Mike Adams Still Hungry To Compete Along Offensive Line

For Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams, there’s no running away from the chaos and disappointment of 2013, which began with a knife wound.

His recollections of this past season are simple, and to the point. “I think it went pretty bad”, he said. “I think it        would be tough on anybody”. It’s a natural reaction to failing at your craft to the point at which you have to be replaced.

He wasn’t just replaced, however. He was inactive for the next game, and had it not been for the injury suffered by the newly signed Levi Brown, he may have spent a few more weeks on the inactive list.

Instead, it gave him a chance to keep at it, as the Steelers gave him plenty of reps as a tackle eligible at tight end through the remainder of the season. He also started one game late in the year with Kelvin Beachum out with an injury.

But 2014 is a new year, and he’s got a new offensive line coach in Mike Munchak, which he described as “an awesome coach”. Munchak has “reviewed everything from last year”, and the pair is working on making Adams a better player.

But for now, he’s just looking to put some work in, saying that he hasn’t lost any of his competitive edge due to his struggles. “I’m here to compete for a job and get better every day…wherever they need me, I just want to come out and play”.

Thus far, where they’ve needed him most seems to be as the second-team left tackle, behind Beachum, who took his job last season after four games.

Late in the proceedings on Thursday, however, Munchak had Adams lined up as the first-team right tackle in place of Marcus Gilbert for a spell.

Of course, it’s long been assumed that the Steelers might well pit Adams and Gilbert against one another to compete for a spot in the starting lineup at right tackle, and perhaps that was the first sign of said competition.

It’s quite a decline from last summer, when the two competed for the starting left tackle job, with the loser receiving the consolation prize of starting right tackle.

It will be interesting to see how the pieces continue to move going forward, however. Will Adams be given any reps at left tackle with the first team, for example? Will Beachum get any work on the right side this summer?

It can’t hurt to pit all three against one another. The worst it could do is to hone their skills and increase their versatility, all of which could use the work. None of them have ever had the asset of Munchak as their line coach before this season, so some of the prior evaluations need to be thrown out of the window.

I’ve long stressed throughout this offseason that this is the year during which the Steelers must have their answers at the bookends of the offensive line, whether in the affirmative or negative. They seem to have settled down on a winning trio in the interior, but there’s still so much that we don’t know about Beachum, Gilbert, and perhaps Adams in particular. Time is ticking as they enter their third and fourth seasons.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • Angel Navarro

    I think LT is Beachum to lose & I don’t think he will.

  • Paddy

    They really need him to play well.

  • whisn

    i got a feeling Adams is going to come good this season, he could end up ousting Gilbert through camp – if not he will provide excellent back-up on either end, and knowing our O’line it won’t be long till one of them goes down injured and he would be wise not to let that chance slip and make himself undropable

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from OTA’s or last years performance. I don’t even think you can develop sound theories based on where people line up this early.

    OTA’s are where coaches learn about players & try things out. Properly managed you try the most unlikely things first which means anything unusual that you see early is designed to eliminate options instead of representing a new plan being implemented.

    I don’t think anyone played well enough on the line to earn a job next year and Munch should be evaluating everyone with no concerns about what other coaches had the players do. He should put everyone where he thinks they fit best and not look back or worry about feelings.

    If he thinks Adams has no chance of starting at LT I think we made a mistake in not drafting someone who can play LT. That said, I do think he expects Adams to compete at LT.

  • dgh57

    Adams should(that is if he doesn’t get into some kind of trouble again)have a complete off season of practice this year as if I remember right he missed time his rookie year because of that Graduation thing with his school still in place at the time and of course the unfortunate stabbing incidence last year. Not missing any practice time is important for a guy like Adams as he’s far from being the most cerebral type person on the team! It remains to be seen where Adams will play this year but since he can play both OT positions he may be a backup at both this season and our starter at RT in 2015 as I don’t think Gilbert sees a 2nd contract with us. We’ll see as Munchak and the preseason still ahead of us will have a lot to say about the OT positions on this team.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    RT is best for Adams. Run to the right behind Decastro and him and sometimes a TE. And see what happens. I bet the outcome will be excellent.

  • Steel PAul

    “saying that he hasn’t lost any of his competitive edge due to his struggles”

    WHAT competitive edge?? He seems to play without any aggression whatsoever, particularly on pass blocking.

    Adams was not a ‘bust’, but he was a ‘miss’. He cannot play the LT position he was drafted for. We have seen enough to know this FOR SURE.


    I like Beachum too…in fact early last preseason I mentioned on here that he could be one of our starting guards…and was chastised for it…however, I know he still can be. In my prognostication crystal ball I see Coach Munch digging some pent up anger out of Adams, who bull wrestles the LT spot away from Beachum, who is in turn quicker than Foster, and slides over into his guard slot, and allows our oldest linemen- Foster and Wallace, to bring in fresh if needed, along with Munch’s first pet project, WJ. Go Steelers!

  • joed32

    I’ll trust the new OL coach to decide on that, he certainly knows what he’s doing.

  • Ike Evans

    Mike adams is a scrub man…he can be hungry if he wants to be….milanos on 5th avenue is really good

  • Milliken Steeler

    The competitive edge that saw him do well at R/T before we thought it was a good idea to move him.

    If he beat Gilbert at L/T where he definitely didnt belong especially coming off an injury and missing time….what do you think will happen if he is actually allowed to compete at R/T where he belongs?

    Lets see what happens. I say Gilbert is gone for 2015.

  • Steel PAul

    Dave Te Thomas told us what we were getting prior to the team drafting Adams. “Unmotivated and not very smart”. He was not too nice about it either.

    I’ll give Munchak a chance with him, but he seems like a guy that is uninspired and cannot pass block at any O-line position.