In between those stints with the NFL’s Bay Area teams, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound cornerback played in one game with the Seahawks in December of 2011. But that ephemeral experience was enough for Adams to know that Seattle was where he wanted to be.
“I grew in this system and this system fits me,” Adams said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m glad to be back in it, because I can be who I am – and that’s being physical and hardnosed and being the player that I am, the player that I want to be.”
“Most definitely, this is an opportunity I always planned for,” he said. “When you’re held accountable – all of us are held accountable – we always prepare as if we’re always ready to go in. That’s my whole mindset, to continue the effort and do what I do, and that’s being consistent and as a technician doing everything the right way.”
If Adams needs any reassurance that this is the best approach, all he has to do is look at the Seahawks’ starting corners.
If Adams needs any assurance in the power of his mindset, all he has to do is listen to Sherman, who has been voted All-Pro in each of the past two seasons.
“He’s smooth,” Sherman said. “Phillip is good with his technique. He understands the defense. He understands where he’s supposed to be. Whenever you understand you’re role like that, you have a great chance of making plays and being in the right spot.”
In the first three preseason games, Adams played predominantly as the right cornerback in the No. 2 defense. He has been credited with two tackles, and has two more covering kicks on special teams.
“We all are together. We’re all tight,” Adams said. “When one guy makes a play, we all are excited because we all pull for each other.”
Adams has gone coast-to-coast, and back, since entering the league as a seventh-round draft choice by the 49ers in 2010. He played in 15 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams, but was released following training camp in 2011. Then it was on to New England and six games with the Patriots, before he finished the season with the Seahawks. When the Seahawks released him after training camp in 2012, it was off to the Raiders. Adams started two games in each of the past two seasons, intercepting two passes in 2012 and collecting a career-high 27 tackles last season.
But through it all, Adams couldn’t wait to get back to the Seahawks, even though they feature an All-Pro-laden starting secondary and quality depth.
“When you can focus on the little things, it allows you to play free,” Adams said. “And when you have great guys around you, that just makes everything flow and it just makes the whole game so fun. Because you’ve got everybody flying around and just to be in that mix it’s incredible.”
And how does Adams prevent being elevated in that mix, and against his former team, from being bigger than it already is?
“Just focusing in on the little things,” he said. “You stay clued in to the details and the technique. It’s no different than it is at practice. You practice hard so the game can be easy. And that’s what I do.”