Packers wide receiver Davante Adams discusses Matt LaFleur's expectations for him lining up in the slot this season to replace Randall Cobb. Olivia Reiner, PackersNews
GREEN BAY – If there’s a show of hands this offseason of those willing and able to play the slot receiver position in the new Green Bay Packers offense, expect Davante Adams to have both arms up.
The 6-1, 215-pound Adams is much bigger than the average NFL slot receiver, but the fifth-year pro wants it known he can play any receiver position first-year coach Matt LaFleur has in his offense.
“I think that’s something that Matt is definitely looking forward to having me do, and I’m definitely looking forward to doing the same thing,” said Adams, who was made available to reporters Wednesday on the third day of official offseason workouts. “I think the versatility is putting these defenses in a bind as far as coverages they can play and guys they can match with.
“(They) may not want to travel so-and-so with me inside. If that will take their No. 1 off me, and I can get some mismatches maybe on the backer or the safety or anybody else, I think that is beneficial."
In LaFleur’s offense, which is based on the same scheme used by the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, quick-footed, hard-to-press receivers, who are generally shorter and lighter than outside receivers, are coveted for slot work. The Packers don’t have any receivers shorter than 6-1 and only two under 200 pounds now that Randall Cobb plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
General manager Brian Gutekunst could select a slot-type receiver in the draft to give LaFleur options, but whether that rookie will be able to contribute much is questionable. LaFleur may have to use a combination of Adams, Jake Kumerow, Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham in the slot.
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“The one thing that’s definitely there is an opportunity,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was also made available. “Who’s going to be that guy to take over the slot role?
“Obviously, the abilities of Davante we can move him around anywhere, he can play outside, off the ball, on the ball, in the slot. In these offenses you’re seeing run in L.A., San Fran, Atlanta, Matt in Tennessee and now here, those guys all had slot guys who can really go. So, we need to find who that guy is.”
Nose tackle Kenny Clark missed the final three games of the 2018 season with an elbow injury that he initially tried to play through.
Eventually, the medical staff told him there was too much risk, and he was sidelined for the season. Four months later, Clark said not playing was the right course of action.
“Yeah, it was, and I don’t have any limitations (now),” Clark said. “I’m good, 100 percent.”
Clark said the elbow healed on its own with no surgery necessary.
Every offseason there are reports of players making considerable gains in the weight room or on the scale and this year is no different.
Linebacker Blake Martinez was pumped about arriving to town better sculpted.
“I basically gained 7 pounds and lost 3½ percent body fat,” Martinez said. “I think, they said, like (I) lost 8 pounds of fat, gained 15 pounds of muscle. Not messing around this year. Last year, I wasn’t happy – a lot of things went into it.”
Martinez had slimmed down quite a bit from his first two seasons to last year. He was listed at 6-2, 237 pounds throughout last season, but didn’t say exactly how much he weighed now.
Another player who apparently made some gains was running back Aaron Jones, although he wasn’t the one playing it up.
“I like to tease Aaron Jones from time to time,” Rodgers said. “He’s the most athletic, fast guy with a little bit of a belly. He’s pretty lean this year.”