In 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance on tackle Mike Adams when they spent a second-round draft pick on him after initially removing him from their draft following a failed drug test at the NFL scouting combine. With Adams now in his third season, he has yet to live up to the Steelers expectations, but with starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert expected to miss the Sunday game against the Indianapolis Colts with a concussion, Adams will likely make his first start since the Week 14 game last season against the Miami Dolphins.
It will be a golden opportunity Sunday for the Ohio State product to show that he was worthy of his second-round selection in addition to being a reliable starter and Adams is certainly well aware of that.
“Anytime you get a chance to play you want to show what you got,” Adams told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Coach [Mike Tomlin] always says this is your walking, talking breathing resume. That’s the way you have to take it. You have to put good stuff on film for everyone to see.”
After Adams took over for an injured Gilbert in the second quarter of the game Monday night against the Houston Texans, he didn’t allow a sack. Outside of having a few problems with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, it was actually a performance that featured more bad than good. Left guard Ramon Foster told Fittipaldo that he believes Adams’s play in that game helped the young player’s confidence.
“I think he had a solid game other than the false start he had,” Foster said. “You can tell he has a little bounce about him right now. He’s looking forward to this. He got a full week of prep. You can tell he knows this is an opportunity for him. I’m hoping he takes advantage of it.”
Against the Colts Sunday, Adams and the rest of the Steelers offensive line will square off against a defense that has already registered 21 sacks so far this season. Outside linebackers Bjoern Werner and Erik Walden have already combined to register seven of those sacks along with 18 combined quarterback hits. Adams can expect to see plenty of both of those players in the game Sunday as the two switch sides during the game depending on the defensive call and personnel that they face.
With Gilbert unable to practice this week, Adams has received all of the first-team reps. If he plays well Sunday against the Colts, he will continue to build his confidence and in the process show that he’s overcome the problems that plagued him during his first two seasons in the league.
If, however, Adams plays poorly Sunday, it could wind up being the beginning of the end of him in Pittsburgh. Even though he’s signed through the 2015 season, there’s no guarantee he will stick past this season. Hopefully he puts more good on film than bad Sunday against the Colts as the Steelers certainly need him to play well in this game if they want to have any hopes of winning it.