By Matthew Marczi
Steelers second-year tackle Mike Adams is set to make his first start (at tackle anyway) since his demotion in Week Four when the team faces the Miami Dolphins this week. The man who replaced him, Kelvin Beachum, will be out at least this week with a knee injury. So how did Adams do filling in for Beachum at the end of the last game?
Well, he got beat before he even got back to tackle, but at least it was against a pedigreed pass rusher such as Elvis Dumervil. As has been the norm, the Steelers were using Adams at tight end prior to them needing him to fill in at tackle.
On this play, he lined up to Beachum’s left and Dumervil lined up on his outside shoulder. When Adams went in for the punch, Dumervil beat him to the inside and pressured Ben Roethlisberger, forcing a bad throw.
Beachum only played the first snap of the final drive. On the first five snaps with Adams in the game, the Steelers either didn’t ask him to do much by throwing quick passes or giving him chip blocks to help out, or the Ravens didn’t rush anybody in his direction.
On this, the sixth snap at left tackle, on the other hand, Terrell Suggs got the better of him, even after Heath Miller chipped him. Sensing that he was on the losing side of the battle, Adams grabbed his facemask to slow him down, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty.
After a fortunate running back screen that somehow went for 29 yards, Suggs got the better of Adams again at the 20-yard line. Adams really lacked proper technique here, bending at the waist and lunging, his feet placed improperly. Suggs took advantage with a bull rush, driving Adams back into the pocket and eventually getting a hit.
On his final snap—one play later—Adams did a better job technically before he got his foot caught up underneath him and turned his ankle. From that point on, Suggs was able to get to Roethlisberger again and bring him down, but not until he completed a 19-yard pass down to the one.
In his brief stint back at left tackle in the last game, Adams showed that he still has the same technical flaws coming off the bench that ultimately led to him losing his job. The Steelers must hope to play with a lead to quell the pass rush. They must also hope that a week of practice and a quicker release on passes will combine to help Adams keep Roethlisberger’s jersey clean for a shirt straight week.