| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Tackle Adams out to prove himself ... again

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams plays against Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium Stadium Oct. 21, 2012.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 12:44 a.m.

Mike Adams, a soft-spoken rookie offensive tackle, is rather guarded and rarely exposes his emotions. But even his usually stoic persona couldn't hide his excitement about having an opportunity to prove he can cut it in the NFL.

The Steelers' second-round draft pick often had been criticized for his apparent stretches of inconsistency, if not complacency, during the preseason. There were suggestions that perhaps he wasn't nearly as good as advertised.

Yet the 6-foot-7, 323-pounder enters Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field with renewed vigor, in part because his confidence soared after a solid performance in a 24-17 win at Cincinnati last weekend.

Adams, who stepped in for injured right tackle Marcus Gilbert, helped rejuvenate a troubled run game that amassed a season-high 167 yards against the Bengals — including a 122-yard effort by Jonathan Dwyer.

“I'm sure there were high expectations, but I have high expectations for myself,” said Adams, who started 25 of 30 games at Ohio State. “So to be able to get in and get a chance to play is certainly a blessing. I give a lot of credit to the guys working with me and helping me develop.

“I've been preparing every week as if I'm going to be playing. I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm prepared. I tried to be ready when they call my name.”

The Steelers (3-3), looking to narrow the 1 12-game deficit with Baltimore in the AFC North, got an unexpected spark from Adams. But, again, Adams will be challenged to deliver.

“(Adams and center Doug Legursky) stepped up to the plate in a major way last week,” said All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey, who returns to the lineup after missing last week's game with a right knee injury. “I was proud of them. I was jumping up and down on the sidelines cheering them on.

“Mike has progressed so much, and he finally showed everybody he can be a high-caliber kind of player. He really shut down some pretty good pass rushers.”

Adams will spend much of the game trying to keep defensive end Jarvis Jenkins from collapsing the pocket and chasing after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Jenkins has 11 quarterback pressures or hits but has recorded just one sack. Adams also will keep an eye on linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who has a team-high 3 12 sacks.

The pressure concerns Haley. The Redskins have hurried opposing quarterbacks into throwing 10 interceptions.

The Redskins are as big as the Bengals up front, but Adams has discovered a sizable difference between tussling with linemen in the Big Ten and the NFL.

“The size and speed of the guys you're playing against is the biggest challenge,” Adams said. “It's not like college when there was a weak link here and there. Everybody is the best of the best in this league. So it's definitely a little bit different.”

Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7923.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  3. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  4. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  5. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  6. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  7. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  8. Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
  9. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  10. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions