Steelers lineman Adams gets 2nd chance to start
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 10:03 p.m.
It was a crossroads in Mike Adams' career, and he knew it.
Even though Adams was only four games into his career as a Steelers starting left tackle, he was embarrassed, humbled and then benched within a couple of days of each other.
Jared Allen made him look foolish in a 34-27 loss to Minnesota in London, capping a stretch that saw Adams allow four sacks of Ben Roethlisberger, six more hits and 13 hurries.
The former second-round draft pick was benched in favor of seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum.
“How you handle adversity is really the key thing,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “You can handle it a couple different ways, and he's chosen to handle it in a positive manner, and he has pushed harder to get better knowing that his opportunity would come up again.”
That opportunity arrives Sunday, when the Steelers host Miami at Heinz Field. With Beachum nursing a knee injury, Adams will step into the starting lineup for the first time in more than two months.
“He understands that he has to focus more,” guard Ramon Foster said. “It humbled him and brought him back to square one on how to work. When you have been humbled, you have realized what happened, and he did because he lost his starting position.”
Foster said he did not console Adams during his benching.
“If I went over there and babied him and told him everything would be OK, then I wouldn't see the true side of him when he was faced with adversity,” Foster said.
Adams immediately began working to improve his technique, whether it was with his hands or feet.
“I just didn't play well,” said Adams, who refused to blame an offseason stabbing incident in the South Side as a reason for his poor play. “But you just can't go in the tank when things don't go right.”
Adams remained an active part of the game plan, playing about 20 snaps per game as an extra tackle/tight end.
“You can't really worry if it is difficult on you,” Adams said. “You have to come to work and try to get better and do what you need to do. It has been a good thing. Now it is time to see if I can put it together.”
Foster added: “You definitely see a change in how he is approaching it.”
Beachum has played well as part of an offensive line that hasn't allowed a sack in back-to-back games for the first time in more than a decade.
But now it's back to Adams, who will see a familiar site across from him Sunday: a speedy, sack-happy defensive end who has a similar skill set as Allen in Olivier Vernon.
“I think it is pretty clear,” Adams said, “that I want to show them that I deserve to be in there.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Kovacevic: Big Ben’s contract clock ticking
- Steelers defense doesn’t make the grade in 2013 review
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant
- 6 players the Steelers will be watching at NFL Combine
- Steelers create cap space by re-signing Polamalu, Miller