Allen talks replacing Moore, offensive balance, injuries
ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden is done for the year, leaving Phillip Adams to pick up the slack. The second-year pro from South Carolina believes he’s ready for added responsibility.
He assumed a significant amount last season, when Raiders cornerbacks couldn’t stay healthy. He made three starts late last season, where he established himself as a solid player.
Then Hayden got drafted No. 12 overall, the Raiders signed a pair of veteran cornerbacks and Adams slipped down the depth chart. Season-ending sports hernia surgery landed Hayden on injured reserve and brought Adams back up and has given him steady snaps.
He’ll do exactly as Hayden did, playing outside corner in the nickel package. That’s when Tracy Porter slides in from the slot.
“Philip played that role some last year and did a nice job for us,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s filled in some over the last couple of games and done a good job. We’ve got a lot of confidence that Philip will go in there and play well for us.”
Adams has always had the physical tools to be a quality corner, but his football knowledge has grown. That’s been necessary as a backup without many reps playing behind Hayden.
“What’s been great about Phillip is he’s been waiting his time, so to speak, on this year, but he’s been staying ready,” defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “He had a couple little technique things in the Giants and he cleaned them up last week. He covered well in man last week. We do like him a lot and we like where he’s going; he’s continuing to get better.”
Adams is confident in his ability to function well in Tarver’s defense.
“It’s never good when someone gets hurt, but the next guy up has to be ready to take on more responsibility,” Adams said. “I’m ready for it. I’m confident that I’ll be able to play well for this defense the rest of the season.”
Did not practice: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), RB Darren McFadden (hamstring), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), DE Jason Hunter (foot).
Limited participation: RG Mike Brisiel (knee), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), DL Daniel Muir (knee), WR Juron Criner (shoulder), T Matt McCants (toe), Kaluka Maiava (ribs), QB Terrelle Pryor (knee)
Injured reserve: CB D.J. Hayden (groin), TE David Ausberry (shoulder), RB Latavius Murray (ankle), K Eddie Carmona (leg), G Tony Bergstrom (foot);
Designated to return: LT Jared Veldheer (triceps) (21-day practice window began Nov. 13)