ANDERSON, Ind. —The prospect of the unknown is exciting to Mike Adams.
With the Indianapolis Colts' defense beginning training camp practices on Wednesday for the first time under coordinator Ted Monachino, Adams said he feels a renewed sense to prove himself, despite the fact he's an established starter entering his 13th year in the league in 2016.
"When something is new it's like, 'Okay, what to expect, what are we going to do?' So it's a different energy to go out there and perform," Adams said. "New coordinator. New faces on defense. We're just ready to get after it."
If nothing else, Monachino repeated often this offseason that he wants a fast, attacking defense; one that sees its players doing what they do best as often as they can.
Though that's likely the general description of all defensive programs across the league, Adams said that approach takes new meaning for this particular training camp and preseason, as the Colts' defensive players try to get as good of a feel as possible for exactly what their coordinator wants heading into Week 1 of the regular season.
"I just think we have to be more relentless on defense," the veteran safety said. "Like I said, we've got a new coordinator, so we're going to do things differently. That's the most exciting part and we'll see."
Adams certainly has experience from which he can draw when it comes to adjusting to new defensive schemes, having played for four different teams over his 13-year career: the San Francisco 49ers (2004-06), Cleveland Browns (2007-12), Denver Broncos (2013-14) and the past two seasons with the Colts.
And he seems to be getting better with age. Last season, in just 13 games played, he had 75 total tackles, one sack, six passes defensed, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown.
For his efforts, Adams was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
He does his job well: he's always around the ball, and he has a knack for creating turnovers. Adams knows he isn't 22 years old anymore, so he says he has to make up for it in other areas.
Highlights from the first practice of the Colts 2016 Training Camp.
"Mentally. I study more," Adams said. "I know different angles of the game now. I know things that'll get me over the edge and I play definitely smarter. I know what to do and what not to do that'll get me over the edge. I think that's where the wise veteranship comes in."
Monachino and the Colts' defense will undoubtedly count on that "veteranship" from Adams this season, as Indianapolis hopes to once again bring a high-powered offense, a fast, attacking defense and another solid special teams unit to the field each and every week.
Defensively, the team will have a new starter opposite of Adams at safety after the departure of Dwight Lowery, who signed with the San Diego Chargers in free agency.
Whoever fills that spot for Indianapolis will be entering a veteran-heavy secondary that features Adams at safety and Vontae Davis (eighth year in the NFL in 2016) and Patrick Robinson (seventh year in the NFL in 2016), whom the Colts signed in free agency this offseason.
The likely candidate to start Week 1 at free safety is Clayton Geathers, but he started training camp this week on the active/non-football injury list. Though Geathers can be activated at any point, the unknown surrounding his status is just another reason why Adams says this training camp, under a new defensive coordinator, is so critical.
"I think that's the most interesting (and) intriguing part about our defense. We don't know yet," Adams said. "We see what we had, but once the pads get on and once we really start running, then we'll see."