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Will Mike Adams Get First Crack At The Left Tackle Spot?


Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin held their annual pre draft press conference on Monday, and during the question and answer session, Tomlin was asked if Mike Adams was in the plans to be the starting left tackle this year.

“Yeah, but Marcus Gilbert is left tackle capable as well,” said Tomlin. “I think that one of the things that we\’ve learned through the trials of the 2012 season, is both of those young men are capable of playing both spots and we\’ll use the spring and the summer to sort out where we\’ll play those two at. But, both guys have shown that they\’re capable of being viable left tackle and right tackle candidates.”

If you have followed my thoughts on this site for a while, you know that I have been leaning towards Adams winding up being the starter, unlike Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who has made it sound like Marcus Gilbert is a lock to man the left tackle spot in 2013.

Adams, as expected, was overwhelmed at left tackle during the pre season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles last year, while Gilbert only received 19 snaps on the left side in the Steelers second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Once the regular season got underway, veteran Max Starks was healthy and had easily won the left tackle spot. He even would up playing every snap of the season there.

Gilbert was the starting right tackle last season, but once he was lost for the year with an ankle injury in the game against the Tennessee Titans; Adams took over and played OK until he too went down with an ankle injury.

Gilbert made it known during the offseason last year that he hopes to be a left tackle, his natural position in college, long-term, and that was certainly to be expected. After all, that\’s where the bigger money will be for him come time for his second contract.

As it stands right now, it is too tough to call, and according to the comments made by Tomlin on Monday, we aren\’t likely to know who really has the inside shot at the left tackle spot until the team lines up at the first OTA session. That assumes, of course, that both are healthy enough to practice come that time.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Kysteeler

    Gilbert at LT (he is average at both spots, so might as well put Adams in a position to dominate), Adams is way too good for the run game on the the right side.

  • Nigel Walker

    I have always thought Adams was going to be the steelers next left tackle.He has far more physical talent than Gilbert. If the steelers draft warmack,i could get a 1000 yard rushing season behind that left side of the line.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Depending on what happens this week at 17, maybe the starting Left Tackle is not yet on the Roster. They did allegedly try to make a play at Long in FA right?

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I think if either Adams or Gilbert can lock up the left side and play well, the Steelers will have a pretty good offense and a good season. To me, LT is the most critical question mark because most of the other holes on the team are addressable by outside means. The best guy needs to go to LT and I think either of them or Beachum will at least be adequate on the right.

  • zyzak

    Only Ed Bouchette would have Gilbert at LT.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    As if you know more than Bouchette. Work on knowing more about football than a door knob first.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Sounds like we’ll get the best thing which is let Gilbert & Adams compete for LT & let the best man win. At least I hope thats the case. LT is too vital to go with anything less than whoever is the team’s best pass blocker.

  • walter mason

    Put Gilbert at LT keep him away from DeCastro.

  • zyzak

    You live on the hill? Time for the neighbors to move. Look son I played a lot of football far away from Pittsburgh and I know Merrill Hoge personally.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Nintendo doesnt count.

  • Dale Miller

    Adams couldn’t pass block on the right without help from a TE, so why would you put him on the left?

  • Superdriller316

    I think if it comes down to competition, Adams will win. I think Adams has more of a fire to him and he did have problems in pass blocking. He was a rookie. Adams comes across that he wants to be a great player. He’s a better than average run blocker. So with him on the left side with DeCastro pulling left. There will be some holes open. We can be a better balanced running team this way. His pass blocking will come and I hope he turns into a really good player. Don’t forget, he’s more mobile than Gilbert.

    Gilbert… I don’t see the fire in him. He comes across like he wants to be the LT just for the money. He’s not a very good run blocker and has trouble holding his ground. He should have been better than Adams, beings that he’s been in the system longer, but he wasn’t. Gilbert need to get working on his craft and getting better. I’m not sure how he’s going to hold up in the zone scheme, he’s not that mobile. I’m hoping he sees Adams as a threat and picks up his game. We can’t have Ben blind sided by either of the two. If Gilbert can’t get it done then put Beachum out there.

    OL from Left to right
    Adams, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert

  • westernsteel

    Adams struggled with pass protection last season…..he did need a TE for help, can’t imagine him at LT.

  • SteelSpine

    Exactly. & that’s why Adams should have to prove can passblock thruout preseason before a team is comfortable entitling a left tackle position to him.

    If could take entitilement out of the picture, I even think RT we have other players here who earned a look. The loser of Foster & Beachum LG competition deserves a look at RT. Could say it’s not much competition for Adams at RT, but Beachum surprised at end of last season passblocking at RT. I was shocked Beachum passblocked like a vet RT punching like a vet & no one around needing help the RT. And tho many fans have Foster pegged for LG, his length & slow feet & being a vet, I think makes a fit at RT. Of course Adams has much going for him: built like a beast, is a 2nd rounder, & it’s not like there’s any pro bowler ahead of Adams at OT. So I wont bet against Adams improving his passblocking drastically enough, I sure hope he does.

