Mike Pettine calls Montravius Adams Packers' 'most improved' defender

-- Releasing Mike Daniels was certainly one of the more shocking moves to come out of the Green Bay Packers' organization this offseason. Shocking at first, but an understandable decision that was soon digested by the masses as a necessary one.

Whether you want to attribute the decision to Daniels' age, his injury-plagued 2018 campaign or the desire to allocate funds to another source, i.e., defensive line teammate Kenny Clark's contract extension on the horizon, there's one fact that was made abundantly clear.

The Packers have the utmost confidence in their defensive line. Otherwise, this move likely wouldn't have ever happened.

One shining example of that is the leap Montravius Adams has taken into his third season -- his second under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, which only plays into his favor.

"If I had to vote somebody who was most improved from a year ago, it'd be Montravius. It's been pretty obvious with him," Pettine said on Monday. "When I first got here in the spring, my opinion wasn't real high -- and he knows that. It was one where we challenged him and I think Jerry Montgomery has done an outstanding job with [Montravius]."

Adams, a third-round pick made by the Packers in 2017, played in all 16 games last year en route to 20 tackles. He also registered 1.5 sacks along with a forced fumble. It was his play down the latter stretch of the season that evidently altered Pettine's initial opinion of him.

"He came back from the offseason, lost a bunch of weight," Pettine said. "But going back to the season and by the end of the year, he was playing some quality minutes for us and made some plays.

"I wouldn't have predicted that coming out of training camp."

It's that late-season confidence that may have helped Adams hone in on his own potential and energize his young career entering a pivotal season.

Adams played just under 20 percent of the Packers' defensive snaps last year, finishing behind Clark, Daniels, Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster. Sans Daniels, those four names will likely make up the starting defensive front this coming season, including the addition of fifth-round pick Kingsley Keke.

But if the Packers can get the return they're hoping for on Adams, their run support in the interior likely won't take much of a significant blow with the loss of Daniels, who had been a force there for several seasons.

"He's a guy we're going to depend on, he's already shown flashes of it. ... I just think that the confidence at the end of last season that he got getting out there and playing, I think really propelled him into the offseason to show back up in April ready to go. He's been impressive since the day he came back."

Montgomery, the Packers' defensive line coach credited with Adams' development, was well ahead of the curve. As far back as the team's OTA slate in May, he commended the shape Adams returned to the building in.

Said Montgomery: "He was a lot different player last year than he was the year before, so he's taking the right steps. The guy came back in tremendous shape. He looks a lot different body-wise than he did a year ago. Like, he understands this is how he provides for his family and I need to do all I can to be the best player I can be. He's working every day. Is he there? No, but neither is anybody else this time of year. But he definitely is a lot further along today than he was last year at this time."

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

5 points

Comments (22)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Rak47's picture

July 30, 2019 at 10:09 am

Packers have a lot of breakout candidates. Looks like Adams should jump to the top of that list considering he will most likely be an every down starter. Can't wait to see what this defense does.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 30, 2019 at 10:43 am

I stoked too, only 9 more days until we get to see a snapshot of it in action!

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2019 at 10:11 am

I thought we had a steal when we took this guy in 2017, but then he got hurt as a rookie and was slow to develop. I think he's definitely a good piece on the defensive line.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

I hated how long Adams took to sign his contract until I learned more about how 3rd round picks contracts work. I saw brief flashes from Adams in 2018. The guy has a crazy burst. Here's hoping he puts it together in 2019 and lives up to Pettine's praise.

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Point-Packer's picture

July 30, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Wasn't that what we heard last year?

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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

We also heard Davante a fellow Adams was amazing in training camp and then he didn't show up on the field until he did. Worked out oretty well for that Adams hoping this one can have a similar trajectory.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

July 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

J Peppers was released proving the packers have every confidence in their edge rushers

Hyde did not receive and offer proving the packers have every confidence in the DB field

Casey was not resigned demonstrating the packer confidence in CB/Slots

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Johnblood27's picture

July 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm

You left an "L" off of your name...

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Samson's picture

July 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Everything you have listed are TT/MM highlights.
If you haven't heard --- Gute/MLF are in charge now.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 30, 2019 at 08:26 pm

No doubt Pettine' comments about Adam's is to motivate him. However, the Pack now need him to step up in a big way. There is zero doubt the talent is there. Time will determine if the motivation is there to reduce body fat and to increase muscle. This season will define Adam's and his NFL future.

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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2019 at 07:47 pm

Perhaps this comment from someone other than a coach may put this in context and give pause to some here. Kenny Clark said today after practice:

“Mentally, he took a lot of steps. We already knew he had the ability ... His get-off is better than all of ours. He’s quick off the ball. He’s strong, country strong, it’s crazy. We wanted him to get the mental part down, really take the offseason serious, come back in shape and he did all of those things. I’m really excited to see how he does this year.”

