Breakdown Of Steelers T Mike Adams Versus Raiders

By Alex Kozora

A breakdown of Mike Adams’ snaps versus the Oakland Raiders.


First Drive

Snaps: 1

Run/Pass Block: 0/0

Pass Route: 1


1. 2nd and 10, 14:36 1st. Reports as an eligible receiver at RT. Runs a drag route. Don’t know why he would be asked to do that. Would rather with David Paulson or Michael Palmer. Still can show the Heavy run first look.

Second Drive

Snaps: 1

Run/Pass Block: 0/1


1. 1st and 10, 6:41 1st. Eligible receiver at LT. Fakes zone run (high hat though) with Ben Roethlisberger rolling to the right. No one to block because of that.

Third Drive

Snaps: 3

Run/Pass Block: 1/2


1. 1st and 10, 15:00 3rd. Eligible at RT. Double teams LaMarr Houston with Marcus Gilbert and pushes him upfield. Run off tackle to the left though.

2. 1st and 10, 8:54. Eligible RT. Pass set with OLB engaging and then dropping into coverage.

3. 2nd and 10, 8:48. Eligible RT. Screen to Le’Veon Bell. Sticks at second level and holds it for a few moments before falling off. Decent play though, showed strength/leg drive to stick initially at least.

Fourth Drive

Snaps: 2

Run/Pass Block: 1/1


1. 2nd and 5, 3:40 3rd. LT filling in after David DeCastro’s injury. 66 was in for two plays after suffering the injury but hobbled around and clearly needed to come out. Solo down block on DT. Good push, leg drive, and showed his strength.

2. 3rd and 5, 3:05. Quick throw so no pressure. But still not dropping his butt, back at 45 degree angle.

Fifth Drive

Snaps: 2

Run/Pass Block: 0/2


1. 1st and 10, 14:24 4th. Smoke screen to Antonio Brown with Adams as lead blocker. Can’t get legs under him and LB falls off block. But a tough block with the LB changing directions as soon as Adams makes contact so hard to be critical.

2. 2nd and 7, 14:00. Chip from Bell working against Houston. Adams gets completely upright, walked back. Zero leverage. Play starts really getting ugly from here.


Sixth Drive

Snaps: 3

Run/Pass Block: 0/3


1. 1st and 10, 13:01 4th. Quick throw. Houston still low man and Adams exposes his chest.

2. 2nd and 10, 13:06. Shovel pass. Adams works to the MIKE at the 2nd level but no one in the area.

3. 3rd and 8, 12:59. Shows decent lateral movement, shoving Nick Roach out of the way as he counters inside. Kept Ben clean for the moment.


Seventh Drive

Snaps: 3

Run/Pass Block: 0/3


1. 1st and 10, 10:34 4th. Houston with bull rush because he knows he’ll win (surprise! He does). Screen though so the ball comes out quick.

2. 2nd and 12, 10:04. Stunt and Adams does pick up the DT slanting to him. But sheds the left tackle, bringing Ben down as he climbs the pocket. Tough to stop for Adams but sack still on him.

3. 3rd and 15, 9:26. Stunt with the DT on contain. Nothing doing.

Eighth Drive

Snaps: 3

Run/Pass Block: 0/3


1. 1st and 10, 7:34 4th. Houston in two point stance. Adams’ base is consistently too wide. One of the major technical flaws in his game. Should be about shoulder width. They’re not. Lose balance, lateral movement with a base that’s too wide. Then he opens the gate with his right foot and Houston drives through. U-G-L-Y



2. 2nd and 3, 6:56. T/E stunt picked up well by Wallace and him. Adams still gets upright, however.

3. 3rd and 4, 6:52. Solo pass block on DT with overload blitz coming from other side. Not much to note.

Ninth Drive

Snaps: 14

Run/Pass Block: 3/11


1. 1st and 10, 4:22 4th. Tad slow off the snap but able to push Houston up the arc.

2. 1st and 10, 4:15. Flatback vs dip. Strength and the fact Houston can’t use his hands are the only reasons Adams able to seal Houston just enough.


3. 2nd and 10, 4:11. Houston initial outside rush but counters inside.. Adams not even able to come close to mirroring. Simply burned.

4. 1st and 10, 3:45. DT slants outside but on contain. Nothing doing.

5. 1st and 10, 3:13. Adams again upright vs bull rush but strength good enough for him to hold on for dear life.

6. 2nd and 10, 3:08. Heath block/release on Houston. Houston throws an arm into Adams, gets the tackle’s leg into the air, and runs through him.

7. 3rd and 1, 2:44. Solo run block with the FS in the box. Obviously wins this battle and finishes the play which was good to see. Lost art for lineman these days.

8. 1st and 10, 2:10. Play I showed in my sack breakdown so I won’t go into too much detail here. But Houston with the swim, Adams whiffs on his block and doubles over. As a last resort, he dives and grabs onto the foot of the end. Can’t make this stuff up.

9. 2nd and 10, 2:00. Stunt he does recognize and drives the LB into the ground.

10. 1st and 10, 1:51. Houston gets him upright again in his pass set.


11. 2nd and 3, 1:43. Bullrushed. Upright. Barely holds ground. Lather, rinse, repeat.

12. 1st and Goal, 1:36. Overload blitz, Raiders bring more (6) than the Steelers can block (5 – in empty set). Adams does smartly take on the inside rusher so there’s that.

13. 1st and Goal, 1:27. Tries to get to the second level on the Bell TD but falls off Kevin Burnett.