  • SteelSpine

    Maybe Starks. Tho hopefully someone improves enough to not have to keep doing that. I too recall the interest in Long. I wonder if that was before we re-signed Foster, & maybe Foster is a backup plan if all our OTs fail or get injured (knock on wood).

  • Superdriller316

    Neither could Gilbert. How many guys did Gilbert take out?

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Yes and either way, the run game has to be more focused this year to take the pressure off Ben on Play Action.

  • Brett Hart

    gilbert is fat and ovverated,very lazy and has average feet…he is always falling players,or holding someone..he was picked because pouncey kept pushing tomlin to take a chance on him…adams on the other hand is a great run blocker now,an d he will learn to be a better pass blocker as he plays..he has a nasty streak in him,gibert has an eating streak…not a fan..

  • hergieburbur

    Knowing Merrill Hoge does not equal knowing football. You’ve put a lot of questionable to flat out wrong predictions and analyses on here, so you have to forgive some of us for being skeptical.

  • hergieburbur

    Overall talent wise, you may be right, but Gilbert so far looks to be the better pass blocker, while Adams is a beast against the run. It may well end up being that simple.

  • JC

    The Mike Adams pick last year was my least favorite selection because we essentially spent two years of 2nd round picks on right tackles. Unless one of these guys greatly improved this offseason, I see Max Starks getting a phone call to come back once again.

  • JC

    My dream scenario would be to trade Marcus Gilbert during the draft to Arizona for their 2nd round pick and draft Terron Armstead from Arkansas Pine Bluff to play LT. It’s boot going to happen, but I can still dream about it haha.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I think a lot of the fans are very impatient. We expect a 22 year old rookie (that we drafted #56 overall) to come in on day one and dominate against experienced veteran NFL pass rushers. If he can’t do it in his first season, we chant, “Cut his ass!” I’m glad some of you guys aren’t running the Steelers.

    Adams gave up some sacks/pressures last year but the question is why? What element in pass protection was he struggling with? Last year I did a play by play breakdown of Adams for his first three games (or so) and here is what I saw…

    I believe Adams has the size/length to play left tackle. I believe his feet are quick enough to play left tackle. I believe he has good enough awareness and discipline to play left tackle. Adams’ primary weakness is that he struggles with his hand placement and hand strength in pass pro.

    On most of the sacks Adams gave up, he was in proper position with decent balance. But the opposing pass rusher was able to swim/rip his arms away, and get past him. That is a technique issue (and also a strength issue). Both of those CAN be fixed. I’m not saying Adams will become a pro bowler. But I believe he has the potential to be a Marvel Smith or Max Starks type of player in pass protection.

    Run blocking on the other hand is a different story. Not only does Adams have the size and strength to run block but he appears to understand leverage and angles and balance. He literally engulfed defenders last year. And he was only a rookie.

    All I’m saying is, sometimes it takes more than one year to become a dominant NFL left tackle.

  • mokhkw

    Gilbert has better feet than Adams, Adams has the edge in strength & hands. I like Adams at RT and I think Gilbert would actually struggle less at LT where he doesn’t have to block 4-3 Power Ends. I think he does pretty well against outside speed rushers.

    I’ve been watching some film on him lately & think his biggest issues can be overcome with some good coaching. He’s what we call a “catcher” in that he lets guys get into him; he needs to be more aggressive with his hand punch.

    In short, if he can get his hands to be as good as his feet = a good starting LT. Adams could play LT, but his feet just aren’t as quick. His upside for LT is probably limited to the guy he would replace (Max Starks), at RT he could be dominant.

    I think some are put off by this after seeing Gilbert get bulled a few times, but if you go off the tape I think it’s pretty obvious that he’s the better fit of the 2 at LT.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Gimme starks back, move gilbert to LG and not only it’ll be a formidable line, but we will now have depth too. LT starks LG Gilbert OC Pouncey RG DeCastro RT Mike Adams. Back-ups: Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, and John Malecki or possibly Doug Legursky.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    If this does happen, we must get Starks back. I really like Terron Armstead as a potential franchise Left Tackle to develop but I do think he’ll slip into first round.

  • Ahmad

    I thought Gilbert did well at LT when he played there last year so I think he should get first crack at it. He’s done way too much damage on the right side anyway so maybe playing on the left side will be better for him.

  • Superdriller316

    I can’t wait to see what Bicknell does with the OL, teaching wise. I think some of the problem was scheme, teaching, or both.

  • Superdriller316

    Yeah, most things can be overcome by coaching. When I think of Gilbert, I see a two #1 draft picks and a #2 draft pick out of the game because he couldn’t hold his ground. I think it would be a waste of a good pulling RG to have someone on the left side who can’t run block. There are good points either way, so lets hope with new teaching and a new scheme we can have better Tackles.

  • Superdriller316

    Send him to Tunch to learn how to pass block

  • hergieburbur

    Yeah, I wasn’t too keen on the last OL coach.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    If Adams gets the nod there will be a lot of ‘crack’ at left tackle! Lol! He a big dude!

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