For a guy who went undrafted, Colts safety Mike Adams has done a pretty good job carving out an NFL career. In fact, this year – his first in Indianapolis – marks his 11th NFL season and his fourth team. He has also played for the 49ers, (2004-06), Browns (2007-11) and Broncos (2012-13).
While he’s enjoyed his time at each stop, he’s more than happy to call Indy home.
“I’m glad (I’ve been) able to contribute,” Adams said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I’m glad the coaches (believed) in me enough to bring me over here (and knew) I (could) contribute to the team.”
Indeed, Adams has helped the Colts (9-4) to a two-game lead in the AFC South. While Andrew Luck and the offense garner most of the headlines in Indy, the defense has held its own. True, that unit ranks middle-of-the-pack in yards and points allowed, but it’s also seventh in the league in sacks (35) and ninth in turnovers (22).
That’s the product of playing for Chuck Pagano, whom Gottlieb called a “defensive savant.”
“He listens,” Adams said. “If players got suggestions, he listens to their suggestions. If we need to change something, they change it. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s give-and-take over here. We learn from each other, and we all stand together so we can be on the same page.”
The Colts have won nine of 11 since their 0-2 start, including three straight since their 42-20 loss to New England last month. But after blowing out Jacksonville and Washington by a combined 42 points, the Colts got a scare in Cleveland this past Sunday, falling behind by 14 in the second half. The defense stiffened, however, and Luck won the game in the final minute.
As Adams can attest, it’s always nice beating your former team. Trent Richardson and Josh Cribbs would probably say the same.
“It was cool,” Adams said. “Once the ball was snapped, it was just another game for me. But before the game, the emotions was high. After the game, I was thrilled that we won the game. I was glad to get that W for (Richardson and Cribbs).”
Adams had a lot of success with the Broncos, even reaching the Super Bowl last season. He said the mindset in Denver and Indianapolis is very similar.
“It’s the winner’s mentality,” Adams explained. “When you come here, there’s just a winning attitude. We expect to win. We go into every game expecting to win, just like when I was over there with the Broncos. And that’s the expectations here. We want to keep that tradition going. We want to keep that going, just that whole upbeat environment – to not relax to where you underestimate opponents, but you relax enough in that you’re confident in what you’re doing.”
Adams has been one of Indy’s top players this season. He’s third on the team in tackles (70) and leads the team in interceptions (five). He’s also forced a fumble and recovered two others.
“To get the turnovers, you got to study film and get to know tendencies,” Adams said. “That’s one. The second way to get turnovers is when running backs have the ball, just pry at it every time. Every chance you get, just pry at the ball. He’ll get sick and tired of it sooner or later. Then when he (relaxes), that’s when that ball’s coming out and that’s when the turnovers start coming.”
But what’s Adams’ strategy? A fist punch? A hand rip? A helmet ram?
“All of the above,” Adams said. “Whatever it takes to get that ball out.”
The Colts play their last home game of the regular season this Sunday against Houston (7-6). The Texans, believe it or not, have never won in Indy; they are 0-12 there all-time.
“Oh wow, I never knew that,” Adams said, genuinely impressed. “Yeesh. Man, you just added pressure.”
Gottlieb also asked Adams if he’d like another shot at Tom Brady. The Colts and Patriots wouldn’t potentially meet until late in the playoffs.
“Oh, that’s down the line, man,” Adams said. “I’m not worried about him. We’ll see him when it’s time.”