Leading by example: Adams energizes Owls’ defense
As the summer wanes and the unrelenting Houston sun glares on, Rice football returned to their early season grind during Sunday’s practice. Players ran through various drills and game situation simulations and at the heart of it all was senior defensive lineman Myles Adams. Adams and the team were running situation simulations to improve upon the team’s most recent 14-7 loss to Army West Point.
Following practice, Adams was eager to motivate his team’s continual improvement. Adams is the captain of the defense and is known by his teammates and coaching staff as a high-energy contributor to the team. Adams said he enjoys enlivening his teammates prior to games in a practice called “Mental Monday,” during which the team makes a game plan.
“We want to read our keys, plan what we are going to do against the offense scheme-wise,” Adams said. “[Our] offense is doing the same thing, getting their schemes ready.”
Adams said he is confident in his team, and wholeheartedly subscribes to the team’s motto of intellectual brutality. He said that he wants to establish a winning identity and has taken steps both as an individual and as a team player to help the Owls reach their goals. The efforts made by both Adams himself and the team have evidently paid off — from the 2018-2019 season to the 2019-2020 season, Rice football has moved up nine spots in total team defensive rating among Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
“As a player, I know this is my senior season, so I want to be able to show a little more leadership and personal accountability to lead by example,” Adams said. “I [want] people to look at me and say, ‘That’s the standard we want to hold ourselves to and that everybody can buy into that same standard. We need to make sure that we are accountable to ourselves and our brothers [by] focusing on unity and diligence and everything we do.”
Adams had a standout game against Army West Point with three solo tackles and four assisted tackles. In his time at Rice, Adams has shown nothing but improvement. Since his freshman year, he has improved in multiple statistical categories: tackles for loss, assisted tackles and sacks. Adams’ pursuit of personal greatness was demonstrated in his junior season, when he logged 19 total solo tackles. He is well on pace to surpass that total , as he recorded three tackles in just the first game of the season.
Adams’ presence does not only extend to the opponents he overpowers; it is also felt by his teammates. With each tackle or command he makes on the field, he acts as a summoning beacon for his squad, urging them on to make plays and contribute to the team unit.
“You know, everyone brings their own juice, each position group is different; we’re all dynamic, but we come together for the whole defensive purpose,” Adams said.
According to head coach Mike Bloomgren, Adams was the driving force behind Rice’s defensive effort against Army West Point.
“His play and his leadership [against Army West Point] was outstanding,” Bloomgren said. “I don’t think he was going to allow anybody to not keep their gloves up and keep swinging.”
Adams said his leadership style is centered more on action than vocalism.
“I’m not really the most rah-rah guy,” Adams said. “When it’s time to talk and it’s time to listen, you know what the role is. We need to make sure that we are focused during the game week and during our preparation so that we make sure that we can prepare to the best of our ability.”
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