Mike Adams’ days as a left tackle during the 2013 regular were pretty much finished when the team gave first-team reps to Kelvin Beachum and signed veteran Levi Brown last week. Demoted to third-string on the blind-side, there is no way that Adams will ever see the field on the blind-side again unless a rash of injuries strike.
With two guys in front of him on the depth chart and a probable high round (first or second) left tackle prospect coming to this roster next spring, Adams might be wise to consider a position change or at least diversifying his skill-set in the very near future.
One person who subscribes to that particular notion is Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider.net. In fact, Wexell tweeted the following thoughts about Adams and a potential position change for the second-year tackle:
Will Steelers make their "Mark May move" with Mike Adams? LT to LG? Foster's nicked. Opportunity might be there.
— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) October 6, 2013
A far better run-blocker than pass-blocker, a move inside (or back to right tackle) could do wonders for the former Ohio State Buckeye. Although Adams’ 6’7″ frame might make it difficult for the former tackle to bend and gain leverage against squat three-techniques like Geno Atkins, his strength and agility would be far better served on the inside against slower defensive tackles than on the outside against quicker defensive ends.
At left guard, Adams would also be provided much more help in the pass-blocking department from whomever is lining up at center for the Steelers. This in turn would help to give the youngster more confidence at his new position, and also give Pittsburgh’s offensive line a far better option (Beachum, Brown, or a high draft pick) at the left tackle spot.
My Take on a Potential Move For Adams
Of course, for Adams to see any time at all at left guard, he will have to usurp Ramon Foster for playing time at the position. Even though Foster is dealing with a pectoral injury, the veteran is still “number one” on the depth chart.
In addition to Foster’s presence, Adams might even have to deal with Fernando Velasco or Maurkice Pouncey at left guard next fall as well.
As crazy as it sounds, I hope that the Steelers will give some consideration to not only keeping Velasco beyond this fall, but also let him battle Pouncey for first-team reps during the upcoming offseason. Velasco has arguably played the best of any of Pittsburgh’s offensive linemen this fall, and the loser of the proposed battle would kick over to left guard.
Remember, it was Pouncey who saw time last season at left guard when Doug Legursky had to enter the game due to injuries. Because Legursky was a better center than guard, the versatile Pouncey kicked over to the left side and did a fine job for the Steelers against the Ravens last December.
Competition aside, I hope that Adams will do his best to be as flexible as possible for the Steelers over the coming weeks. With 12 weeks left in the regular season, the Steelers’ brass will need to evaluate the younger players on their roster. After failing miserably at left tackle, it might serve Adams and the Steelers best to explore a potential position change.