Davante Adams Can Thank a Former 49ers QB for His Dazzling Route-Running Skills

Davante Adams isn’t the fastest wide receiver in the NFL. He isn’t the biggest or strongest. The Green Bay Packers wideout’s biggest strength is likely his route-running skills. Adams can thank a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for helping develop them.

Davante Adams had a very impressive college career

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Davante Adams played his college football at Fresno State. He redshirted in his freshman year and then took charge right away during the 2012 season. In his freshman year, the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Adams had 102 catches. He finished the season with 1,312 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 12.9 yards per catch.

As impressive as his first season was, it paled in comparison to his sophomore year. In Year 2, Adams had 131 catches in 13 games. He collected 1,719 receiving yards. Adams had 24 touchdown receptions and averaged better than 13 yards per catch.

Adams left Fresno State after those two seasons. He was a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL draft. He’s established himself as one of the NFL’s top receivers in the game. Adams has made the Pro Bowl the last four seasons.

Adams can thank Steve Bono for his route-running skills

When Davante Adams attended Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California, the team’s offensive coordinator was former NFL quarterback Steve Bono. Bono played 14 years in the NFL for seven different teams. He’s known mostly for his time with the San Francisco 49ers (4 years) and the Kansas City Chiefs (3 years). Bono’s son, Christoph, was the starting quarterback at Palo Alto when Adams was in school.

Christoph Bono got hurt early in the 2009 season and backup quarterback T.J. Braff had the luxury of coming in and throwing to Adams and Joc Pederson, a senior then who is now an MLB outfielder. It’s Braff who said Bono should be the one who should be credited for helping Adams with his route running and footwork. “Steve did a lot for that program,” Braff told Sportscasting. “Obviously, Davante was putting in the work, too.

“When people talk about Davante, they talk about his route running. Steve called the offense and he deserves a lot of credit for getting him developed. When I would drop back (to pass), I would have no idea what I was doing (footwork-wise) and he helped me improve so much.”

Adams never let success get to his head

T.J. Braff grew up with Davante Adams and together they played football and basketball from their younger days through high school. In 2010, when they were both seniors, they won the state football title. Recently, the team celebrated the 10th anniversary of the title, Zoom style.

“We had a little reunion on Zoom,” Braff said. “Davante popped in.” Braff said the two drifted apart when Adams went to Fresno State and Braff went to Santa Clara to play baseball. “He’s very down to earth, really humble,” Braff said of Adams. “Never let fame get to his head. He’s a good dad. I wish I stayed in touch a little more. We fell apart a little while in college.”

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.