Mike Adams gets a second chance Sunday when he starts at left tackle against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers can only hope he follows a similar path taken by John Jackson, one of their better left tackles of the past generation. Jackson, too, fell on his face when he first played left tackle as a rookie in 1988. He started a preseason game at New Orleans where linebacker Pat Swilling, one of the NFL’s preeminent pass rushers at the time, blew past Jackson for three sacks that day. Coach Chuck Noll wanted to cut him, but offensive line coach Ron Blackledge talked him out of it. Jackson did not start a regular-season game as a rookie, but won the job the next year and started at left tackle for the next nine seasons. He left as a free agent and started in San Diego and Cincinnati before calling it a career after 14 seasons in the NFL. There’s a lesson there for Adams, who had a rough go of it through the first four games this season when he started at left tackle and got teed up by opposing pass rushers. Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings had a particularly good day against Adams with 2½ sacks, three quarterback hurries and a batted pass as the Steelers lost, 34-27, to fall to 0-4. Adams then fell down the depth chart. Kelvin Beachum was promoted to starting left tackle for the fifth game and stayed there until he was lost to a sprained right knee last Thursday in their 22-20 loss at Baltimore. Adams, who replaced Beachum against the Ravens, overcame his own ankle injury from that game and will start against Miami. He is the Steelers’ tallest lineman at 6 feet 7 and listed at 323 pounds. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, for one, believes the second-year pro still has the ability to become a good left tackle in the NFL.
Adams gets shot to repair the line
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Dec 6