Tomlin Believes Witherspoon And Adams Can Make Jump In 2022

We’ve all been there at various times in our lives whenever “life” itself gets in the way. It can be picking up and moving to a new town, dating a new partner or starting a new job. It’s all about grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns and adjusting. This is exactly the scenario in which nose tackle Montravius Adams and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon were thrown into as they were picked up and integrated into the Steelers’ 2021 defense.

Once a third round pick of Green Bay in the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams’ career got off to a rocky start as he failed to live up to draft expectations, bouncing from Green Bay to New England, then to the Saints’ practice squad. This is exactly where Pittsburgh plucked him from late last November and he helped out tremendously down the stretch, considering the injuries that the team had sustained along their defensive front. The team just recently signed Adams to a two-year extension

Witherspoon is another former third-round pick from that 2017 draft whom the Steelers acquired early last September. He provided great depth and due to an injury by starting corner Joe Haden, Witherspoon started a few games down the stretch, and leading the team with three picks on the season. Much like Adams, he recently parlayed his play into a two-year extension with the team. Judging by Mike Tomlin’s comments regarding the two during an AFC coach media session at the NFL Owners Meetings this morning, count him amongst those who sees plenty of untapped potential for the upcoming season.

“It’s an interesting discussion because it’s two guys that got on a moving train a year ago,” he said via the Steelers’ YouTube channel. “I’m just really excited about continuing to do work with them, to have them for the totality of the journey. Both guys gave us admirable contributions in the manner in which they came to us and so it’s reasonable to expect those contributions to be more significant and more fluid having an opportunity to be a part of us from day zero.”

The ending there is meaningful, as day zero is very important. All the offseason workouts, the OTA’s, and training camp (whether it be a return to Latrobe or held at Heinz Field) will all be something Adams and Witherspoon can take part in. An NFL playbook is no walk in the park learning, so the extra time spent working on and perfecting the nuances of the defense will not only help out the two players, but the entire defense as a unit.

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