14. Two Point Conversion, 1:24. Not much doing on the end around away from him.


Snaps: 32

Run/Pass Block: 5/26

Pass Route: 1

I think I’ve made my feelings of his performance clear in what’s written above. There’s an obvious pattern. I never watched Adams too closely at Ohio State, but if I had to guess, he was getting by because of his strength. There’s no technique to his game. His base is too wide, he can’t sink his butt and get low, and the only time he isn’t upright is when he’s doubled over. The upper body strength he possesses is fairly unique but without any other tools in the toolbox, it’s practically useless. Technique can usually be fixed but as chronic as this is, I don’t think it ever will be.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Kris Gusto Williams

    He lacks technique. Most of the lineman lack technique. A few of these shots show more than just Adams failing

  • dgh57

    Adams has “BUST” written all over him!!! He’s not getting what the coaches tell him. About the only thing he can be used for at this time is in extra blocking situations.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Not an Adams apologist his technique is lacking but I think he can and will improve. This year he was deemed better than Gilbert at LT. Remember he hasn’t played a full season at either T spot. Seems like to me his lack of strength against these pass rushers lead to a breakdown in technique. Other guys like Max and Flozell who played LT for Dallas wasn’t the fleetest of foot type guys but they combined strength and god technique to become pretty good LT. With the experience he’s gotten and a good offseason with the O Line coach I think he can be a LT in this league just my opinion.

  • Matt Manzo

    I hope so! But the conclusion written above isn’t what I want to read about a 2nd rnd pick. I’m not giving up though!

  • Douglas Andrews

    He needs to put in a lot of offseason work. The above article along with his play are concerning but I’m with you i’m not ready to give up on just yet.

  • SG

    “Breakdown of T Mike Adams”, yeah, that about sums it up right there.

  • 20Stoney

    “The only time he isn’t upright is when he’s doubled over.”


  • charles

    Blindside protection of this caliber?!? You ARE apologising for Adams and it sounds like 8-8 is good enough for you. I do agree you however that technique should be coachable. So far it hasn’t shown up with Paulson or Adams.

  • Chris Wilkes

    Ugh pretty disappointing.

  • greeny

    Great analysis. Bottom line is he stinks.

  • cencalsteeler

    Alex, I agree with everything you point out. My only argument would be that he probably got by at Ohio State from his size and stature as opposed to his strength. Nice article, as always.

  • Chad H

    Thanks for the breakdown. Wasted 2nd rd pick. Hopefully Beachum will continue to improve. We will still need a tackle in the draft and Ebernate to stay healthy and see what he will have at the guard position. I don’t think we will have the money to keep Pouncy.
    Gotta keep Ben from getting hit and get another receiver. I believe Sanders will be gone and that’s not really a big issue.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I tend to agree with you on most points here. I am in no way excusing Adams’ weaknesses, but I do believe he will continue to improve.

    There is such a huge difference between college DE’s and NFL DE’s. It is very rare that a 22 year old kid comes in and dominates 26-30 year old grown men (who have perfected their pass rushing technique).

    Look at Eric Fisher the #1 overall draft choice last year. Elite size, strength, quickness, technique, in college. And even he is struggling in the NFL so far.

    The question to me is… Why is Adams so good in the run game? And yet so bad in pass protection?

    To me, I think Adams’ biggest issue is his hands/arms. He just doesn’t lock on well. He gets his hands shed way too easily and then he can’t use his size. In the run game it’s different because he can move forward, using his size and weight to LEAN on people. He doesn’t have to be precise.

    If I were his coach/trainer, I’d have him doing hand and arm strengthening exercises until he puked. I still think he can be a decent right tackle or a solid back up swing tackle.

  • gene mann

    So should the Steelers coaches be spending all their time teaching him Tech. Maybe bring in a guy like Tunch to work with him.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt for 1 more year. In the spring, the guy got stabbed, had an operation, but there is a good chance that it messed up his stomach muscles. With his size, he needs to train, build strength in areas he is deficient. I imagine that you need to have some core strength as well, twisting when your man tried to turn you and such. Hopefully he is much, much better next year. I don’t think it would be wise to pitch him out with the trash just yet.

    Remember that last year he seemed very good run blocking on the right side. If he could become serviceable, even as a back-up, it would save them from having to upgrade so many positions, right?

  • HopalongCassidy

    Gilbert and Foster both have poor technique. They are fat and slow. They just kind of stand up and waddle forward on run plays. They have no burst or oomph behind them. They try to push guys more than blast them. I’d keep them as backups only next year, get two new FA tackles to start and move Pouncey to LG. Keep Velasco at C. Adams would be released. Beachum would be a backup. I hope the FO has the same idea because that is sorely needed.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Adams pass blocks like a statue.

  • Dan

    I would rather keep Pouncey at C as that is a more critical position. Not sure if Velasco is a good candidate for LG or our salary cap next year, but certainly no objection to keeping him on our line if possible. Agree with cutting our loses with Adams.

  • Dan

    I agree with the final thought of the article. Technique can often be fixed, but as chronic as this is….maybe not. Adams is not better than a large number of guys on practice squads across the league, making rookie minimums. Even it he makes a dramatic improvement to become serviceable, there’s plenty of other guys that are cheaper and have genuine upside potential.
    More food for LT thought: We’re currently in position for a top 5 draft pick next year.

  • HopalongCassidy

    The salary cap can be fixed by releasing or trading a couple of high priced players who are late in their careers i.e. Polamalu and Keisel.

  • Jazz

    Pouncey is way over-rated; this kid had one good year coming out of college, his rookie season. After that, he has been average at best. Truth be told, he didn’t have a great preseason, at times he looked like a rookie. I have no idea why so many people are so GaGa over Pouncey. This O/L is a mess! Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert has got to go, Tomlin is over-rated as well. The guy does a piss-poor A$$ job evaluating talent. The scouting department needs to be put on notice as well; O/L and DB’s? Who the hell is scouting these duds?