Andrew Adams entered this past weekend with one career interception.
Undrafted out of Connecticut in 2016, the former Huskies safety spent the first two seasons of his NFL career with the New York Giants. A practice-squad defensive back to start, Adams ended up on New York’s active roster by the end of his first September in the league, finishing his rookie year with 13 starts in the Giants secondary but picking off just one pass all year. The following year, he started four more games, then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this September after his release among final cuts.
On Sunday, against the division rival Carolina Panthers, Adams more than tripled his career interception total.
With three picks of Cam Newton in the same game, the third-year safety not only erased any doubt about his ball skills but set a Buccaneers record for most interceptions in a game, tying the three-pick marks of Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber. Tampa may not be playoff bound despite its upset of Carolina in Week 13, but Adams is suddenly a name to watch in the Bucs’ defensive backfield after his historic performance.
If you were to ask Adams what sparked his breakout, however, he’d probably look beyond himself.
As ESPN’s Jenna Laine noted via Twitter this week, the 26-year-old Georgia native shares a special message to all, including himself, before every game he plays. And he does it by writing “4:13” on his wrist tape, a reference to Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Hard to see from this photo, but every game, Bucs safety Andrew Adams tapes his wrists and writes "4:13" — that's for Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." https://t.co/HqefVnsR63 pic.twitter.com/TP4grOLA6k
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) December 3, 2018
A 33-game starter for UConn during his college career, Adams says in his Twitter bio to “walk by faith, not by sight,” and he told Laine after Sunday’s career day that it’s faith that keeps him grounded.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he repeated. “My mom sends me this text before every game (and) I write it on my tape just to remember … You definitely dream about interceptions, but three in one game? No. But it’s just a blessing. I give all glory to God.”
Adams and the Buccaneers (5-7) will return to the field looking for another NFC South upset on Sunday, when they host the division-leading New Orleans Saints (10-2) at 1 p.m. Eastern.
– NEW PODCAST: Gene Chizik – Former Auburn head football coach, 2010 national champion
– Daniel Jeremiah says journey to NFL Network has been guided by faith in Christ
– Shaun Alexander prays for injured Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa in locker room