. We didn't handle our stuff on offense. ... We only had a few opportunities with the ball in our hands in the first half, but when you score it looks a little bit different. But when we don't and the defense is having a tough time getting off the field, it makes it really tough on the team to be able to rally and bounce back from that. We've just got to start better than we did this past week. I give them credit for playing a great game, but we're a much better team than that. I don't think anybody is rattled by the way that game went. Just more so confused and disappointed, but definitely looking forward to bouncing back this week."

Bouncing back will mean playing better on the road when the team travels this season, and Adams is ready to do just that as a spokesperson for Courtyard by Marriott, the official hotel of the NFL.

Adams stars in the new ad campaign as Courtyard by Marriott conducts the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover Contest. The winner and a guest will win a trip that allows them to wake up inside SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday. Fans can enter the contest by submitting their favorite stories that highlight their love for football and travel with the hashtag #CourtyardSuperBowlContest.

"This whole experience with Courtyard by Marriott is really just a huge way to get fans back into the rhythm of getting back on the road, finding out what fuels them to travel," Adams said. "I think that there's nothing greater to get people back on the road and back in stadiums than football games. It's a great experience."

So where is Adams' favorite NFL city to travel to outside of Green Bay during football season?

"It's a tossup for different reasons," he said. "I like Dallas a lot because I like playing in that stadium, it's a really fun stadium to play in. Jerry's World is always live, always popping in there. We usually have good games against the Cowboys as well. I also like to travel to New Orleans, so it's a little bit sad that we had to head down to Jacksonville. Going down to New Orleans, that's where I end up with the best meals. I'm huge into food, I love food. That's a big part for me. Being able to get to the South and get some of that cajun food, that's always good."

Always good is the perfect way to describe Adams' game on the field as well.

The Fresno State product is coming off four straight Pro Bowl seasons and was a member of the 2020 First Team All-Pro with 115 catches for 1,374 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns. He was an unstoppable pass-catching machine last year and put himself firmly in the discussions as the best wide receiver in the league.

He also checked in at No. 6 on NFL Network's list of the top 100 players for 2021, which placed him ahead of every other wide receiver in the league. Yet he is more focused on achieving those individual accolades just to help his team win.

"The goal is always All-Pro status, that means that I'm holding up my end of the bargain and doing what I need to do to put this team in position to win games," he said. "I don't really have any specific numbers as far as what I want to do, how many touchdowns, how many yards. I just want the film to look good, and hopefully that translates to me having a lot of yards and touchdowns, which ultimately leads to us having a shot at the Super Bowl."

Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

A shot at the Super Bowl starts with the Packers defending their back-to-back NFC North crowns.

The entire NFC North is 0-1, so Green Bay is not starting from behind despite its lackluster showing against the Saints. It has the opportunity to make an early statement with divisional play starting in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions, and marquee games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers also stand out.

But Adams is taking things one week at a time.

"To be honest with you, I don't even know who we play up until that week," he said. "I don't really think about the personnel too much, I don't have a desired matchup, I just like going out and playing football. I treat everybody the same when I get out there. It doesn't matter if it's Deion Sanders or if it's an undrafted rookie, I'm going to try to go out there and give them work all day."

Every opponent is officially on notice.