GREEN BAY – Of all the compliments Aaron Rodgers has thrown Davante Adams’ way this season, the one he delivered Wednesday might be the most important one.
“The beauty in his game is that I think there’s some room for improvement, and I think he would say the same thing,” Rodgers said, discussing Adams’ selection to the 2019 Pro Bowl. “As technical as he is at the line of scrimmage, and his ability to make plays down the field, I think it can get even better.
“That’s scary for the defense and exciting for myself and the future of this team.”
True enough, and while Adams isn’t one to brag, he also mentioned “scratching the surface now” as he enters the final two games of what could be a record-breaking season with 100 receptions, 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Adams’ Pro Bowl nod is his second, but his first in the initial selection process after being added as an injury replacement last year. The value of what he achieved this year isn’t lost on him through a process that combines voting from the fans, coaches and fellow players.
“I looked at the fan vote before, and they said I would have been an alternate then,” Adams said. “To get the players’ and coaches’ input and be bumped up, it means a lot to me.”
Rodgers also was named to the Pro Bowl squad, for a seventh time, but he rattled off a number of teammates he felt were deserving of more recognition, such as left tackle David Bakhtiari, center Corey Linsley and defensive lineman Kenny Clark, all of whom were named alternates.
Rodgers believes Bakhtiari, a two-time second-team All-Pro despite only making one Pro Bowl as a replacement thus far in his career, will be in the running for All-Pro again. The two-time MVP QB also mentioned linebacker Blake Martinez as a statistical leader in tackles but also an off-the-field team leader who should have more accolades come his way as well.
“That’s kind of how it goes a lot of times,” Rodgers said. “You don’t get in maybe a year or two before you should get in, or you stay a year or two after maybe you shouldn’t be in, but hopefully we can keep getting those guys mentioned.
“The last part of that is when you win a lot of games and you’re going to the playoffs, you get more selections. We have to get back to doing that and get our guys to the Pro Bowl.”
Based on Rodgers’ comments, it’s a good bet this won’t be Adams’ lone initial selection. All season, Rodgers has referred to Adams as a “tough cover” for any defender, and all the different types of plays he can make – over the middle, deep balls, contested catches – are invaluable to an offense.
Adams also is closing in on a pair of franchise single-season records. He needs 13 receptions to break Sterling Sharpe’s 1993 mark of 112 catches, and he needs 205 yards to surpass former teammate Jordy Nelson’s 2014 total of 1,519.
“I’m not counting, but that would be cool,” Adams said of the milestones. “Hopefully A-Rod’s counting. We’ll see.”
He hasn’t had any communication with Nelson so as not to “jinx it,” but he’s guessing they’ll talk soon enough, one way or the other.
He continues to credit Nelson and fellow veteran receiver Randall Cobb for their guidance early in his career to help get him where he is, and he takes very seriously the role of being mentor to all the young receivers on the team now, such as rookies Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and J’Mon Moore.
“He’s been a lot of fun to throw to this year,” Rodgers said. “It’s kind of like Randall said last night in his Instagram post, the great thing about Davante is the way he practices. He’s a fantastic professional.
“He’s got a great approach to the game, and I would love for him to break some records, for sure … because we’ve been around for a long time.”