He has been ridiculed for getting beaten repeatedly in pass coverage in recent weeks, leading critics to proclaim that at 5'8", Cardinals CB Michael Adams is simply over-matched because of his less than ideal height.
Darrell Green was one of the best defensive backs in NFL history and he was 5'9"/184 lbs. Adams is 5'8"/181 lbs.
While Green's best asset was his Olympic-caliber speed, Adams has shown off an astounding vertical leap. Adams is a work in progress and a great prospect if he continues to improve. He has flashed tremendous athleticism and is a hard worker.
Yet those positive qualities are not going to keep fans off of his back should he continue to get burnt, as he did for almost the entire game against the Packers in last weekend's first round of the 2010 NFL playoffs. Fortunately, Adams showed his resiliency by battling through a long string of near-misses to make the play of the game—a sack and a forced fumble on Aaron Rodgers that Karlos Dansby scooped up and ran in for the game-winning score.
Perhaps this is the defining play that kick-starts Adams' career?
His former coach at Louisiana-Lafayette Ricky Bustle is obviously a believer. As he watched the game on TV, he yelled, "Keep picking on him," Bustle said he screamed, "because he’s going to make a play."
In taking his lumps, Adams has been a hair late and an inch shy, but you have to admire a guy who can shrug that off and continue to bring the heat.
New Orleans' Drew Brees is sure to pick on Michael Adams again this weekend. It will prove to be another tough assignment, but it is also another opportunity for Adams to continue his maturation process and who knows? Maybe he can come up with another crucial stop now that his confidence is soaring.