PITTSBURGH — Montravius Adams was signed on the Saints practice squad late last season, but seemed like a revelation for the Steelers. Playing with a hot motor and explosiveness, Adams added a much-needed energy jolt to a defensive line that needed it. As such, when he hit free agency, it was thought that he could earn a nice deal. Still, he circled back and signed a one-year contract with the Steelers.
It was easy to see Adams potentially leaving, but the nose tackle was not trying to leave. Even after multiple teams reached out to him, once Adams heard the Steelers wanted him back into the fold, it was an easy decision. Tyson Alualu’s return would mean that Adams is the likely backup at nose tackle, and that was an enticing job for Adams.
“I had a couple of teams reach out to me, like 3 or 4,” Adams said. “But like I’ve told many before, I ain’t trying and I wasn’t trying then to leave Pittsburgh. This has honestly been a blessing for me. I haven’t felt like this for a long time. So for me, it was to come in here and teach the young guys, do what I can do to help, and play as hard as I can so they never think about letting me go.”
There is a special atmosphere that kept drawing Adams back to the Steelers. For someone who has played in a few places, including Green Bay, New Orleans, and New England, Adams’s had a different feeling altogether in Pittsburgh. The Auburn product noted it was the first time he has felt a family atmosphere since his time with the Tigers. It is something that he has been looking for in an NFL team, and now having found it, it was an easy decision to not leave the Steel City.
“It’s the family atmosphere and the coaches,” Adams said. “They’re just so genuine and fair, man. I just couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Someone that contributes to the atmosphere that Adams has grown to love is the aforementioned Alualu. While he was out for the season with a leg injury, he still took time to take Adams under his wing. Now, months later, Alualu is ready to come back and go. Adams and Alualu have grown close over the months they have known each other. As the likely one-two punch at nose tackle, these players work in collaboration all day. Adams has grown to have a glowing admiration for Alualu.
“Me and Tyson have a great relationship,” Adams said. “It started from the time we came in. He took me under his wing even though I’m a vet. He wasn’t playing, but he always was there for me. He gave me the platform for whatever I needed. He would always help. Whenever I had a question, he was deadass for it. There was no jealousy just because we both play nose. We want to be the best defense. That’s all that matters and that’s how it should be.”
Seeing the example set forth by Alualu, Adams now wants to give back to the young Steelers’ defensive line. That includes third-round pick DeMarvin Leal, but also undrafted free agent and fellow Auburn alumni TD Moultry. For Adams, if he is going to love the culture, he has to incorporate himself into it as well. He is now a six-year veteran, and Adams has plenty of advice to give to everyone around the locker room. If it comes to it, Adams is willing to coach up those who may be a little older.
“I wouldn’t even say I’m a mentor man, I just want to help the guys,” Adams said. “If I can help them, maybe they can be just a little bit more successful and better. If I come in here and try to get better every day, I hope I can help the next man get a little better, too. Of course, one of my guys in TD is because he’s an Auburn guy. This is a young guy and it is his rookie year. There’s so much different from college to the league so you want to take care of your guys.”
Adams will now look to make a big impact with Stephon Tuitt gone. That could mean he plays multiple spots along the defensive line. Still, he looks to be the likely backup nose tackle as long as he repeats what he did at the end of the 2021 season.