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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Right place, right time for Adams

By Chris Forsberg

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesPatriots cornerback Phillip Adams put together one of his best efforts of the season Monday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Give Phillip Adams credit for being brutally honest. Asked after Monday's win over the Chiefs what he saw on the play that produced his first NFL interception, the second-year corner smiled and admitted it wasn't overly complicated.

“I just turned my head and the ball was there," Adams said of an end zone interception that thwarted Kansas City's best opportunity for a second-half touchdown. "I was playing in the right position, where I was supposed to be and I'm just glad I was there to make the play.”

Adams, a former seventh-round pick (224th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers, was initially signed by New England in late September and was on and off the roster for a bit before injuries and departures created an opportunity for him. Over the past four games, Adams has appeared on 129 defensive snaps while serving as a nickel corner and Monday was his best game of the season.

Not only did Adams register his first pro interception, but, according to target stats logged by analytical site Pro Football Focus, he allowed only one 7-yard reception on three targets (in 19 total pass coverage situations). In fact, in PFF's game grades, Adams was second behind only defensive end Andre Carter in overall rating.

For the season, Adams has allowed seven catches for 87 yards in 13 targets (during 85 pass coverage situations). He hasn't allowed a touchdown and opposing quarterbacks have a mere 42.8 rating while throwing at him.

Asked if he thinks teams are starting to take notice of New England's no-name defense, Adams offered the company line about focusing on improvement.

“All we have to do is get better day after day, week after week, we just continue to get better," he said. "It really doesn’t matter if they do or they don’t [take notice]. Every week we are going to go into practice and work hard regardless if they are going to give us respect or not.”

Teammates are clearly taking notice of Adams. Talking about the play of the secondary after Monday's game, safety James Ihedigbo noted: "[Adams] played outstanding all game and ended up with a key interception down there in the red zone."