The Pittsburgh Steelers demoted second-year tackle Mike Adams following his play in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings and Tuesday during his press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he still sees something in the Ohio State product moving forward.
“Absolutely I do,” Tomlin said. “The most important thing is not maybe what’s happened to him to this point, it’s how he responds to it and moves forward. I think it’s going to be an opportunity to define him and his career.”
Tomlin went on to say other players have overcome situations such as Adams’ in the past and even used cornerback Ike Taylor as an example. Taylor was benched in November of 2006 by then-head coach Bill Cowher but managed to fight his way back into the starting lineup.
“Forget about the examples,” Tomlin said. “It’s time for Mike to really roll his sleeves up and go about working to find more consistency in movement and technique so that he can be the player that we know, and he knows, that he’s capable of being.”
Adam had a hell of time against Vikings defensive end Jared Allen a week ago this past Sunday and Tomlin was asked if he had second thoughts about not giving the young tackle more help during the game.
“Yeah, under the circumstances, sure, looking at the tape” Tomlin said. “But really didn’t anticipate him playing in the manner in which he did. I think it was a surprise to him, and us.”
With Adams now effectively serving as the swing tackle, the Steelers will be forced to start either Kelvin Beachum or Levi Brown at left tackle Sunday against the New York Jets. That decision will be tied to the health of left guard Ramon Foster, who is trying to overcome a pectoral injury.
As of right now, Adams will sit unless an injury occurs and he has a long road back to the starting lineup at this point. By the time the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around, the Steelers will need to define whether or not their former second-round draft pick is their future left tackle. Being as he is unlikely to play much from here on out, all they will have to go on is how he performs in practice and how he responds to his demotion.