Report: Mike Adams To Get First Crack At Left Tackle Spot

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports today that a source close to the situation told him that the initial plan is for second round draft pick Mike Adams to get the first crack at the left tackle spot as the Pittsburgh Steelers head towards training camp. This would mean that second year tackle Marcus Gilbert would stay put at right tackle, where he started 13 games last season as a rookie.

Gilbert was told heading into the offseason that he should prepare to play left tackle in 2012, but this was of course before Adams was drafted and the decision was made to move Willie Colon to left guard following the draft. This, as I pointed out on Wednesday, was one of the two likeliest scenarios moving forward after the position switch of Colon was officially announced.

The Steelers signed Kyle Jolly to the roster on Thursday, but there should not be too much read into that move as he will just be another training camp body like he was last year. The progression of Adams will likely be monitored closely through the OTA and mini-camp sessions that begin next week and the Steelers could have sights on bringing back unrestricted free agent tackle Max Starks as soon as he is recovered from his ACL surgery if Adams does not progress well. Other tackles currently on the roster are Jonathan Scott, Trevis Turner and Chris Scott along with the recently signed Jolly.

Although Chris Scott is listed as a tackle, he is better suited more as a guard. He was given the first crack at winning the right guard spot last year during the preseason, but failed at the opportunity, his play was also just as bad when tried at right tackle last preseason. The signing of Jolly gives the Steelers a little more training camp depth at the right tackle spot. Jolly played both tackle spots last year in the preseason.

  • Danpio1217

    So Mike Adams went from off their draft board to practically being given the starting spot for the most important position on the oline? Damn I’d like to know what went on during his visit!!

  • Davew

    Dave, Do you ever recall a rookie LT starting for the Steelers?
    I bet they are doing this to motivate him as that has been his negative.
    You watch film of him do you think he has the tools to move to a starting LT so soon from college?
    Thanks for the greatest Steeler site!

  • Steel Hurtin

    I think this gives us the best shot at putting the best 5 offensive linemen on the field, even if Max comes back, I would be worried about his recent acl injury… Still can’t wait to see DD pull behind Colon now.. Should be able to open up some serious holes for the run game.

  • Bobby Bowers

    potentially, Adams woulda/coulda been rated the 2nd or 3rd best LT in the draft with huge wing spans (young Flozell Adams?), always had good footwork, perhaps Adams been working hard to re-gain weak “bench press” numbers of 19.

  • Frankthebuc

    Adams can play and will be a good solid LT in Haley’s offense which is O-line friendly.

  • This move makes to much sense. The Steelers have had great success with rookies on the O-line, over the last two years. There is enough talent on this line, to help cover Adams up, and allow him to grow into the position. Miller will probably be early on, to help Adams out as well. Between Colon, Miller, and hopefully an H-back who can be an effective blocker, it will be to easy to put Adams in a situation where he can succeed.

  • I wouldn’t say he is being given it. He just gets the first crack to earn what is in reality an open spot on the roster. Before picking him, we didn’t have a true LT on the roster. Gilbert is clearly better suited to RT and J. Scott is clearly better suited to bagging groceries.

  • Jason White

    Who knows maybe he had an impressive rookie camp and they seen reason to believe he is ready enough.

  • Derick

    2 things…
    where are some Steelers fans getting Willie Colon played OG before or even in college? and next, is there a better decision than this one. to make Adams LT right away and see what happens. does Max Starks have a twitter? wouldn’t it be easy to just ask hi where he is at lol?

  • Derick

    Barron Batch


    The conveyor belt moves too fast for him and all the groceries keep sliding by.

  • Ronnie

    Adams > DeCastro


    Starks does Tweet daily and gives updates as to his recuperation status. The latest is that he thinks he will be ready in July.

  • Fish

    If you cannot get excited about this O-line, the offense, and the team in general you don’t have a Steeler pulse. We have got some serious, albeit potential talent everywhere! If we could get a Kicker that you don’t have to cringe every time he’s up ( bring back Skippy and stock up on dispensers if needed ) and a true Fullback ala Kreider, oooohh happy days. Can’t wait for training camp to get underway.

  • Derick

    nice thanks James, I probably should get twitter but i can’t figure it out

  • But then he tripped and his ass knocked all the groceries into the bag.

  • SteelersBall

    Please, if somebody would do me the favor of explaining why W Colon is better suited for OG than tackle. I really don’t know. Thanks.

  • 1: Poor comparison
    2: No.

    You are getting way too caught up in the hype. You forget that there are other knocks aside from the character concerns.

