Run. The. Table.
Both phrases could be the House words of the Green Bay Packers if they lived in Westeros. While both were top-shelf declarations of power by Aaron Rodgers, it demonstrated a mentality that Packer fans should maintain: patience.
This was evident in 2015 when the Packers were struggling with their offense without veteran Jordy Nelson. The spotlight shown bright on the Packers receiving corps and gave 2014 second-round pick Davante Adams a chance to live up to his high draft status.
The 2015 season was rough for Adams, though, as he struggled through injuries all year long. According to NumberFire, he had a catch rate of 53.19% (good for 48th in the league). Not only that, but he ranked 719th out of 721 players since 2000 in Reception Net Expected Points per catch (which tries to quantify how much value he provided with each reception). So even with the opportunity that he was getting, Adams wasn’t adding much value. Combine that with 6 drops and it was looking poorly for the Fresno State alum.
In 2016, the off-season was littered with headlines like these:
It was a tough pill to swallow considering his draft class peers consisted of Odell Beckham Jr, Mike Evans, and Brandin Cooks. All were drafted higher than Adams, but Packer fans were pining for more from their draft pick.
Then the 2016 season happened and there was plenty of crow to be eaten.
In his third season, Adams posted 75 catches and fell just three yards short of a 1,000-yard season. In a year when the Packers had to experiment with the running game, the tandem of Nelson and Adams was as potent as any around the league. Adams posted his best catch rate of his career at 62%, showing improvement in his hands. Not to be understated, he finished 2nd in the NFL receiving touchdowns (behind teammate Jordy Nelson), tying with draft classmate Mike Evans and finishing ahead of Beckham and Cooks.
Right now, Adams’ average fantasy draft position among receivers for Yahoo, CBS, ESPN and Fox Sports is 17.25, which puts him in a category to be a top WR2 to be taken in fantasy leagues.
Davante Adams is looking more like this nowadays:
When u think about how they wanted u cut 2 years ago pic.twitter.com/UoMg5hsStb— Davante Adams (@tae15adams) August 20, 2017
To bring my point full circle, the key to consistent, long-term success has been the patience that the Packers organization bestows upon its players. Whether it’s waiting on Adams or guys like Nick Perry or that the team will produce wins after slow starts, patience is the ultimate Green Bay virtue.
Players who have struggled recently like Jason Spriggs or Damarious Randall still may be integral pieces in the Packers long-term success. When the results aren’t always immediate, Packer fans should make like the Frozen Tundra and chill.