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Sports Breaking down Phillip Adams' NFL career: 'I think the football messed him up,' says Adams' father

21:46  08 april  2021
21:46  08 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Former NFL player Phillip Adams is suspected of killing five people Wednesday in Rock Hill, South Carolina, before later taking his life, according to the Associated Press.

In an interview Thursday morning with Charlotte, North Carolina, TV station WCNC, Alonzo Adams, whom WCNC identified as Phillip Adams' father, told a reporter that his son "was a good kid. I think the football messed him up."

The York County Sheriff's office said the victims had been shot. The county coroner's office identified the victims as Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, Barbara Lesslie, 69, and grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. Police said James Lewis, 38, who was working at the family's home, was found dead outside. In a news conference, a sheriff's spokesperson said a sixth person was hurt and hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

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During his interview with WCNC, Alonzo Adams added that they were praying for the family. He added about his son, "He didn't talk much and he didn't bother nobody."

Adams, 32, had bounced around the NFL in various stops as a journeyman cornerback, never quite ascending to a full-time starter. He officially played six seasons in the league, from 2010-15, for six different teams. Originally a seventh-round draft pick for the 49ers, Adams played just one season in San Francisco, where he took on special teams work and was a reserve in the secondary.

He totaled 13 tackles and one pass deflection in 15 games in San Francisco as he dealt with a nagging ankle injury. He also returned four punts for 29 yards.

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Adams did not make the 49ers' roster before the 2011 season, as the team cut him in September. He then latched on with the Patriots, where he played six games in the 2011 season when injuries hit the team’s defensive backfield. He registered eight tackles, one pass deflection and his first career interception in New England. The Patriots released him in November 2011 and he later signed with the Seahawks, where he played just one game.

The 2012 season was when Adams’ football career saw more stability.

The Seahawks released Adams, but the Raiders added him in the preseason. He played in 15 games and eventually worked his way into two spot starts late in the season after he picked off passes in consecutive games in Weeks 13 and 14.

Former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, now senior personnel executive for the Dolphins, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday that Adams was a hard worker.

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“I remember him being appreciative; a gracious that-he-was-on-the-team kind of guy," McKenzie said. "A very hard worker ... I never had a coach, trainer, strength coach or teammate say they had any issue with him. He was a non-issue guy. He just wasn’t talented enough. That’s why he bounced around. He got opportunities, though, because he worked hard.”

He said he signed Adams because they were thin and needed a punt returner.

“The main trigger was that he could catch a punt. We had guys who can do things with a punt once they got the ball in their hands, but the problem is being reliable in actually catching the punt during live action, with guys flying all around you. He could do that," McKenzie said.

Adams posted 15 tackles and five pass deflections in 2012 and was the Raiders' main punt returner with 25 returns for 139 yards.

He continued to face several injury issues, but the Raiders re-signed Adams for the 2013 season to another one-year deal. He continued to return punts, though in a reduced role with only eight returns for 59 yards. The 2013 season was the only one in his career when he played in all 16 games. He collected 30 total tackles that year with one pass deflection and a fumble recovery.

Authorities: NFL player Phillip Adams killed 5, then himself

  Authorities: NFL player Phillip Adams killed 5, then himself ROCK HILL, S.C. — Former NFL player Phillip Adams fatally shot five people including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren before later killing himself, authorities said Thursday. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson told a news conference that investigators had not yet determined a motive in the mass shooting Wednesday. “There's nothing right now that makes sense to any of us," Tolson said. Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara, 69, were pronounced dead in their home in Rock Hill Wednesday along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, the York County coroner’s office said.

The Raiders did not re-sign Adams for the 2014 season. The Jets, who were depleted at cornerback, then signed him in September 2014. He appeared in 12 games for the Jets, starting four and had one interception, one fumble recovery and 24 total tackles.

His final chance came in 2015 with the Falcons, whose head coach, Dan Quinn, had some familiarity with him from a short stint in Seattle. Adams served primarily as the backup nickelback. He recorded a career-high 38 tackles with one interception, one forced fumble and four pass deflections in 13 games, three of which were starts.

A person who worked with Adams told USA TODAY Sports that as a person, he didn’t really stand out and blended in, carrying himself with a quiet demeanor, keeping to himself at times but pleasant.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Breaking down Phillip Adams' NFL career: 'I think the football messed him up,' says Adams' father

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