  • Jprankster2005

    I hope they just cut ties with Scott but if there isn’t much depth then he will probably stay…… I would of liked to seen him gone alreay……. I think Adams will do a good job, I’d be happy to See Starks come back and help Adams a little bit and then best man wins……

  • Jprankster2005

    Ok I was just thinking Rose tore his ACL in NBA and is going to be out a yr. 10 months atleast…… So what makes anyone think Starks would be ready or even Hampton they are way bigger guys then A small guy like Rose and I don’t think Hampton will play at all this yr. he may have been brought back to help with Mclendon and Ta amu……. I don’t see anyway in hell he will play……..Mendenhall would be the only way I can possibly see playing and I don’t see that until late mid season to the end of the season………

  • Guest

    Am I the only Steeler fan worried about this line up where they trust Adams as the starting LT? Not only because he is a rookie, but because it is Adams, who seems to lack focus for an entire game. Wouldn’t the safer bet for a solid OL to be Gilbert, Foster, Pouncey, DD, Colon? If Adams pans out, the have him replace Colon at RT during the season. Does anyone know why the Steelers seem to not like Foster? He seems to play fairly well and earn a starting job midway through the season, but he always seems to lose the starting job before the beginning.

  • SteelSpine

    Thats my thoughts too. It tells me the Steelers staff has a confident finger on a plan B button but they’re just not yet revealing what their plan B is. Til they reveal it at end of training camp, we’re left to wildly speculate what that is. So throw all the usual suspects into the hat for it. For example:
    – Maybe the staff has nods now from doctors that Starks will be ready during middle of training camp plus has verbal agreement from Max Starks to play LT.
    – Or maybe their backup plan is Essex (ouch at LT would be EsSux).
    – Maybe another Buffalo’s gonna cut another bum OT & our line coach has his eye on him (gulp). Speaking of that, any sports editor saying Jonathan Scott should be our plan B for left tackle should get a hundred lashes with a terrible towel.

  • His height and weight, his blocking style. He has shorter arms and struggles to block people outside but is very good in face to face situations. He will be called for a lot less holding calls inside.

  • LucasY59

    I think plan B should be to go back to the plan that we thought was going to happen a week ago before the Colon to LG/Adams LT news broke, Gilbert LT, Foster LG, Pouncey C, DeCastro RG, Colon RT. Its alot better than trying to let J. Scott play or wait and see if Starks will be healthy enough to play this year. plus its still better than the line last year. its still only plan B as IMO having guys play where they have a future would be better e.g Gilbert RT, Adams LT

  • LucasY59

    It may actually be the bigger guys who are ready to play sooner than the smaller guys because they dont rely on speed and agility so the ACL isnt as important to their style of play. Nobody can really know until they get on the field, so we’ll wait and see.

  • I don’t think his opinion can be completely dismissed here.

    If Adams had been really lucky and not been caught he would have been drafted higher then Decastro.

    I’m not saying he will be better, just that the difference is mental and can be overcome.

  • Dputt

    Flozell had to step in and knock them back onto the conveyor.

  • Dputt

    Skippy is on the street, or working at Georgia Pacific. Keep him liquored up and it could be an entertaining season!

  • Jimmy-fowler

    I know they like Foster! Great back-up & security. So,If anything happens to Colon again like the last 2 years. Can you imagine the rotation of Foster, Legursky and Essex backing up our starting Guards! Wow. We would never loose a beat. Big Fresh Bodies rotating.. What a luxury and a big problem to have. A pleasant mix of youth and experience.No more neglect to the OL anymore. I like it.

  • Dave

    I would definitely not go so far as to say Adams is better than DeCastro…the only thing I would say is – if they both max out their potential and are Pro-Bowl type players, a LT is more valuable than a RG. But right now, DD > Adams.

  • Harold

    1) Body type. Colon is 6’3″, 315 pounds, with 33″ arms. As a tackle, ideally, you want long legs and long arms, because when you pass block you are moving sideways on the outer edge to mirror the defensive end. Long legs = longer stride (to beat him to the corner). Long arms = better push off (you get your hands on him before he gets his hands on you, and use his momentum to push him wide). Adams is 6’7″, 323 pounds, with 34″ arms. As a guard, you typically pass block face-to-face, directly forward. Although long arms can still be important, it’s more important to have strong arms, so you can anchor well and push the defender backwards like a bench press.

    2) As far as run blocking, when you line up at guard, you want to get as low as possible and drive up into the defender. Typically the shorter you are, the lower you can get, and thereby it is easier to get leverage. When you line up at tackle, many times you are crack blocking, which is hitting the defender from the side and driving him sideways out of the play (hopefully knocking him off balance and onto the ground so you can land on top of him). Sometimes the guard is asked to pull through the hole and block a LB where, again, low leverage comes into play, but more important is balance and agility. This is where DeCastro excels.

    3) The best guards typically have a “nasty” disposition, because they are trapped in a “phone booth” (between the center and tackle), where there’s a lot of scratching, clawing, holding, kicking, biting, that never gets seen. Colon has a fiery disposition, which fit nicely inside the scrums.

