To say it has been an up-and-down two years for Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams would be putting things mildly.
After turning in a poor combine and testing positive for marijuana, Adams slipped out of the first round where the Steelers thought they had a steal in the second round. As a rookie Adams had a couple of decent games filling in at right tackle, but injuries severely affected any impact he would have had as a rookie.
Despite being stabbed in the offseason, Adams opened the season as the Steelers’ starting left tackle before playing so poorly that he was benched after four weeks of the season.
After the demotion, though, Adams has been seen on the field and has performed admirably – at tight end.
Adams has been used as an extra blocker the past couple of weeks, lining up as an extra tight end in running situations. Since he has made the switch, the Steelers have gone 2-2.
More notably, the second-year pro graded well in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, per Pro Football Focus, playing 22 of his 28 snaps when the Steelers went to the run.
That begs the question of if Adams has a future as an extra tight end on this roster in the future.
That answer is a big no.
He still struggles as a pass blocker to the point that the coaching staff has no confidence in him doing so. In addition, despite checking in as an eligible receiver, they also have no confidence throwing him the football.
I would be shocked to see Ben Roethlisberger ever target No. 76, so that’s not going to be in the equation any time soon.
Calling Adams a tight end is a bit of a stretch, even though he has lined up there. Adams is simply just another big body that can help out a struggling running game.
Give the Steelers coaching staff some credit as the results have been above average at times. However, the chances of Adams having a future at a new position are slim.
He’s only owed $712,000 next season and $873K in 2015, but it is hard to imagine the Steelers even paying him that much to play a new position where he can’t help in pass protection or catching the football.
If Adams is going to make it on the Steelers roster in the future, it is going to have to be as a tackle, not a backup tight end.