Steelers vs Bengals I Film Review: Mike Adams

For those few who still seem to be in the corner of third-year offensive tackle Mike Adams, the common hope that they all share tends to be the remembrance of a few strong blocks in the running game during his rookie season.

However, these days, that seems to have been more of a fluke than anything else. In fact, he had much greater issues in the running game than in pass protection when he started in place of Marcus Gilbert on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While he had his struggles there, failing to pass off properly on stunts and getting reverse pancaked a time or two, what really showed up upon further review was just how poor he looked at times as a run blocker.

On an early run on the Steelers’ opening drive, for example, the line all shifted left off a run up the left side, but it was Adams who fell off his block, allowing Carlos Dunlap to get the initial hit that helped bring down Le’Veon Bell after a five-yard gain. Once the defensive end got Adams going forward, he swam off his back and penetrated the pocket.

On the very next play, he was slow to reach out on a second-level block on linebacker Rey Maualuga, allowing him to come off the edge and make the tackle on Bell for no gain to set up a third and long situation.

After the Steelers gained a first down inside the red zone, they tried to run off left end out of 11 personnel, but Adams’ poor ability to stick on a block on the move assured that the play would be held to minimal gain. Once again, it was Dunlap who freed himself from Adams’ grasp to pitch in on the tackle.

On the second play of the Steelers’ following drive, it was Adams to blame once again for the botched rushing attempt, which this time went for a loss of three yards. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins pushed his way past the right tackle’s outside shoulder with speed and power, shoving him out of the way and bringing down the back in the backfield.

Midway through the third quarter, Adams was flagged for the team’s only offensive penalty all game, a holding call on Dunlap. The defensive end quickly beat him inside off the snap and chased Bell to the perimeter, causing Adams to hold to prevent him from reaching. The worst part, of course, is that the play went for zero yards as it was.

In the fourth quarter, just the next play after a 53-yard run, Adams was responsible for making sure that Josh Harris’ first career carry was held to a gain of one when he left Dunlap push him back and then scrape off the block to make the tackle.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • Jason

    As a big OSU fan I hate to have to admit it but this guy is a complete turd. After watching him for years I didn’t want him in the first round but actually thought him in the second could be a good selection. I was clearly wrong. He has always struggled with speed rushers but was usually a bull in the running game. Now he sucks at that too. Hopefully Shazier represents OSU a lot better.

  • Lizard72

    Let’s be clear on the first one. Looks like DD’s chip knocks him of his leverage and he trips up as the defender slows down and accelerates. The guy looked decent when they had him at RT then went through a season where they tried to make him a LT. With a sorry OL coach that was fired essentially halfway through the season. Now hes getting spot reps at RT again. I’d like to see the whole line succeed.

  • ApexSteel

    You kinda wasted your time with this one Matthew. We all knew Adams was straight up garbage we didn’t have to see exactly how. Good work regardless though.

  • Steelers@2010

    Yet the Steelers will probably resign him. They say Marcus Gilbert is better, I don’t see too much of an upgrade, but it appears he is better in run support. Neither of them are great in the passing game.

  • 20Stoney

    How sad is it that he is our best option as a backup tackle? Reallyour only option unless you start moving starters around.

  • dgh57

    I was thinking this would be a make or break season for Adams since he has a HOF OL Coach to show him the tricks of the trade. It still doesn’t seem to be working for him so it’s time to move on and he can take Cam Thomas with him!

  • steeltown

    In his defense Carlos Dunlap is no slouch, but I see another OT taken in the draft, not early Rds, but not late either.

  • steeltown

    Heyward has been a godsend… but yes, I am finally on board, Adams is a turd

  • Rick M

    Agree steel. I’m not an Adams fan and especially don’t like the way he was drafted. But when you’re going against guys like Dunlap, and at times Geno Atkins, they can make any player look really bad on a handful of plays. The first play seems unfair as Dunlap moves so quickly to his right.

    I may as well just say what I’m thinking. It’s extremely doubtful Adams gets a second contract (he hasn’t earned it), but this review bothers me a little. Apologies to Matt, he’s calling it like he sees it; It just seems to be a little piling on, on a back-up RT after a big win.

  • joed32

    As I said before, the guys who are considered to be “bad” players only get their bad gifs shown. At least there were no sacks allowed so he must have blocked someone in the course of the game.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Adams problems seemed to be some bad habits and awful leverage issues. Once he starts leaning it’s game over for him as the defensive players can easily push him around. I thought by now he would clean up all that stuff but if Coach Munch can’t fix him then I’m starting to think he’s just broken period.

  • Rick M

    Agree. I don’t think Adams is in any way a ‘keeper’ and I don’t think he should ever have been drafted. That said, he played better last weekend. I’m going to re-watch the game and see if he made any good plays, just for my own curiosity.

  • Jason

    The same thing the other way last week with Heyward’s GIF’s. Looked more like a highlight reel than an accurate representation. Granted Heyward played well but it showed no negatives

  • Jason

    I was on cloud 9 the day we drafted him.

  • charles

    As well, does away crowd technique of snap count play to Adams disadvantage? Because Foster taps Pouncey for the snap, Dunlop can see this and Adams cannot….

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Other guys look beat, quickly move their feet, and can sometimes get back in position to block. Adams is strong, but his cement feet are not improving. Sometimes he hangs on, but once he’s beat he just desperately lunges and he’s done. Too bad, because they need help at so many other positions.

  • 20Stoney

    I’ve thought that too, but then again they can only show so many gifs, and there was that one play when he was absolutely steamrolled. Maybe a “letter grade” on a players day is in order to give a better view. (then we can all argue about that!)

  • Matt Manzo

    I’ve given up hope. I admired him for the predraft trip to Pitt and him apologizing and proclaiming how much he wanted to be a Steeler, but there’s nothing on tape that says he’s better than Jermaine Stephens!

  • Krankor


  • Rick M

    I just re-watched the first 3 quarters of the game, focusing on Adams. He was serviceable, not a great/good run blocker by any means but in most cases he held his own.

    I guess my question is why was the play with 3:57 left in the 3rd quarter not included in this story? He drove his guy backwards 4 yards and Bell ran right behind him for 15 yards. If you want to make a guy look really bad, just include his worst plays and leave out any really good ones.

  • joed32

    There was a Monday night game where Jermaine just stuffed Reggie White all night. That was the highlight of his career. White even commented after the game that he was going to be good if he kept working. Cowher cut him when he failed the sprinting test to open camp.

  • Matt Manzo

    I forgot about that! The mnf game.