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.