The Pittsburgh Steelers have had ongoing issues trying to stop the run, especially in recent weeks. Hence the decision to sign defensive tackle Montravius Adams off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad, a move first reported by Adam Schefter, Senior NFL Insider for ESPN.
Montravius Adams is a Former Third-Round Pick
Adams—who is 26 years old and listed at 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds—has been in the NFL since 2017, when the Green Bay Packers selected him in the third round (No. 93 overall) out of Auburn. His NFL career got off to a particularly memorable start, as he got his draft call from the Packers while he was at the hospital with his girlfriend, who had just given birth to his son, Montravius Jr.
Adams went on to play the first four years of his career in Green Bay, appearing in 45 games with three starts. But he suffered more than his share of injuries during that time, beginning with a stress fracture in his foot at the outset of his rookie season. He also finished his Packers career with a toe injury that landed him on injured reserve in November 2020, limiting him to eight games last year.
This past March he signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the New England Patriots, but failed to make the team’s 53-man roster.
That’s why he was available to the Saints in early September. All told he he appeared in five games for New Orleans and totaled 115 snaps on defense, with seven total tackles, including one tackle for loss and one pass defensed, as per Pro Football Reference.
At Auburn he played in a total of 52 games and recorded 151 total tackles (79 solo), with 21 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a pair of blocked kicks.
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How Adams Fits in Pittsburgh
Third-year defensive lineman Isaiahh Buggs was a surprise healthy scratch against the Cincinnati Bengals, so one wonders if Buggs is going to get released when the Adams signing is announced.
Regardless, Adams is guaranteed a spot on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster for at least the next three games. So it seems likely that the Steelers are going to give him snaps right away in hopes he can help stop the kind of running plays that the Bengals, Chargers and Lions employed to great success.
If you’re wondering why the Steelers may have chosen Adams amongst all options, consider what were viewed as his most positive attributes in the runup to the 2017 NFL Draft. In particular, Pro Football Focus cited his:
o Exceptional instincts, display(ing) good awareness to find the football
o Understands when to disengage, keeping his body free to make plays
o Displays high effort, chasing plays downfield
In its last three games, Pittsburgh has allowed 229 rushing yards by the Lions, 159 by the Chargers and 198 by the Bengals. The Steelers’ next opponent, Baltimore, possesses a rushing attack that is at least as good as any of those teams. In fact the Ravens have the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL (1,658) and average 4.6 yards per carry, Top 10 in the league in that regard.
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