Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs DE Adams changes his diet to change his game

A leaner Gaines Adams lines up at practice last week. He credits more time in the weight room and eating healthier meals.


A leaner Gaines Adams lines up at practice last week. He credits more time in the weight room and eating healthier meals.

TAMPA — Bucs defensive end Gaines Adams made his NFL debut last year against one of the stoutest foes he'll face: Seahawks All-Pro tackle Walter Jones.

But Adams' most worthy adversary arguably was not Jones, or any other menacing 300-pound offensive lineman. It was Big Macs, and Adams admits that his fast-food diet prevented him from being in optimum shape during his rookie season.

"Oh, it was bad," Adams said of his former eating habits.

"I drive by all these McDonald's, and then I see Chick-fil-A. You just want to get a 12-piece (nuggets meal)."

For a fourth overall draft pick with a $46-million rookie contract, Adams continued to eat like a broke college kid, something he had recently been.

But the 24-year-old has overhauled his diet, all but eliminating his daily burger-joint runs. He also has rededicated himself to the weight room at the urging of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and others, and all involved believe the moves will pay dividends this season.

"Right now I've been working hard trying to get the fat down and turn it into muscle," Adams said. "At the same time, I'm trying to keep up my conditioning.

"I'm really trying to eat healthy, too. Before, I would go to McDonald's all the time. Now I've made up my mind. I go to Subway and get me a nice sub and go home and take a good nap and get ready for the next day."

Kiffin calls Adams one of the most dedicated participants in the offseason conditioning program. It's the only way Adams can live up to his coaches' considerable expectations.

Clearly, they are taking off the kid gloves for his sophomore season.

"He's got to get better and better, and he is," Kiffin said. "He has to break out this year. He's no rookie anymore. And I can see it out here. He's been around here a lot.

"He's been in the weight room. He's getting stronger, and he'll be stronger against the run. … I'm really pleased."

Adams is encouraged by his marked progress in remaking his physique.

No one would have mistaken him for a bodybuilder in 2007. Now he is visibly leaner, though his weight is about what it was last season, 255 pounds. He attributes that to increased muscle.

Adams' development last season was slower than the Bucs had hoped, but when he finally emerged, he was undeniably a force. He finished with six sacks despite starting just nine games, eight in the regular season and the playoff loss to the Giants.

What he and the coaches want now are more consistent performances.

Adams showed flashes of brilliance in 2007. He has made expanding his repertoire of moves a priority, using methods from boxing techniques to swimming-pool workouts to accomplish that.

"I've been trying to use my hands better and also trying to (synchronize) that with my hips to get by a tackle," he said. "I know now that I can't just run by them."

Especially if he's spending too much time under the golden arches.

"It's about staying disciplined and trying to eat the right things," Adams said. "It's okay to splurge a little bit. But you have to stay focused."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at

Bucs DE Adams changes his diet to change his game 05/28/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2008 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.