The Pittsburgh Steelers added several players after the 2021 NFL Draft who would go on to play prominent roles for them, nearly all on defense. Of course, they ended up replacing David DeCastro at right guard with free agent Trai Turner. Just before training camp, they signed veteran outside linebacker Melvin Ingram—whom they would later trade.
They added inside linebacker Joe Schobert during the preseason, then traded for cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon just before the regular season began. Then they added an actual in-season pickup in defensive tackle Montravius Adams, whom they signed off of the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. A fifth-year veteran, he spent his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, but he’d like to finish his career where he is now.
“Definitely, I would like to stay”, he told reporters yesterday, about remaining with the Steelers. “Honestly, to finish my career, however long that may be”. He talked a lot about his relationships with the other players he worked with, especially in the defensive line room, even learning from the younger players. “You have to be a great follower before you can be a great leader”, he added.
Adams dressed for five games in the regular season for the Steelers after he was picked up, missing one game due to COVID-19. He logged 171 snaps in just those five games, playing 48 percent of the snaps of the games for which he was available. He added another 27 snaps in the postseason game Sunday, registering two tackles and a sack.
The need for Adams was created due to injuries upfront, with Stephon Tuitt never available and Tyson Alualu going down early in the year, along with Carlos Davis. Isaiah Buggs was also dealing with injuries at the time, so his signing was based on need. But he fit in right away—both on and off the field.
“Since I’ve been in the league, I haven’t felt that family feel since I left Auburn”, he said. “This is the place where I felt it at. As a player, I feel like you don’t want to lose that. It kind of comes with a lot of stuff like morale and confidence, and a guy who people felt like could play could be the next guy up. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to keep doing your job, and that’s what I want to do”.
He definitely looked like somebody the Steelers might want to keep around. He actually has an excellent get-off and times the snap very well, but he is athletic and quick for his position, as well. If he can improve his fundamentals and become more of a technician, as he said his goal was, he can be a very strong rotational player up and down this unit, possibly for years to come.