    4) Quickness. This is a tricky one because you obviously want quickness in both positions. But as a tackle, you are typically matched up against the speedier defensive ends where you must be very quick, moving sideways, or your QB will get killed. This would often happen to Colon when he was playing tackle PERFECTLY HEALTHY. Now that he has had a serious achilles injury, there are questions as to whether he will be even slower.

    Those are the main differences IMO.

  • That might be safer in the short term, but it stunts the long term development. Gilbert is a long term RT, and Adams if he pans out will be an LT. WHy make Gilbert switch just to switch back?

    And the Steelers like Foster, but as a backup, not a starter apparently.

  • I can’t see a spot for Scott. Legursky and Foster will be guaranteed backups. I think if he is healthy they will bring in Starks. If not, I would prefer they sign Essex over keeping Scott.

  • Steelerfan1

    Starks is meeting with steelers next week. Look for Starks to start week one at left tackle.

  • That was the problem with Skippy, they made him kick sober. If they had let him be like the Irish guy in “The Replacements”, he’d have been fine. 🙂

  • Adams would go higher than DeCastro because LT’s have more value than OGs. That is not an indication of relative talent. Adams has talent, but has also had questions arise about inconsistent performance and work ethic (again, aside from his incidents). I have not heard anyone question those things with DD.

  • SteelersDepot

    Essex already signed prior to draft

  • SteelersBall

    Thank you. I remember those holding calls.

  • SteelersBall

    Thank you. Very kind of you to take the time to provide such organized well written detail. You detail makes me wonder if you are more than just a spectator; maybe a sports analyst or coach…

  • Guest

    Is Colon really the answer at LG? Isn’t there a risk with moving him to a new position? What is it about Colon makes you think that he would be a better G than Foster? If I remember correctly, Colon was solid on pass protection, but only OK on run blocking. Does that really make a good G? With the tentative lineup, you have two rookies starting, and a vet changing from T to G (DD might be NFL ready, but he will still be a rookie). You mention that you don’t want to stunt Gilbert by moving him, but you’re OK with Colon not only moving sides, but positions? Don’t even get me started on trusting Adams at LT to protect Ben. The only saving grace to that thought is that Ben survived Jonathon Scott at LT last year, and Adams has to be better than Scott. You are assuming that Adams will pan out. If he doesn’t, Gilbert will need to move to LT, which means Gilbert will still need to prepare for the possibility of playing LT. So, to sum it up, you have two unproven guys on the left side (Adams because he is a rookie and his 2 cent head, and Colon because he is playing a new position) and a rookie on the right side.

  • Colon is a vet who may well be better suited to guard (for reasons covered here multiple times that I won’t rehash), and the move is likely permanent. GIlbert’s long term future is at RT, why shift him over for a year and make things more difficult?

    Not to mention that your argument against Adams at LT kind of falls apart when you realize that GIlbert has barely any more experience on the left side than Adams. You are playing someone with inexperience at the position either way, so why not see if the guy that you picked to eventually earn the spot can take it now?

    Note that this IS NOT saying he will be the week 1 starter, only that he will get the first chance to EARN that job. I think that is where you are getting hung up.

  • I thought so. Stupid Wikipedia…

  • Guest

    I read the theory on why Colon MIGHT be a good G. However, I also SEEN that Colon is a good RT as far as pass blocking. You may or may not agree with me on this, but if you believe ProFootballFocus, they seem to think highly of Colon from a pass blocking perspective (and not so highly of him in run blocking) –
    Yes the article is old (from 2011), but considering he has not played much the last 2 years, it has his latest stats. I have issues with PFF, since they grade pressures almost the same (75%) as sacks, but I more or less buy into their data even if I don’t always agree with their rankings.

    As for Gilbert having barely more experience than Adams, I will take a season’s experience and 13 starts at T in the NFL to zero snaps in the NFL. Yes, he played on the right side, but the switch from RT to LT is made very often and not as drastic as a change from T to G.

    What I am saying is that I would rather have Gilbert & Colon at T than have Gilbert & Adams at T. I see Colon as a better choice at T in 2012 than Adams. Adams may be better in 2013, but probably not in 2012. The question mark on him throughout his career has been his lack of focus for an entire game. And that was in college against inferior talent. What happens in the NFL when you take a play off at LT? Your QB gets killed.

    With DD & Pouncey the same, the only other variable is LG. My point is that whether you have Foster or Colon at LG, it will be basically the same. Foster has been adequate, and Colon will probably be adequate also. Since Colon is not a great run blocker in my opinion (your opinion may differ), I doubt that he will become the next Faneca at LG.

  • Colon is a better pass blocker than run blocker, which is what the Steelers want. He is also better head on, which he will see more of inside than out at OT.