Sometimes things simply aren’t meant to be. Is that the case for the Pittsburgh Steelers and offensive tackle Mike Adams? Time will tell, but events are certainly trending in that direction. Mike Adams began training camp on the Steelers PUP list and Pittsburgh had until 4:00 pm Tuesday to begin practicing him, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
- He did not practice with the Steelers on Tuesday which means Mike Adams season ends.
Once considered a first round worthy draft pick, Mike Adams history with the Steelers has been rocky to say the least. Mike Adams failed a drug test at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, prompting Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin to remove him from their draft board.
Fortunately, Mike Adams agent Joe Panos has a good relationship with the Steelers, and set up a meeting between Adams and the Steelers. Adams entered rehab, fell out of the first round, and the Steelers drafted Adams in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
While Mike Tomlin stopped well short of pronouncing Mike Adams as his starting left tackle, he signaled his intentions by moving Willie Colon to guard and making way for Marcus Gilbert to start at right tackle. The door was open for Mike Adams to grab the Steelers starting left tackle spot in training camp. Adams wasn’t up to the challenge, so the Steelers turned to Max Starks as they had so many times before.
- Mike Adams got playing time in 2012 at right tackle as injures ravaged the Steelers offense line (sound familiar) and did a good job.
The Steelers went into training camp 2013 with Mike Adams at the top of the depth chart at left tackle. Adams held down the spot, but Kelvin Beachum most certainly pushed him for starting time. The Steelers nonetheless started Adams hoping to use Kelvin Beachum’s utility as a lineman who could play all five positions.
- The Mike Adams experiment at left tackle was a disaster.
Per Neal Coolong of USA Today’s Steelers Wire, Mike Adams gave up 13 sacks and, for perhaps the only time in his career, Ben Roethlisberger appeared rattled by the pass rush. Adams was replaced by Beachum but has played well in the times he has been called upon to start due to injury.
Injury Costs Mike Adams Opportunity
Mike Adams back injury cost him an opportunity to redeem himself during 2015. There was no way he was beating out Kelvin Beachum for the starting left tackle spot, but he could have likely earned the number 3 tackle slot. Instead that role falls to Alejandro Villanueva, who has started since Beachum tore his ACL.
Still, Adams is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he is coming off of back surgery. Such a pedigree does not generally entice suitors to throw money at NFL free agents, so Adam’s phone will likely stay quiet.
Will the Steelers be one of the teams that calls? As Mike Adams season ends, that remains to be seen.