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Explosive Steelers NT Named One of League’s Best



Steelers NT Montravius Adams
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Montravius Adams runs out of the tunnel against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

When Cam Heyward went down, the Steelers knew they would need help from everyone, including those guys already around. It was Montravius Adams who ended up absorbing much of the responsibility, playing over 50 snaps for most games while Heyward was out. Of course, with Heyward back, Adams would likely recede some of those responsibilities, but an ankle injury against the Titans left that thought in flux.

Adams started his eighth straight game at nose tackle on Thursday. Rookie Keeanu Benton replaced him after leaving with the injury. But before that injury, it was going under the radar just how well Adams was playing. Each week, ranks the best nose tackles in the NFL by their metrics, from snaps, pressures, and run stops. Adams came in as the seventh-best nose tackle in the entire NFL, an impressive number for someone who could be maligned.

“Adams’ run-stop and stuff metrics don’t really pop — unless he’s aligned specifically as a nose tackle,” they wrote. “The 6-foot-4 tackle leads all players in run stuffs (7) and run-stuff rate (8.8%, min 100 defensive snaps) from a nose tackle alignment this season. In fact, Adams accounts for three of the 18 games this season in which a player aligned as a nose tackle has recorded multiple run stuffs.

What makes Adams’ numbers even more impressive is how often he’s double-teamed. His 61.4 percent double-team rate as a nose tackle is the highest in the league since 2021 (min. 300 defensive snaps).”

That is a credit to the Steelers and Adams. He has never looked at competition as anything but that, and it has bettered him into having what is looking like a career year. Benton is playing well behind him, too, but the Steelers would be smart to start thinking about Adams’ future past this year. If he keeps this up, there is very little for him not to be back as the main backup if you believe Benton ascends.

His natural explosiveness and motor pop off the screen on tape. Pittsburgh has a type at nose tackle nowadays, and Adams has been fine previously, but this year is making a much more significant impact in that lane. As long as the injury is not too serious, Pittsburgh would hope to see that impact continue throughout the rest of the season.