Adams — "My name is a good name"

Tampa Bay invested a lot in Gaines Adams this weekend, making him their first round pick of the 2007 NFL Draft. But the one knock on Adams — an admission of marijuana use. Adams stated his case as to why Bucs fans should trust him after his introductory press conference on Monday.

Wearing a pewter Buccaneers hat, a sport coat and dress shirt, Gaines Adams looked the part of a clean-cut college graduate.

There's no darkness lurking in the heart of this soft-spoken man, but there was one nagging question — marijuana.

Adams set out to prove that the recent revelation that he used marijuana recreationally does not define who he is.

"My name is a good name, that's what I want people to know," Adams said to the media on Monday at One Buc Place, his first trip to Tampa since the Buccaneers selected him fourth overall in the draft on Saturday. "When that came out, it put a glitch on me and my family."

In the new era of character in the NFL, every team scrutinizes every little flaw. And this was the one flaw NFL teams found — or rather, Adams told them about — in his character.

Adams revealed his use in a confidential NFL interview at the scouting combine. Two other players — new Houston defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and new Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson — made similar admissions. Adams said shortly after his selection on Saturday that he did so to ensure that teams knew they were dealing with an honest person.

Adams did not count on the interview being leaked to the press. Commissioner Roger Goodell personally apologized to all three players for the leaked information last week.

It was the one thing Adams wanted to clear up on Monday.

"I was hurt that the whole world saw it," Adams said. "I don't want people to think about me like that."

Head coach Jon Gruden said the Buccaneers performed a thorough background check on Adams and was satisfied that Adams was not a character risk.

"When you pick in the first round it's a tremendous investment," Gruden said. "You don't want to take a guy that has a lot of unpredictability in terms of his off the field makeup. (Former first-round picks) Cadillac Williams, Davin Joseph, Michael Clayton, are good guys. They care about life, their profession and their teammates genuinely and we wanted to keep that trend alive.

"Gaines Adams, we did a lot of research. He comes from a great family. He's a self-made man. He played eight-man football and he went to Clemons and continued to progress. He's a man of few words, but I think the people of Tampa will come to like him."

Gaines said Saturday that he actually didn't speak to teams that much about the character issue during the scouting process.

"Well, I mean they didn't talk to me about that much because they did their history, they did their background check on me and I haven't been in any trouble," Adams said. "I'm not a troublemaker."


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