Since being selected with the 4th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Gaines Adams has not exactly lived up to the expectations of a first round pick. It doesn’t help, that the player the Bucs picked Adams over, Adrian Peterson, is considered the top running back in the NFL.
Adams has not been able to find the same success that he was able to achieve while at Clemson and some wonder whether he ever will. Even head coach Raheem Morris said the Adams needed to have double-digit sacks this season in order to avoid being labeled as a bust.
At Monday’s press conference, Morris didn’t shy away from talking about Adams and whether he has been able to get any sort of pass rush through the first two games of the season.
"He hasn't, and I think Gaines knows that,” Morris said. “Gaines is one of those guys that knows he's judged on whether he's touched the quarterback or not. Right now he's not getting the production as far as not touching the quarterback. The tackles, the sacks – he's not getting any of that. He's just not playing up to par right now. He's holding himself accountable. We've got to hold him accountable. It's tough right now. He is not getting it done. There are no excuses, there are no explanations. Gaines is not getting it done right now."
Morris didn’t stop there either and actually called out his defensive end for his lack of effort this season.
"Actually, when he started off the  season he just played hard, he played harder than anybody he's playing against,” Morris said. “Right now I don't see that. I don't see that same fire. I don't see him playing with the same speed and how hard he did last year. We've got to get that back. If we don't get that back, it's going to be a long season for Gaines and us."
Morris didn’t rule out replacing Adams on the line if his struggles continue. Through two games, Adams has registered only four tackles and no sacks.
“We definitely have to change some things up, try to get some people out there,” Morris said. “You have to find your best combination of players, your best people that can go out there and play and that’s what our job is right now. You don’t have to keep putting the same guys out there if they are not getting it done. You put new guys out there and let them go do it and let them get a shot at trying to do it at least.”
Newly acquired defensive end Tim Crowder is a possible replacement after receiving praise from Morris on Monday. He is not the only one though. Quincy Black, Kyle Moore, and Stylez G. White could all make a run at attempting to crack the starting lineup.
“Crowder was a pleasant surprise yesterday,” Morris said. “He was in there mostly on run downs, but when he was out there he showed up. Hope to see more of Crowder. Hopefully we can get Kyle Moore healthy, see more of Kyle Moore. Quincy Black has been another option we have talked about in the offseason.”
For his career, Adams has 80 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and two interceptions. His first two seasons were pretty similar. He registered 38 tackles in each with 6.5 sacks coming in 2008 and 6.0 sacks coming in 2007. The only difference is that in 2008, Adams started in every game while in 2007 he only started in eight games but did play in all 16.