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One eye on dogs, one into a lens // BLUE ADAMS

Bucs defensive back and special teams player Blue Adams is well-liked and courteous. But if you cross him, you might feel the wrath of his professionally trained attack dog. Adams sat down with staff writer Stephen F. Holder to discuss his nickname (his given name is Danny), German shepherds, his 15 siblings and his passion for photography.

Please end the suspense: Where does your name come from?

I'm named after my dad. He got the nickname Blue, and somehow, I also got the nickname. The only thing I know is it has something to do with the former (major-league) pitcher Vida Blue. The rest, I don't know. Actually, I asked my dad once, but I forgot.

We hear you're really into dogs. What's the story behind that?

I have two German shepherds. I train them and everything. My big one can do basically the same thing police dogs do.

Such as?

Tracking, protection, obedience. I'm just in the process of getting the little one going. He doesn't really know the game yet. My big one, I can have him be your friend and then I can have him come right back a few seconds later and have him attack.

Okay ...

Seriously. I can have him bite you by just pointing to the leg. He'll go right ahead and bite you on the leg. Right now, I'm training with a kennel club that works with a couple of police dogs.

How did you come up with this idea?

I just up and decided one day that I wanted a German shepherd. So I had this dog shipped to me, and it was like, "What now?" So I started looking into it, and I found out that shepherds are high-driven. They bite a lot. So if you have a dog like that and have no control over it, that's a big liability. Once you get into the training on a small scale, you realize how intelligent this dog is and you realize the potential.

So what else can he do?

Oh man, I trained him to go into the refrigerator and get my Gatorade.

Are you serious?

Yeah, I just tied something to the handle. And he could just pull on it, and he would just go in there and get my drink. But I had to stop doing that. I came back from work one day and he had gone into the refrigerator and ate all the sandwich meat. I had to stop that quick. I can also have the trainer hide in the house and send (the dog) to do a search. He'll clear every room, and if somebody's there, he'll stop and bark until I come or until (he attacks).

That is really cool.

He can do more. He knows that if he's in the room with my son and (a stranger) tries to go pick him up, he'll attack without any command. So my son can play out in the yard and I don't worry. But when my son tells him what to do, he won't listen to me anymore because my son gives him cereal and juice and all this junk. So (the dog) thinks, "Hmmm, I like him better."

You also are into photography, right?

I like taking pictures. If you were to go to my mom's house, she would pull out books and books of pictures. So I bought a Canon Rebel. So now I want to find out what this camera can do. It can do a lot of tricks, but I want to buy some long lenses, too.

Where do you get your best shots?

I like to take pictures of my son playing soccer. But I also go down to the (Courtney Campbell Causeway) and take pictures of the water, people Jet Skiing, whatever. But it's definitely a work in progress. But I'm going to take a photography class.

Your high school team (Miami Senior High) could have been an All-Star team. Who are some of the big names?

Andre Johnson (Texans), Sedrick Irvin (formerly of the Lions) was there for a while, Marquand Manuel (Packers), Atari Bigby (Packers), Clevan Thomas (Florida State, Arena Football). And I also went to school with Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat). We had a lot of great players on that team.

Did it dawn on you then some of the guys on that team might play in the NFL one day?

Not really. Back then, I was just hoping I got a chance to play in college.

You had a tough road to the NFL, didn't you?

I've been all over. I got drafted (out of the University of Cincinnati) by Detroit. I got released, and Tampa picked me up, and I was here for about a month. Then Jacksonville picked me up. The next season I played for Chicago in the preseason and then they released me. After that, I was done for that year and went over to Europe. I came back, and I've been with Tampa ever since.

Did you at some point say this isn't for me?

I always knew I could play in this league, but it was a matter of getting an opportunity. I knew I just had to keep digging and digging and it was going to come.

Don't you come from a real big family?

Yes, it's actually two families. My dad had nine kids, and my mom had seven. Only me and the brother right behind me share the same parents, but everybody's still brothers and sisters.

So what's the family reunion like.

To tell you the truth, if you make it to grandma's house on any Sunday, you'll find a house full of people. But the big reunion is on Mother's Day. Everybody comes from out of town, and we have a big get-together on the beach (in Miami).

What are the pros and cons of being from a family of that size?

One of the best things is you always have family nearby. You can pick up the phone day or night and know you can find somebody who can make you laugh. The bad part is when problems come up. With that many people, there's always going to be something going on. And everybody wants to come to the games, too. And nobody understands the concept that I have to pay for those tickets. They are not cheap.