Davante Adams had Derek Carr as his college quarterback.
Then he became a pro and played with Aaron Rodgers for eight years. Adams was a central figure in Rodgers winning back-to-back MVP awards over the last two seasons.
But now Adams is back with his collegiate quarterback with the Raiders. The chemistry between Carr and Adams hasn’t necessarily waned, as the two would get together in the offseason to throw for most of their careers. So Adams was plenty familiar with how Carr’s skills have improved since he entered the league.
During his Thursday press conference, Adams was asked to compare Carr and Rodgers. It’s a bit of an unfair question based on the career accomplishments of the two men. But Adams found a nuanced way to thoughtfully answer.
“That’s a tough question,” Adams said. “I mean, it’s tough to compare. It’s really apples and oranges there. I mean, it’s just such a different ball game. Obviously, you have Aaron, who is cemented as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. That’s just like comparing me to Jerry Rice. It’d be tough to do because Jerry’s put together what he’s done and it’s undeniable respect for him. And me, I’m still going. There’s still a lot that I’ve got to do to be mentioned with Jerry and I’m aware of that. And I think Derek is also aware of that, from a big-picture.
“But as far as talent and ability, I mean, it’s really similar, if I’m keeping it real. Derek’s arm strength — they throw the ball a lot different. Like, Derek is going to fire it in there and you’re going to know that thing’s coming quick. And Aaron’s got the ability to just tighten that core up and just flick the ball to you. So the release is a lot different, but being able to get the ball to you late if they see you coming out of a break — not many quarterbacks can get it to you before you get to the sideline if you’re outside the numbers already.
Adams added that he feels Carr and Rodgers are also similar in how they approach the game mentally.
“They both obsess over it and they know everything that’s going on out there,” Adams said. “A lot of times, I’ve seen Aaron call out a blitz when the safety’s 17-yards off the ball. He’ll say in practice, ‘Hey, he’s coming.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ And then, sure enough, dude comes flying on the snap from 17 yards down the field. So I’ve seen that from Aaron.
“Then I’ve seen Derek literally give me a check that didn’t make any sense to me before in college — here, same thing — and we score a touchdown on it. So, a lot of similarities, but much different. And I think Derek is in a position to where he’s chasing to be one of those all-time greats like that, which is not a slight on Derek whatsoever. I wouldn’t be here if I was slighting Derek. But I don’t think I’m ready to compare myself to Jerry Rice just yet. We’ll see when it’s all said and done, or after some more time — just to be fair overall. And I think the same is with Derek, where we’re both chasing it and still have got a lot in front of us.”