In the end, Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie Mike Adams may well end up being a very good NFL offensive tackle. He already does a nice job in the run game, nice, but not great. His pass-protection skills are the issue right now and while he has shown improvement since taking over for injured Marcus Gilbert, his inability to hold off pass rushers is wrecking havoc on the offense.
If you look at tight end Heath Miller’s numbers since Gilbert went down you’ll see they have gone down significantly as well in terms of targets and catches. Miller is being called upon to help Adams and this is taking away his greatest strength which is being a pass catcher.
The other problem that Adams’ ineffectiveness is creating is that the offense is becoming predictable and to tightly-packed in their formations. This team functions best when there are three wide receivers, a tight end and a running back. The Ravens were ripe to be spread out last night but Todd Haley didn’t and in some cases couldn’t because of the constant need for help on the edge for Mike Adams.
Whether Marcus Gilbert comes back this week against Cleveland or not may not matter simply because Gilbert will be rusty. The Browns took Dallas to overtime before losing and will not be the easy out many Steelers’ fans think they will be. Mike Adams has gained valuable experience this season, but he isn’t just getting beat in one-on-one situations, he’s getting abused. Paul Kruger is a nice NFL pass rusher but Adams will face better the rest of the way. Never thought I’d be longing for Gilbert to return so fast.