During his weekly talk with the media on Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he would like to see his offensive line play with more attitude moving forward after starting the 2013 season 0-3.
"Be tough. Be nasty," Roethlisberger said Wednesday prior to practice. "If you have to get a penalty because you're going to be nasty, a holding penalty or you're going to choke someone out on a run play ... I don't always think that's a bad thing if you get a penalty every once in a while because you're playing tough and nasty compared to not getting any penalties and just playing passive.
"I know the O-line coach [Jack Bicknell Jr.] probably didn't want to hear me say that, but I just want them to have the confidence to go out and play the way that I know they can."
While Roethlisberger made sure not to point out anyone by name, his passive comment had to be aimed mostly right at left tackle Mike Adams, as that has been a knock him dating back to his time at Ohio State. At just over 6'7", Adams is usually the biggest kid on the block in games, yet he doesn't consistently play like he knows he can take away everyone's lunch money. Adams did, however, show us a little bit of a nasty streak late in the Sunday night loss to the Chicago Bears.
Bears defensive end Julius Peppers pretty much had his way with Adams throughout the Sunday night game and the two really started to get testy with each other in the fourth quarter.
With a little over 11 minutes left in the game, Peppers gets his hands underneath Adams and eventually into his facemask. Adams doesn't take too kindly to this and skirmish ends with an official getting popped right in the kisser. Adams of course consoles the injured.
After Peppers pretty much puts the game on ice with his fumble return for a touchdown, he decides he wants to really show Adams who the boss is with just over two minutes left to go in the game.
On second down, Peppers bull rushes Adams and plants him on his back. Not only does Peppers put Adams on skates on the way, he appears to bypass and easy chance at a sack. Talk about embarrassing.
So did Adams respond?
Indeed he did and on the very next play.
After initially giving up a little ground to Peppers, Adams anchors and finishes the play by pancaking the Bears defensive lineman and laying on top of him. While this wasn't quite as nasty as what Willie Colon did to Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict last season, it's perhaps the closet we've seen to it.
Adams is a big boy that needs to start imposing his will more on defensive players moving forward as it never seems as though he's the aggressor. While he works on becoming a better technician, he needs to street fight more.
This Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Adams will go up against defensive end Jared Allen, who will test him even more than Peppers did. If Adams does not handle him well, Roethlisberger could be in for a rough day.