Wednesday, Sept. 5
Adams says he's ready
He says he's ready. We'll find out on Sunday.
Rookie Gaines Adams should start the season opener on Sunday at right end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as it appears Patrick Chukwurah — the veteran starter in front of Adams — will not play on Sunday.
Jon Gruden hasn't totally ruled out Chukwurah, but neither the head coach nor the seven-year veteran were that optimistic he would be ready for Sunday in Seattle.
That means that Adams not only will start in his first regular-season game, but that the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft will square off against one of the NFL's elite tackles, Seattle's Walter Jones.
"You get challenges every day in football," Adams said. "That's what makes the game so great. He's a great player and he's the best of the best. I'm going to go out there and work hard and play my game."
This season has been anything but dull for Adams. First, right before the first practice of training camp, the Buccaneers released veteran right end Simeon Rice, automatically putting Adams into the mix to be a starter.
Chukwurah took over the starting role in training camp, but Adams saw plenty of practice time and preseason reps, and that only increased when Chukwurah partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his knee against Miami on Aug. 25. The injury typically takes 3-6 weeks to heal, though Chukwurah hopes it will be closer to three weeks.
Adams played into the second quarter against Houston in the final preseason game before a cheap shot by a Texans lineman took him out of the game as a precaution.
Adams said he's ready to go.
"I've made some steps," Adams said. "I won't say they're humongous steps, but they're steps to get better."
He's not concerned about the speed of the game, either. He felt he received a good indoctrination into that during the preseason.
"I felt that in the first preseason game," Adams said. "The speed of the game and the smartness of the offensive linemen, I figured that out the first play. So I have to come in and work hard in practice and try and get better."