Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams is in the city working with his fellow linemen, training to get past a rough season in which he lost his starting job after just a month. He spoke with the team’s website yesterday about his second year in the league.
Adams wasn’t the only player that got benched. Ziggy Hood was benched. Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones were benched for each other. Cortez Allen was demoted. Even the punter ended up losing his job. They all dealt with it in their own way.
No one wants to get benched. But if you concentrate on the bad stuff you are going to lose it and go in the tank. For me it was all about rebounding. I know better than to sit and sulk.
I think football in general helps you fight through adversity. That’s what you are taught ever since you were a little kid and you started playing the game. You never quit.
Adams did as he was told and moved over to tight end, coming in as an extra lineman whenever he was called upon. It was part of how Mike Tomlin wanted to see him respond, and it remains an ongoing process.
From what we talked about I responded the way he wanted, worked hard and got better, got a lot better, built on a lot of things I needed to fix. I need to just keep building. In the offseason and OTAs I just need to go out and perform the way I know I can, and ultimately if that happens, things will be how they are supposed to be. I am itching to get out there and show what I can do. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and I am excited about it.
Like last season, he, David DeCastro, and the rest of the offensive linemen are hitting the weight room early and often at the team facility, pushing each other independent of the coaching staff to get better—for each other.
He and DeCastro in particular are close. The two came in together in the same class, the top two picks of the 2012 NFL Draft for the Steelers. But DeCastro has already solidified his position on the team, and in the league, while Adams remains a player without a position.
While he’s not sulking about his situation, beginning the offseason as the third option at tackle behind Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert, he’s not resting, either, telling the Steelers’ website that “there’s no sense of comfort at all”, impatiently waiting for the offseason to begin so that he can show the team what he can do.
Adams knows that this is a crucial season not only for himself, but for the offensive line, and for the front office to figure out where they stand. With Gilbert in the final year of his contract, they need to know if he is going to be the guy at right tackle.
Adams has a say in that. If it ends up being Beachum and Adams as the book ends along the offensive line, that will be integral for discussions with Gilbert next season. In fact, it would probably be the end of the road. For somebody with 34 starts in three seasons, there will be a market above backup money.