NFL Nation: Michael Dean Perry
|G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images|
|Gaines Adams has worked on becoming more than a one-move guy in his pass rush.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
TAMPA, Fla. -- Listen to Gaines Adams and Todd Wash talk a bit. You'll hear some refreshing honesty and maybe get some legitimate hope that Adams finally is ready to justify his lofty draft status.
It would be easy for Adams, a third-year defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Wash, his position coach, to fall back on the old line about how "sacks don't tell the whole story." Give them both credit for giving the hard -- and honest -- answer.
When it comes to a defensive end, who was drafted fourth overall in 2007, it's all about sacks. When you walk out of Clemson tied with Michael Dean Perry for the school record with 28 sacks and have a set of skills similar to Jevon Kearse or Jason Taylor, you're supposed to step right into the NFL and produce double-digit sacks every season.
When you run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds at your pre-draft workout and sign a six-year contract worth $46 million, it's supposed to be easy.
Fact is, it hasn't been and Adams and Wash freely admit that and tell you how they're trying to fix it.
"We're hoping his numbers come up from the past years," Wash said. "He's had good pressure on quarterbacks, but he just hasn't had the numbers that we were anticipating out of him."
You can point to someone like Atlanta's Jamaal Anderson, who was a top-10 pick in the same draft, and make a case that Adams hasn't been a total bust in his first two seasons. He had six sacks as a rookie and 6.5 last year while making 38 tackles each season. But those numbers, Adams and Wash say, aren't good enough -- and they're right.
"A lot of people want the stats right away," Adams said. "As a football player, I wanted the same and I expected the same. But now I realize there are a lot of things you have to do to make those stats happen and I wasn't doing all of those things. Now I am and I hope that will make a difference."
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