Former Bears safety Adrian Amos on joining Packers: 'Everything happens for a reason'
GREEN BAY - Adrian Amos isn’t experiencing the same emotions this week he had two years ago, when the Green Bay Packers opened their season in Chicago.
Back then, Amos’ phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Family, friends kept calling and texting, reminding him of what he already knew. He was about to play the team that used to be his. The team that gave up on him, deciding he wasn’t worth re-signing after four seasons.
“They were texting me,” Amos said. “I didn’t really have to text them. They all were texting me. That’s just how it went.”
Amos felt vindicated that first game of 2019 when he intercepted Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the end zone, thwarting a potential game-tying touchdown drive at the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter. A year later, when the Packers closed their 2020 season in Chicago, Amos sealed another win with an interception against Trubisky.
Two trips to Chicago since he signed with the Bears division rival. Two game-clinching interceptions. Yes, Amos said, those felt pretty good.
“Of course it feels good,” Amos said, “to end the game like that – twice – and to go back there, but this is two years ago. I don’t even have the same emotions going back there. It’s really, like, this is a division rivalry. It’s a lot different. That’s just not something I think about. Like, I’m not texting my peoples, like, ‘Man, I’ve got to go against Chicago.’ Or anything like that. I’m not even thinking about it that way.”
Amos has blossomed into one of the Packers’ foremost leaders since signing a four-year, $36 million contract before the 2019 season. He was voted a defensive captain this season, and his reliability on the field has helped curtail big plays against the passing game. Amos has 18 passes defended and five interceptions since arriving in Green Bay, his latest pick coming last week at Cincinnati.
Entering another trip Sunday to the city he once called home, Amos expressed gratitude for his new team.
“I do like the situation I’m in,” Amos said. “I think everything happens for a reason. I’m glad everything worked out the way it worked out.”
Lewis still making impact
Even before the snap, Marcedes Lewis knew he was about to have a memorable play.
It was second-and-10 in overtime Sunday at Cincinnati. Lewis, mostly a blocking tight end at this point in his career, couldn’t have expected the play call would be dialed up for him. Then he heard it in the huddle.
And he knew the play call was perfect.
“Just based on how I was playing that formation that we came out in,” Lewis said. “Did my normal deal, Aaron (Rodgers) got the ball to me, and the rest was really history. I don’t feel like ... when I’m going with a full head of steam, guys are mostly closing their eyes anyway. Because they’re not trying to tackle me. It just is what it is. Standard operating procedure for me. “
Lewis’ normal deal was to fake like he was blocking. Because Lewis is almost always blocking. Only this time, he was Rodgers’ primary receiver.
After a beat, Lewis turned at the line of scrimmage to face Rodgers. The quarterback dumped it off to his 37-year-old tight end and let him work. Lewis ran through one tackle, ran over another, and even lowered his shoulder before stepping out of bounds to deliver another collision.
The Bengals certainly looked like they were tackling with their eyes closed. Lewis had a 20-yard reception after it was over, helping set up Mason Crosby’s eventual game-winning field goal.
He knows those moments will be few. Lewis has only four catches for 60 yards this season. This one was in a big moment.
“When he called it,” Lewis said, “I knew it was going to be one of those plays that I’d remember for a long time, even before I got to the line of scrimmage.”
St. Brown finding the field
It took until this week for receiver Equanimeous St. Brown to get on the 53-man roster, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing in the games.
The Packers used both their game-day practice squad elevation options they have with St. Brown and also used him as a COVID-19 replacement over the past three weeks. He played 29 snaps on offense and 26 on special teams in three games before getting the call this week.
Though he has one catch for zero yards, the coaches feel he fills an important role.
"EQ is competitive,” receivers coach Jason Vrable said. “He's tough. He's gritty. And the one thing is that he can play all three (receiver) positions and I think it's hard to find in wideouts.
“He's an intelligent guy who can play X (split end) F (slot) and Z (flanker) in our offense, so if anybody goes down at a blink of an eye, I throw him out there.”
St. Brown gets used on wide receiver screens a lot and missed a block against the Bengals that earned him a chewing out from Rodgers, but the 6-5, 214-pounder has a career average of 15.9 yards per reception and probably would have made the team out of training camp were he not hurt.
“I know what I'm going to get from him,” Vrable said. “He's going to compete and he's going to give everything he has. He’s played through some injuries and now I feel that he's healthy and feels really good. He’s playing fast, he's running around out there and I think eventually the ball is just going to start coming his way."
More and more, second-year back A.J. Dillon is getting a chance to show what he can do both as a runner and pass catcher.
While Aaron Jones leads the team in rushing with 70 carries for 309 yards (4.4 average) and two touchdowns, Dillon has chipped in 38 carries for 166 yards (4.4). In addition, he has nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, scoring for the first time this season on a 12-yard catch against Cincinnati.
“He has pretty good hands,” running backs coach Ben Sirmans said. “And he's a lot faster than what a lot of people think. So, it kind of helps us expand his role, which I think helps Aaron (Jones), not just, always having him in on certain things. We can utilize AJ in those same situations.”
Sirmans said he is also trying to get rookie Kylin Hill involved more. Hill was in on the second play from scrimmage against the Bengals but only got one other offensive snap.
“He's a guy that we want to play more,” Sirmans said. “Speaking of AJ, it’s kind of what he had to go through last year with Jamaal (Williams), being the No. 2 guy, where we just we try to work them in spots. We totally trust his ability.”