West Virginia made something of an unexpected hire to fill its gap in the secondary coaching ranks when it tabbed Danny "Blue" Adams of the NFL's Miami Dolphins. Adams was not one of the full position assistants in Miami, but rather one of the many assistants who work with players on a one-on-one basis and perform many other functions in assisting the "named" assistants teach and prepare throughout the season. Despite this, Edric Roddy, who covers the Dolphins on the Scout.com network, believes he was an excellent hire for the Mountaineers.
"I wish you guys hadn't taken him," Roddy said up front. "He is a great developer of talent. He has taken several players and made them better through a lot of work with them. I think one of his best qualities is that he has this NFL experience, and I think you will see more NFL quality guys coming out of West Virginia because of him."
There will be concerns, of course, over the fact that Adams wasn't a member of the top group of assistants. However, Roddy doesn't think that should be an issue.
"A lot of coaches in the NFL aren't full assistants," he said, noting the many staffers who fill roles such as Adams did for the Dolphins. "This is obviously a promotion for him, and I'm not surprised that he took it, but there are so many coaches that come up this way, by being graduate assistants and position assistants. We hired [head coach] Dan Campbell last year without any experience, and that was because of the way he interacted with the players. Adams is the same way. He has a great working relationship with them."
The hope, of course, is that Adams, still a relatively young coach, will be able to relate to players in college, and also translate that into success on the recruiting trail. Hailing from South Florida, he would seem to be primed to help in those areas, even though he doesn't have a lot of collegiate recruiting experience. Roddy believes the success he has had in helping players improve on the pro level lends itself well in those regards.
"I think he will benefit from that. The main thing about him is his energy. He has a lot of passion, and he knows the Xs and Os. He's outspoken, and he's not afraid to get in someone's face if they mess up. With all those things, he really has the ability to make players better. We've seen that here in the secondary in the time he has been here.He's worked with both cornerbacks and safeties, and with Lou Anarumo who was the interim defensive coordinator last year and will work with the defensive backs this year."
While Adams has just a couple of seasons of collegiate coaching experience, and just one as a full-time position assistant, Roddy believes his is positioned well to have an impact at West Virginia.
"I don't know if there were any ties there, but he was really good here," he summarized. "I was excited to see what he would do when he got the chance to have a position group of his own here, but West Virginia got him. It was a surprise in the sense that I didn't know it was coming, but he has the knowledge and passion to be an excellent coach."
Adams, who reportedly signed a one-year contract for $200,000, will work alongside new safeties coach Matt Caponi, who also came aboard following the 2015 season. They will be tasked with rebuilding a unit hit hard by graduation and early defection.