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How Luke Getsy used Davante Adams in Green Bay

Getsy was Packers’ passing game coordinator during 2 of Adams’ most productive seasons

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NFL: Green Bay Packers-OTA
Davante Adams, Luke Getsy
Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

New Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has quite a bit of familiarity with the Raiders’ star wide receiver Davante Adams.

Both Getsy and Adams left the College Football ranks and joined the Green Bay Packers in 2014, the former as an offensive quality control coach and the latter as a second-round draft pick.

Two years later, Getsy became Adams’ position coach in Green Bay before serving as the Packers’ quarterbacks coach in 2019 and adding passing game coordinator to his title in 2020 and 2021.

With the Raiders’ new OC helping put together the offensive gameplan during those two years, the wideout enjoyed two of the most productive seasons of his career. In 2020, Adams logged 115 catches for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season, only to post figures of 123, 1,553 and 11 the following year. His 2021 reception and yardage totals are personal bets, and the 18 scores the year before are a career-high as well.

So, that begs the question of how Adams was used when Getsy had a hand in developing the offense. All stats below are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Slot Targets

During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Adams logged the second-highest (32.1 percent) and highest (33.3 percent) percentage of snaps in the slot of his career. In the former, he had 48 catches for 448 yards and seven touchdowns while becoming PFF’s highest-graded (92.4) receiver in the slot. The latter was more of the same with the wideout hauling in 56 grabs, 608 yards and seven scores on the inside while ranking second with a 92.8 grade.

For what it’s worth, the third-highest percentage of snaps in the slot (30.0 percent) that Adams has taken during his career came in 2022, when he posted a 100-catch, 1,500-yard and 14-touchdown campaign for the Raiders. However, last season just 16.9 percent of his reps were on the inside, his lowest rate since 2015, and the receiver’s production was below his standard.

Long story short, expect Adams to be used in the slot more next season with Getsy at the helm.

Target Depth

It’s pretty clear that Getsy doesn’t view Adams as much of a deep threat.

The two lowest single-season average depth of target (ADOT) during the wideout’s career came in 2020 and 2021; 9.4 and 9.5, respectively. Also, 61.5 percent of his targets came behind or zero to 10 yards past the line of scrimmage compared to 14.4 percent for passes of 20 or more yards during that timeframe.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams, 2021 season
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

To no surprise, that also coincided with the most total yards after the catch the All-Pro has had during his career; 584 in 2020 and 629 in 2021. But what’s even more noteworthy is that period is also one of the most efficient he’s been with the ball in his hand, posting 5.1 YAC per reception in both seasons which is tied for his second-highest rate.

So, expect the Raiders to go with a more dink-and-dunk approach when it comes to targeting their top pass-catcher in 2024.

Area of Field

When looking at the data between inside and outside of the numbers, there was an interesting trend with how Getsy and the Packers used Adams. Most of the wideout’s leg work was done in the middle of the field on targets past the line of scrimmage, racking up 41 catches for 480 yards in 2020 and 50 grabs with 749 yards in 2021.

All of those figures were higher than Adams’ production outside the numbers to the left or the right. However, he hit paydirt most frequently on outside targets to the left with 14 touchdowns in the two years combined compared to just seven between the numbers during the same time frame.

Diving deeper, short and to the left accounted for nine of those 14 scores, which is likely the result of Green Bay dialing up goal line fades for the wideout.

One last interesting nugget that isn’t specifically related to this topic — and I might be the only one who finds this interesting. In Adams’ 10-year career, he’s never been targeted on a deep route outside the numbers to the right side of the field, per PFF. He has over 1,300 career targets but not a single one in that area of the field.