View Full Version : Harris: Too old? Adams proves he isn't

09-27-2010, 11:04 PM
Harris: Too old? Adams proves he isn't
By John Harris
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As much as Flozell Adams making the challenging switch from left tackle to right tackle has become the talk of the Steelers' locker room, so has Adams becoming one of the guys.

The Steelers' offensive line is a team within a team. It's a close-knit group that emboldened quiet left guard Chris Kemoeatu to welcome outsiders into his world. Put Kemoeatu in front of a microphone or camera these days, and he becomes a walking sound bite.

Willie Colon travels with the team and sits at a locker on game days even though he's out for the year with an Achilles injury. Colon's injury is why the Steelers signed Adams out of desperation. Adams' sense of wanting to belong explains his willingness to re-learn a position he hasn't played since college.

Little by little, Adams has loosened up around his new teammates and bought into the Steeler way.

"The Cowboys are past," Adams said. "I'm a Steeler, and I look forward to doing what I can to help the organization win."

Max Starks appreciates what Adams is doing. Starks and Adams are both left tackles, but Adams wanted to play for the Steelers. To do that, he had to learn a new position.

"He was an unknown (at right tackle). He had that question mark next to him," Starks said. "(But) there's a reason why he's a Pro Bowl guy. He's really embraced us. Our offensive line is different from most around the league. We're a very close unit. We're like brothers. He came in and we embraced him. He bought into the plan, and now he sees the payoff."

Adams played his first 12 seasons in Dallas, and then he was an ex-Cowboy. At 35, Adams' supposed flaw, the main flaw, actually, was age. As in too old and too slow.

What else could it be? Strength? Never a question for a man who still pushes defensive linemen around on running plays like he's shoving air.

Adams played left tackle for a dozen years; you have to pass block at a high level to play that position that long.

What attracted Adams to the Steelers was an opportunity to continue to start for a winner. What attracted the Steelers to Adams is that he's a devastating run blocker.

Despite his slow gait to the line of scrimmage, and despite a physique that isn't what it used to be, Adams holds his own in the running game.

In Sunday's 38-13 win at Tampa Bay, Adams and the right side of the line opened holes big enough to drive a sports utility vehicle through. Led by Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers rushed for a season-high 201 yards. Mendenhall carried 19 times for 143 yards and a touchdown. On four runs behind right tackle, Mendenhall gained 63 yards. Mendenhall has topped 100 yards twice in the first three games after recording three 100-yard games last season.

As a pass blocker, Adams also graded high against Tampa Bay. Quarterback Charlie Batch, making his first start in three years, tossed three touchdown passes. The offensive line kept Batch upright and didn't allow a sack.

And now a player who seemed like a huge gamble when he arrived is becoming a mainstay.

"That's one of the things you go through," Adams said. "Just coming in, getting to know each other and learn particular calls. It's still the beginning of the season. Even though we're out of training camp and we're three games in, it's still a learning experience for all of us. You can have the best game of your life and still have some learning to do. The sky's the limit for us.''

Cloudy skies have turned sunny with Adams in the lineup.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

09-27-2010, 11:11 PM
I had my doubts about him, particularly with discipline issues.. But Sunday he played well for us. Let's hope that level of play continues for the rest of the season.

09-27-2010, 11:16 PM
We have some big boys on the line man, and the Adams pickup could be better than anyone anticipated. Our line has played extremely well these first 3 games, esp givin' the adversity of injuries and jumble and what not. If we can stay healthy, we can be a solid line.

09-28-2010, 04:20 AM
i was surprised and very pleased by how good he played for us sunday in tampa. our entire line looked dominant

09-28-2010, 04:47 AM
What attracted Adams to the Steelers was an opportunity to continue to start for a winner.

To continue?
To continue from where?
Dallas, a winner? :rofl:

On another note, is good to have his 13 years of experience.

09-28-2010, 05:31 AM
We couldn't lose with Adams. If he washed out we could just cut him. His 2 year contract had $0 in guaranteed money. If he works out, our line is better, our run game improved and Tomlin is a genius.

09-28-2010, 10:26 AM
i was surprised and very pleased by how good he played for us sunday in tampa. our entire line looked dominant

did you ever think you would be saying that this year, what a surprise:thumbsup:

09-28-2010, 10:43 AM
It just goes to show you that Essex is the weak link in the Oline. Now that they see how the line played with Essex out of there, I hope the coaches just keep his sorry butt on the bench. There are some big boys on that line and there is no reason they can't continue to bust big holes in the D-line to pave the way for Mendenhall. I have been pleased we have not heard False Start coming from Adam's side of the field. That is major. Since I believe he is deaf in his right ear, I think it is genius putting him on the right side.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-28-2010, 02:26 PM
Adams is just a rental guy for 2 seasons while Chris Scott is eventually ready to be the starting RT. I really like Colon, but with the injury and the contract, not so sure he is gonna be back after this season.

09-28-2010, 03:45 PM
So far looks like a really good move to bring in Adams..... hoping he can play well for th ebalance of the season..

09-28-2010, 06:07 PM
First Cowboy/exCowboy, I've ever had respect for, here's to a late welcome Flozell - to Steelers Nation!:tt03:

09-28-2010, 06:13 PM
we should see how he does against suggs before heaping praise on him.