The Giants paid Andrew Adams one of the best compliments they could. He didn’t even notice.
Adams was so focused on making his first NFL start at safety last weekend that the undrafted rookie had no clue the Giants were holding a tryout for veteran free agents at his position.
It wasn’t exactly a list of no-names, either, with former Pro Bowler Donte Whitner headlining a group that included veterans Jeron Johnson, Will Allen and Shamiel Gary.
The workouts were held because the Giants were all the way down to the bottom of their depth chart with Adams, who started the season on the practice squad, due to injuries to projected starters Darian Thompson (foot) and Nat Berhe (concussion).
But then Adams played. And played well. And the Giants?
Well, they didn’t sign any of the vets, which may be biggest show of confidence the organization could have paid to Adams.
“That’s a good way to look at it,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “If I’m him, yeah.”
If only Adams knew.
When told about those workouts this week, he shrugged. And he said he doesn’t look over his shoulder in practice each day to see if Berhe has been cleared from the concussion protocol or if Thompson has come out of the protective boot he is wearing, both sure signs that his tenure as a starter will be about to end.
“There’s no need,” he said. “When my number is called I just put my head down and go. That’s it. When my opportunity presents itself I’ll make the most of it and do what I have to do. It’s all up to me how I play.”
Against the Vikings, he played well enough to get another chance. He played 65 of 74 defensive snaps, made six tackles and had a pass defensed. More importantly, he was confident making the calls.
“I really like the way Andrew Adams has responded to being on the back end, having to communicate, work with Landon [Collins],” Spagnuolo said. “I think he’s done a solid job, but he’s got a ways to go.”
Adams knows that too. Which is why in his second game at safety, on Sunday night against the Packers assuming that Berhe is not available, he’s looking to play even better.
“I just look to be a game-changer this week,” he said. “I got my feet on the ground, I got my first game in. Now it’s time to build.”
And keep the Giants from having to add anyone else.