|At 37, Panthers safety Mike Adams shows no sign of slowing|
|15-year veteran arranges, inspires Carolina secondary|
|Published Sunday, September 9, 2018 8:46 pm|
Mike Adams has played in 207 NFL games, and he isn’t done.
The Carolina Panthers free safety earned five tackles in their 16-8 win in the season opener against Dallas. He has more to celebrate than just the victory.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Adams, who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Panthers last year and played his 200th game on Nov. 13, 2017 against Miami. “I plan to keep going. I’m going to just enjoy it while I can. I didn’t know it was 207. Thank you for telling me that. Now I’m going to celebrate.”
Said coach Ron Rivera: “He made a couple of real big plays for us—a couple of open field tackles that were really big. [Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott] caught a couple check-downs, and Mike was out there by himself, and just made great plays.”
Adams’ 15 seasons in the league falls second to Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who has 251 games in 17 seasons. His first question after learning that today marked game 207 was, “how many does Pep have?”
A two-time Pro Bowler, Adams has started every game since 2015.
“It’s interesting to see something like that, because you know the average years in the league is three,” said cornerback James Bradberry, who is in his third season. “You have two guys in your locker room who are playing 15-plus. It’s amazing, and I salute them.”
At 37 years old, Adams is 15 years older than Panthers rookie cornerback Donte Jackson, 12 years older than Bradberry and eight years older than safety Da’Norris Searcy, who comprised Carolina’s starting secondary against Dallas.
“Mike also did a great job controlling the young corners we have working with them,” Rivera said. “You have a veteran guy out there. It means a lot.”
“He’s our leader,” Bradberry said. “From pregame to the end of the game, as long as he’s going strong, I feel like the rest of the secondary is going to be going strong as well.”
|PHOTO | CURTIS WILSON|
|Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Adams (29) tallied five tackles in their 16-8 win against Dallas Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Adams has 15 years of NFL experience, trailing only defensive end Julius Peppers among Panthers.|
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