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Tomlin: Stabbed Adams 'blessed'

| Monday, June 3, 2013, 1:27 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams during practice at St. Vincent College Aug. 7, 2012.

The problem of violent crime like that committed against Steelers tackle Mike Adams over the weekend worries Mike Tomlin as a citizen, not just as a football coach.

“We recognize the world we live in,” Tomlin said Monday. “Things like this are capable of happening.”

Adams, a second-round draft pick who is expected to start at right tackle, was stabbed in the abdomen and forearm about 3 a.m. Saturday as he protected his truck from an attempted carjacking on the South Side. The wounds were not life-threatening, and Tomlin said Adams could be released from the hospital as early as Tuesday.

His recovery is estimated at six weeks — the first several with no physical activity — and Adams is almost certain to be ready for the starting of training camp in late July, Tomlin said.

While the Steelers rallied around Adams, Tomlin acknowledged that being in such a neighborhood in the middle of the night is dangerous — even for a 6-foot-7, 323-pound athlete.

“It goes beyond the team,” Tomlin said. “I think as members of the community, we need to recognize that there are some things going on, on the South Side, that make it a dangerous place, particularly after hours. We all need to take proper precautions. Hopefully as a community we will take the steps necessary to assure that this doesn't happen to anyone else, whether it's as a Pittsburgh Steeler or not.”

Tomlin appeared to be sending a message to his players to not put themselves in harm's way.

Last season, then-rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu led police on a high-speed chase that ended with him crashing his SUV into several vehicles on the South Side. He was sentenced to 18 months' probation after pleading guilty to three counts of recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and drunk driving. He is still with the team.

Adams was encountered by three men — one with a gun and another with a knife, police said. The men wanted to carjack Adams' truck, but he did not have the keys. That's when he was stabbed, police said.

Adams had surgery shortly after the incident but was well enough later in the day to post a Twitter message and photo.

“He's blessed to be in the position he's in, as we expect a full recovery from him,” Tomlin said. “He's got great team support, family support. He realizes, of course, how fortunate that he is.”

The Steelers, beginning the third week of on-field practices, canceled their planned workout Monday for what Tomlin called a team-building exercise at Dave & Buster's in Homestead.

Workouts are set from Tuesday through Thursday, with one practice to be held at Heinz Field, Tomlin said.

In a roster move, tight end Zack Pianalto was waived and undrafted rookie tight end Peter Tuitupou was signed.

One issue that won't get decided during the pre-camp practices is whether rookie Le'Veon Bell, who signed a four-year contract Monday, or Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman will start at running back.

“Right now, this is an opportunity to teach and help guys grow and develop, put them in a position to compete in a training-camp setting,” Tomlin said. “I just think that's appropriate. I think the decisions that are made at this time of the year are usually the wrong ones because our game is one that is played in pads.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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