Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Mike Adams has had a rough professional career since being selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft and now that the team has drafted former LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins in the fourth round of this year’s draft, the former Ohio state product’s time remaining in Pittsburgh figures to be short.
While Adams did miss the entire 2015 season with a back injury, Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak gave every indication Saturday afternoon that he’s now healthy enough to compete for his roster spot this year during the team’s OTA sessions and training camp.
“He’s working with the players,” said Munchak of Adams. “We’ll see how he develops. Any time with injuries, there’s always uncertainty, but we missed him last year. Hopefully he will be contributing this year.”
Even though the Steelers did lose tackle Kelvin Beachum to the Jacksonville Jaguars during free agency this offseason, they quickly replaced him with former Denver Broncos veteran tackle Ryan Harris. Harris figures to compete with Alejandro Villanueva for the starting left tackle spot this offseason with the loser of that battle serving as the team’s swing tackle. When asked if he knows who will open up training camp as the starter at left tackle, Munchak refused to commit to either Villanueva or Harris.
“I don’t think we’ve even discussed that yet,” said Munchak. “Obviously Villanueva is the one that’s most familiar with the position coming in. That won’t mean a whole lot. Harris is new to the offense. He just got a Super Bowl ring so he brings a lot of experience to the room also.
“We have a lot of good problems to have. We’re going to have some good competition. Ultimately that will make our offensive line even better. Right now, no we haven’t discussed any of those things as far as who’s going to be where. It’s just a matter of getting him in here, starting OTA’s and seeing where it goes.”
As for Adams, he not only now needs to beat out Hawkins this year during training camp, he also must hope that the team ultimately decides to keep four tackle-types on their final 53-man roster this year. Being as the team now has a fourth-round draft pick invested in Hawkins, he really would have to have a tough offseason to wind up not making the final cut.