The City manager said: “You need to have that hunger and desire to roll over teams. Today we had that and we had to roll our sleeves up and deal with what Rochdale gave us.”
Bradford went close several times before Alex Gillead put them in front in the 37th minute with his first goal since he rejoined the club on a free transfer from Scunthorpe during the summer.
Keeper Joel Coleman saved but could no hold Levi Sutton’s shot and Gillead followed up to score.
The goal came just after Rochdale missed one of their best chances, Abraham Odoh firing over from ten yards.
Leading scorer Andy Cook put the result beyond doubt with a penalty in the 75th minute after Sutton had been brought down by Eoghan O’Connell.
Adams said: “Today we had the energy, and willingness to run, play on the front foot and win a football match. It was a really good win for us.
“We kept a clean sheet and Rochdale had only one shot on target which is really pleasing.”
He added: “We actually played like a team. We know we have good players, but you have to go and show it.
“That was the main reason we had the outlets and defensive stability, but we also had Charles Vernam with that pace running in behind.”
Bradford City: O’Donnell, Thelkeld, O’Connor, Singo’o, Ridehalgh, Sutton (Evans 85), Watt, Gillead, Cooke, Vernam (Robnson 82), Cook. Unused substitutes: Hornby, Foulds, Kelleher, Cousin-Dawson, Scales.
Rochdale: Coleman, Graham, O’Connell, Dorsett, O’Keefe, Dooley (Kelly 70), Morley, Keohane (Done 84), Odoh (Newby 62), Beesley, Cashman. Unused substitutes: Lynch, Taylor, Grant, Broadbent.
Referee: James Bell (Sheffield)