It was an up and down season for Pittsburgh Steelers rookie tackle Mike Adams, who had his year come crashing to a halt after injuring his ankle in the Week 12 game against the Cleveland Browns, but the Ohio State product is already looking forward to the 2013.
Adams saw all of his playing time at right tackle in 2012 thanks to Marcus Gilbert being injured early on in the season, but he remains uncertain which side he will play on in 2013.
"Everyone has a preference of where they want to play, Adams said, via steelers.com. "I played left tackle all through college. Whatever side it is I am fine with. I just want to play some ball."
Most of the Pittsburgh media seem to think that Gilbert will switch sides and be the left tackle in 2013 with Adams playing on the right side, but I have long said that I think it will wind up being the other way around. Adams, as he pointed out, is a natural left tackle, who just needs to refine his game, most noticeable the pass protection portion of it. Gilbert seems much better suited for the right side, but ultimately new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. will have the final say in all of that.
Regardless of what side that Adams ends up on, he now seems to understand that the level of competition at the NFL level is much different and much more even than it was in college.
"A lot of the adjustments last year had to do with the mental game and getting comfortable with that," said Adams. "Plus it’s getting used to everybody being great players. In the NFL everyone is the best of the best. Overall those were the toughest things. But I thought it went all right."
The Steelers initially took Adams off their draft board last year after he tested positive for marijuana last February at the NFL combine, but they reinstated him after his pre draft visit to Pittsburgh and him adhering to stipulations that the Steelers front office gave him during that meeting. So far everything has worked out well as far as his actions go off the field, but the worry that he will backslide will not go away for a little while longer.
Adams said in his most recent interview that the offensive line unit has developed more camaraderie now and he noted that center Maurkice Pouncey taking the entire unit to the Pro Bowl on his own dime helped bring them all even closer together.
"We had a great time out there in Hawaii thanks to Maurkice, said Adams. "That was a great time to all be together. Not many guys do something like that for that many guys. I think that speaks volumes about how close we are and how much we care about each other for him to want us out there with him to enjoy it with him."
Adams hopes that he can return to Hawaii someday as a Pro Bowler himself, but we all hope that he only gets the nod instead and has to miss the trip due to the Steelers needing to prepare to play in the Super Bowl.