Categorized | Article, Pictures

Mike Adams’ Spot Start Offers A Glimmer Of Hope


By Matthew Marczi

It’s not often that a fan base holds its breath when damned-near Mr. Irrelevant gets injured, but that’s what Pittsburgh Steelers fans found themselves doing against the Baltimore Ravens when Kelvin Beachum, the team’s starting left tackle and former seventh-round compensatory draft pick, went down with an injured knee.

As it went, Beachum was forced to sit out the next game, giving way to the reason that he was in the starting lineup in the first place: Mike Adams. Adams, of course, was the pedigreed tackle that the Steelers drafted last year, in the second round, but whose dismal performance leading up to and especially in Week Four earlier this year saw him take an extended seat on the bench.

Adams was the next man up on Sunday, however, with Beachum out. He made his first start at left tackle since that Minnesota Vikings game, and he did relatively well. You can tell that he’s now trying to do the things he needed to work on, even if he doesn’t always succeed in doing them, particularly with respect to his handwork.

His reputation since coming to the team has been as a run blocker, of course, and because the Steelers have historically been right-handed when it comes to running the ball, many paint him as a future right tackle eventually, when all the dust settles. But if you have a left tackle capable of blocking for the run, then you can be more ambidextrous.

He more or less held his own in pass protection as well, though. Even the times that Ben Roethlisberger held on to the ball some and Adams was left on his own, as was the case above against Cameron Wake.

But it wasn’t all roses for the second-year tackle, as seen on the touchdown pass that finished off Pittsburgh’s second drive of the game, from which the first two plays above were taken. Adams got beaten right across his face by the rusher. Luckily for him, it was a quick-release pass—admittedly, the same thing that has been benefitting Beachum for the last several weeks, which just so happened to coincide with his ‘settling down’ at left tackle. Everybody settles down when they only have to block for a second and a half.

This is what happens when both of your tackles get beaten on the same play. It’s a wonder that Roethlisberger was able to thread the needle on third and 10 to keep the drive alive. Of course, Adams here was at least able to recover and work the rusher around the pocket, allowing Roethlisberger to step up and deliver the throw.

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About Matthew Marczi

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

    I think the field conditions probably helped Adams out quite a bit by slowing down the rushers first step and making the bull rush more difficult because there was no traction but I’ll take whatever good news I can get when it comes to Adams.

  • Nathan Shrift

    I think Adams is playing out of position, he is a right tackle.

  • BurgherinMD

    Yes! It is maddening watching him face the other team’s best pass rusher at LT when he did so well at RT last year run blocking. Gilbert’s failings at LT at the beginning of camp have doomed Adams to fail at a position (LT) that was not their original intent to start him at anyway. I do not see them resigning Gilbert after next season and sadly that may be the next/last shot Adams gets to play the position (RT) he seems much better suited for. Beachum has earned the right to carry on at LT or at least battle whoever (draft pick or low grade FA) they bring in next year.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    TAKING A CLOSE LOOK AT THE LAST GIF, GILBERT WAS BULL RUSHED RIGHT INTO THE BOTTOM OF BENS LEGS BY # 97, I HAVE A HARD TIME FIGURING OUT WHY BOTH GILBERT AND ADAMS HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM BENDING , IT IS A SIMPLE MOVE COMPARED TO A GOLFER AS HE ADDRESSES THE BALL PRIOR TO SWINGING THE CLUB, JUST INITIATE A SIT DOWN POSTURE AND GET THE HANDS INSIDE .

  • cencalsteeler

    I have seen the evolution of the defensive end go from a beer bellied, overweight, huge run stuffing guy to a lean, muscular athletic speed rusher. If I was Colbert and co. I would start implementing that build into my offensive tackles. The tackle position needs to get more athletic. Adams problem is he can’t move fast enough to take on a speed rusher. He is too slow as confirmed in the pass rush gifs above. His size will always produce decent running blocking stats, but what he lacks in speed and agility will magnify his less than stellar pass blocking skills.

  • Don

    Pretty sure that next training camp Mike Adams and Gilbert will be battling to see who starts at RT..The one that doesn’t start will be the swing..

  • joed32

    The field conditions didn’t do Gilbert any good on the other side.

  • Jason

    Very true.

  • JAMESH

    If by some miracle Adams becomes competent at LT, Beachum could push Foster or Gilbert for their respective positions.

  • Don

    Yeah, I guess that’s not out of the realm of posibilities..Like you said and I agree..he is not quick enough on his feet…hopefully with some physical training, and some coaching up he can get to where he needs to be.

  • Patrick Reid

    Excellent point.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Personally, I would prefer not go into the 2014 season with a “glimmer of hope” for a decent O-line that can both run and pass block from all five positions. I’d be making some off season moves to bolster this unit and that would be a high priority.

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