Tight End A Good Look On Mike Adams, For Now

By Matthew Marczi

Although Jim Wexell Tweeted out just prior to the game to look for Mike Adams at tight end, the fact that he actually played tight end—and significantly—for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the  Baltimore Ravens this past week was probably somewhat surprising to most people. Even I was somewhat surprised, and I had written about the possibility of it occurring a few days earlier.

It made a lot of sense, however, and it also worked well, particularly as the game wore on and he got more comfortable after sitting for a week. He even took a rep or two at right tackle when Guy Whimper briefly exited the game. As mentioned, however, there was a bit of a learning curve earlier in the game, as on this passing play:

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Here he is lined up on the strong side of what will ultimately be a four-receiver look, with only him staying in to block out of what looks to be a running formation. The problem here is that he is not on the same page as Whimper—in fact, perhaps he was supposed to be blocking Terrell Suggs here, who comes in free.

But to make it worse, once Whimper hands off Arthur Jones, the defensive end pushes him aside as he approaches from a bad angle, forcing Ben Roethlisberger to heave up a prayer. Not a good-looking play. Fortunately, it does get better.

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Here, Adams and Whimper are clearly on the same page, as they completely neutralize Suggs and push him so far downfield that he finishes the play on his rear end 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Of course, it helps when David DeCastro can be trusted to stone a defensive tackle in isolation. The only problem is the pass was incomplete out of bounds.

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Here is the dastardly duo once again working in harmony to subdue the adversary, only this time it is Jones, rather than He Who Hails From Ball So Hard University. With a clean pocket, Roethlisberger completes a downfield pass to David Paulson. Unfortunately, an injury to Whimper on the next play briefly broke up the band, which thrust Adams way back into 2012 as the right tackle for a spell. That included this Wildcat run, on which he reminded us all of why we kept talking about his run-blocking ability last year.

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Here, he is able to turn Jones completely out of the hole, which leads to a seven-yard gain for Le’Veon Bell. Two others end up making the tackle due to insufficient blocks by Fernando Velasco and Heath Miller, but the work of Adams and DeCastro had this play looking like it could break for a moment before the hole collapsed.

Bottom line, it was good, both for Adams and for the team, that the second-year lineman got some work in at tight end in this past game, as it got his feet wet again for game action. He even got thrown back into the fire for a few snaps at right tackle and, as shown above, held his own. He got off to a shaky start, but once he settled down, he proved to be a real asset, and I expect him to continue to be used at tight end until he wins or is required to take over a starting job at tackle.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    I like the fact that he is being used in some form or fashion, as a young player he’ll never get better without invaluable in-game experience.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Always liked and defended the guy based solely on his run blocking ability. The team needs better run blockers to get the running game jump started. Glad he is getting some game snaps.

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    It’s great to see him doing something! Maybe this will be the way he will eventually “get it”.

  • Mike Carroll

    I wonder if Adams has good enough hands to catch a short pass as TE releasing off the line in goal line situations. That could be one way to get an easy TD in the redzone. Seems like the type of play Haley would use if available.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    In fact, to get open he could easily fool the defense by totally whiffing on a block…he is excellent at that.

  • ATL96STEELER

    He’s getting snaps which is what I thought needed a lot more of…I like that he’s out there contributing as well.

  • steeltown

    Somebody doesn’t think so…maybe one of his stabbing assailants

  • Dr. Doom

    Awesome gif with suggs flying backwards

  • JAMESH

    That’s not right!

  • JAMESH

    Something about watching Suggs get pushed to the ground like that makes me smile.

  • JAMESH

    Regardless of any other blocking breakdown in the first GIF, LeVeon Bell needed to recognize that he was the last line of defense for Ben and attempt to slow down Suggs.

  • Dr. Doom

    sizzle that

  • Dr. Doom

    thank you that made my day

  • PA2AK

    Seriously..the up-vote is an agreement. Expand or say nothing. The down-vote is a disagreement….SAY SOMETHING! haha…it probably bothers me more than it really should.

  • PA2AK

    nice

  • PA2AK

    I don’t agree, but I’ll give you a reason unlike the first downer. I really don’t like the play design as there is no real quick hit option (at least that I can see). Add that they defended it well…it happens. Looks like Bell was one of the primary targets on the play given his route. I would say he needs to chip the guy, but if it was his responsibility I would think he takes a different approach than the path he took.

  • steeltown

    Zing!

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Still think the team shouldve kept gilbert at left and adams on the right. His run blocking last year helped get redman 100+ yards and didnt the team get three straight games with 100 yard rushers when he took over at right tackle b4 he was injured?

  • cencalsteeler

    His run blocking is fine, it’s the pass blocking that is “below the line”. I do think the rt. side is his best attribute. If memory serves me correctly, they moved him to the left during camp due to the fact he was left handed. He obviously needs more work, so keeping him active and sprinkling him in at te is good so he can continue to develop. It will be interesting to see what he does in the offseason. That should dictate whether or not he’s serious about being a starting tackle in this league.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    His pass blocking is far below the line ha. But on the right side ben has a better chance of seeing the rush coming since its not his blind side. And we all know what ben can do when he sees the rush coming.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Is it possible that he could actually catch a pass and completely fool the defense ?

  • Johnny Loose

    Adams pretty much handled Suggs by himself in the 2nd GIF which is promising. I wish that I had a list of names for the people who prematurely labeled DeCastro a bust. I think the word they were looking for was BEAST. Because on the same play, he absolutely manhandles that DT by himself. Very impressive.

  • Johnny Loose

    i second that notion

  • Johnny Loose

    jk, that was me :)

  • Johnny Loose

    Matt I remember you mentioning that and I thought it made perfect sense. So I wasn’t surprised at all when it happened.

  • Dutchess Hershberger

    agreed much too early to give up on adams, getting him on the field can do nothing but help and playing him at tight end takes some of the pressure off him

  • Shelob9

    I think Adams got the LT job because Gilbert this year is half the lineman he was in his rookie year. I don’t know if it’s because of what the injury that end his season last year or what. They probably put Adams in at LT because they thought they didn’t have any other option.

    I’m hoping we get another GIF breakdown of Beachum this week. He’s been shockingly good at LT.

  • JAMESH

    I think Bell may have been the primary target. But he needs to make the adjustment in blitz pickup or else the secondary target is of no consequence and we saw the result.