After being plucked off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad last season and inserted into the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Steelers, defensive lineman Montravius Adams really burst onto the scene, making plays and showing flashes of his potential overall.
The Steelers bet on those flashes recently, signing the veteran defensive tackle to a two-year, $5 million contract, ensuring they retain the services of a guy who Mike Tomlin hinted late in the 2021 season might have been a hidden gem.
With the return to Pittsburgh, Adams plugs a major need as a depth piece along the defensive line, one that can play all three spots in base and can give the Steelers some pass rush reps in a pinch. That versatility and the way the coaching staff used him in 2021 played a key role in Adams returning to the Steelers on an affordable two-year deal, he said speaking to the local media Tuesday.
“Honestly, just because I see the versatility,” Adams said in regards to why he chose to re-sign with the Steelers, according to video via Steelers.com. “I love how the coaches use me. I love how I’m treated here by the city, the community, from coaches to my teammates.
“I just feel like this is a place where I fit in, and I definitely want to take advantage of it,” Adams added. “The leaders here for me are just like…they’re great for me. And I’m very grateful for having them.”
Adams did a tremendous job jumping on a moving train and providing valuable, impactful snaps for the Steelers down the stretch next to Cameron Heyward and Chris Wormley, at least giving the Steelers a fighting chance against the run. Though that didn’t quite pan out well, the Steelers saw enough in the 26 year old defensive lineman to re-sign him for two more seasons.
Though Tomlin stated that jumping on the moving train as a defensive lineman compared to a defensive back is much easier “Because there’s not a lot of variations when you’re playing the A-gap. Everybody knows where the A-gap is,” that doesn’t discredit the job Adams did in five games (four starts) with the Steelers last season.
Now, Adams gets a chance to be on the moving train right from the station, which is something he’s very much looking forward to while being part of a defensive unit that has a chance to be special, especially if Stephon Tuitt returns to the lineup.
“I mean, shoot, just from being here from the time that I was here, it is, it’s exciting just cuz I know how I fit in how I kind of fit in with the guys,” Adams said. “I know our relationships and now it’s just like we get the start fresh together. You know what I’m saying? Start from the beginning.
“And just to know that a person like me, I can help and bring stuff to the table, but I also got guys to help me like TJ [Watt] and Cam [Heyward] on the D-line,” Adams added. “…I feel like they’re bringing in new guys that can kinda run, especially with like a guy like Myles Jack and stuff like that. I feel like… there’s some stuff that can definitely help us. And I feel like we headed in the right direction.”
The young veteran’s comments about finding a place where he fits in also echoes comments he made during the season about searching for a place that gave him that family feel, like he once had at Auburn.
“Since I’ve been in the league, I haven’t felt that family feel since I left Auburn”, Adams said in mid-January during his exit interview with the media. “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”.