Sounds like he grew up and came back ready to play mentally and physically. That might go a long way to explaining Pettine’s change of heart.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm

Essentially, this is his year two. People fail to remember how this league was before the expansions and the CAP. Very few rookies or greenhorns made an impact. It's a whole different game of recognition and technique
in Pro ball.

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GatorJason's picture

July 31, 2019 at 12:11 am

Monty's wife had their first child (a son) on the day he was drafted. Now they are expecting a baby girl. Sometimes little things like that cause a man to think differently. He was always a dominant player since high school but wasn't the most dedicated cat in the world. Things came easily without working hard. Now he has a reason to work his craft and be his best. It's not just him anymore. The combination of having others counting on him and the earlier wake-up call from Pettine helped Montravius put the mental part in alignment with his physical gifts. Thank God for him, his family and the Packers he's putting it together. It's a good story. Wish him well!

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porupack's picture

July 30, 2019 at 02:09 pm

>>>>in all 16 games last year en route to 20 tackles. He also registered 1.5 sacks along with a forced fumble<<<<<<<

Most improved, doesn't necessarily say much if you begin with these stats over 16 games in 2018 cited in the article. It sounds to me like the coaches are trying to find something positive to say about MAdams. Or, perhaps coaches are defraying some criticism of the MDaniels cut. As I posted in other articles on the MDaniels cut, I'm not optimistic that GB replaces MDaniels impact on the line, and I'm going to bitch about this move, until proven wrong.
I believe in raising young talent, but also believe MDaniels was a proven threat. The piles of excuses why GB had to cut him are insufficient. Fine to plan for 2-3 years, but there is no year that you can control like the year right in front of you (that being this 2019). Too many things can happen for 2020 to expect GB is as close to contention. Win this year, and leave no holes. Leave no excuses. A proven vet is better than the "most improved" award. Crappy GM move.....bitch, bitch bitch. That's all for today. I'll shut up...until....if...that DLine doesn't take a step improved, or MDaniels has a huge season in Detro.

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mamasboy's picture

July 30, 2019 at 05:51 pm

GEEZ, if you're that broken up about it, move to Detroit with him and Heaven.

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NoNonsense's picture

July 30, 2019 at 06:34 pm

Ernesto, I'm not sure if you are joking or serious. If serious you are truly a moron. What was the first year DC supposed to do, you think he had enough clout to bench a former pro bowl safety without seeing him play a snap in his scheme? Who did he have that was better to replace him with as we saw after he was traded? Why did Chicago just sign the guy, to play in one of the leagues best defenses if he can't play safety worth a lick?

Guess they just signed him based on name recognition without watching any of his film.

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GatorJason's picture

July 30, 2019 at 06:38 pm

Mike Daniels said he signed with Lions so he could work with a true defensive genius (a not so subtle dig at Pettine).

Mike Pettine declares Montravius Adams as the most improved defensive player (his rationale for determining Mike Daniels and his $10M salary cap was expendable).

Reality: Daniels is still much better than Montravius but not enough to justify spending $10M on him when we all know the $ is needed to resign the real DL star, Kenny Clark.

Deja vu. In 2016 the Packers jettisoned Josh Sitton to allow Lane Taylor to play. Money saved from letting Sitton go was used to resign the real OL star, David Bahktiari.

The only difference this time around was that Daniels had not shown any discontent to help trigger move. It was simply a business decision while Daniels was still thinking in terms of being part of the "Packer Family". Mike Pettine gets to be the bad guy here but it was the right decision to make for the Packers (but only if Montravius can hold his water at DE or someone else steps forward to fill the Mike Daniels void).

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Leatherhead's picture

July 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Daniels is as good or better than Montravius IF he’s healthy enough to line up. He missed 7 games, and in every one of those games, Adams was the better player.

I think we’ll have six good defensive linemen on opening day. M Adams will be one of them.

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Guam's picture

July 30, 2019 at 09:49 pm

I was hoping Adams would take a jump this year. With Daniels gone, now he has to...….

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PatrickGB's picture

July 31, 2019 at 10:16 am

I had pretty much written off MAdams as a bust. It’s good that he has improved. And it shows that there is a human element in this game that only coaches can see. For Adams he responded to criticism and improved his game. Good for him.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

July 31, 2019 at 01:19 pm

I have heard nothing from anyone about M.Adams looking good in training camp except this article. In fact, is he even in camp?

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IceBowl's picture

July 31, 2019 at 03:39 pm

Doug Niemczynski,

We can't make you pay attention. J Jones is in camp too.

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