View Full Version : Flozell Adams, not Pouncey, is Packers' focus

01-31-2011, 04:39 PM
By Kevin Seifert

DALLAS -- As you probably know by now, chances are slim that Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will play Sunday in Super Bowl XLV. Even if Pouncey pulls off a miracle return, he'll still be playing on a high ankle sprain and a fractured bone in his foot. Whether the Steelers start a highly limited Pouncey or backup Doug Legursky, it will be natural to assume a significant advantage will shift to the Green Bay Packers.

That might well be the case, and I'm sure the Packers are thrilled by the possibility of nose tackle B.J. Raji matching up against Legursky. But Pouncey's likely absence will have a less direct effect on what the numbers tell us is a bigger discrepancy -- one that favors the Steelers' running game.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Steelers averaged 5.9 yards per carry during the regular season when they ran behind right tackle Flozell Adams, the second-highest total in the NFL. And for reasons that will be hard to pinpoint, the Packers' otherwise strong run defense allowed 5.2 yards per carry in that same direction during the season. That number placed them No. 26 overall among NFL teams in that category.

It's not uncommon for NFL teams to be "right-handed," meaning they run better or more frequently toward the right side. But the rankings of the Steelers and Packers in this particular slice of the game point to an important combination: something the Steelers do particularly well with an area the Packers have lagged on a relative scale. Surely the center has an important role on plays run off right tackle, but it's far enough from the point of attack to provide some protection for a backup who is facing a budding superstar.

The Steelers would have faced difficulty running the ball at Raji even if Pouncey were healthy and available. The Packers allowed only three touchdowns on middle runs this season, and opponents managed a first down on middle runs once every 6.4 plays -- the league's best ratio among defenses in the regular season.

Pouncey's status will be a hot topic this week, as it should, but I'm guessing it will overshadow this matchup on the right side. My AFC North colleague James Walker suggests Adams deserves plenty of credit for the Steelers' run success this season, especially after making the switch from left to right tackle following the loss of injured starter Willie Colon. But explaining the Packers' relative weakness from a defensive perspective is more difficult.

Technically, the Packers' starting left end (matching up against the opponent's right tackle) is Ryan Pickett, a 340-pound run-stopper. And if you go by their depth chart, their left outside linebacker is All-Pro Clay Matthews. But as we've discussed before, the Packers rarely play in their base 3-4 alignment. They used at least five defensive backs together on 75 percent of their defensive snaps, often cutting back to two defensive linemen. Matthews, meanwhile, lined up at multiple places on the field over the course of the season.

To borrow a phrase, sometimes a coordinator can "rob Peter to pay Paul." In other words, they sacrifice one area to fortify another based on matchups. Sometimes, a statistic can be skewed based on a couple of big plays. So I'm not ready to send out warning signals on the left side of the Packers' rush defense.

But I think we can agree on this much: If you're defensive coordinator Dom Capers and you're trying to anticipate where the Steelers might attack, you bypass all of the talk about Pouncey and presume a steady diet of runs behind Adams. If the regular-season statistics are simply a matter of personnel alignments, the adjustment should be easy.

01-31-2011, 04:46 PM
Its Travel day. The Steelers O-Line waits to board the plane to Dallas, wearing Flozell Adams' college jersey.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs256.snc6/180465_10150103322389905_146175949904_5897512_4219 386_n.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... 6175949904 (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150103322389905&set=a.10150103322384905.280391.146175949904&pid=5897512&id=146175949904)

01-31-2011, 04:48 PM
Its Travel day. The Steelers O-Line waits to board the plane to Dallas, wearing Flozell Adams' college jersey.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs256.snc6/180465_10150103322389905_146175949904_5897512_4219 386_n.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... 6175949904 (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150103322389905&set=a.10150103322384905.280391.146175949904&pid=5897512&id=146175949904)
That's just great. Good on them for celebrating him in this way.

01-31-2011, 04:55 PM
I really want to see Adams get his ring this Sunday. He has been a lifesaver for the team this season.

01-31-2011, 04:59 PM
I really want to see Adams get his ring this Sunday. He has been a lifesaver for the team this season.
And no better place than Dallas.

I'm not one for linking s hit together but;

Adams going back to Dallas for a ring= Bus in the motor city

Hines in all black in dallas= Blount

01-31-2011, 05:12 PM
Flozell Adams: 'I'm a Steeler'

JAN 26
By James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Offensive tackle Flozell Adams spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. But that was the last team he cared to talk about on Wednesday.

"I'm a Steeler," Adams said, dodging any questions in the locker room about Dallas. "So that's how we roll."


Flozell Adams will be returning to Cowboys Stadium, but this time with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After a dozen years with the Cowboys, Adams will return to the place where it all started. This time Adams will be the starting right tackle for the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium.

It's yet another twist of irony between the Steelers and Cowboys, who are two of the NFL's winningest franchises, combining for 11 Super Bowl championships. Adams never had the chance to win a title with the Cowboys. But he gets his first shot at a ring on the Cowboys' home turf in his first season with the Steelers (14-4).

"It would mean just as much, if not more, for me to win it for Flozell," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "To go back to Dallas and he's never had a chance to go to a Super Bowl. To get to play in one, and it's in Dallas, I want to win one for him as much as I do myself."

Adams, 35, was released by the Cowboys this past offseason. Pittsburgh signed him as a replacement for the injured Willie Colon, who tore his Achilles and was out for the season.

Adams had to switch from left tackle to right tackle with the Steelers but got better as the season went on. His run blocking, in particular, has been solid. Adams helped pave the way for tailback Rashard Mendenhall (1,273 yards, 13 touchdowns) to have a career season.

"It was a challenge," Adams said of the position switch. "I had some trouble adjusting with it and learning the scheme in the beginning. But I just stuck with it."

Less than a year after being released, the sight of Adams potentially holding up the Lombardi Trophy at Cowboys Stadium may not sit well with many Dallas fans. But don't ask Adams to reflect on his days as a Cowboy. He's not interested in talking about his former organization this week.

"It's been a while; I don't remember," Adams said, laughing. "I'm just talking about the Steelers and what we're doing for this Super Bowl right now, that's all."

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... -a-steeler (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/23926/page/espntexas/flozell-adams-im-a-steeler)

01-31-2011, 06:26 PM
I really want to see Adams get his ring this Sunday. He has been a lifesaver for the team this season.
And with a victory, I'll bet Flozell is up on the podium as part of the group of players receiving the Lombardi. That's a class touch that won't be lost on the Steelers.

01-31-2011, 08:20 PM
Sure, this is for Flozel yadda yadda yadda.....this is about media control....and it's a pretty damn smart thing to do.

Give the media topics to focus on and you control the message.

"Uh yea, Ben, what's it like to go from the end of last season, not making the playoffs, everything that happened in Georg.....Hey! Look over there! Isn't the the OL wearing Flozell college jerseys? Hey! Didn't they do that before for someone else? When was that?"


And Ben mentioning wanting to win one for Flozell (Bettis) in his mini presser..."Gee, he is a good guy...he really has turned the page." Genius.

Pay attention to how well the team drags the Pouoncey injury out....will he or won't he....yet another way to control the message....not only away from Midgeville, but anything else that can be picked up and overblown by the media.

Of course the Pouncey thing is smart to drag out regardless, but I think they will play it up much more than usually as a "shiny object" for the media to focus on.

02-01-2011, 03:30 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers appreciate Flozell Adams' help

Posted Monday, Jan. 31, 2011
By Carlos Mendez

http://media.star-telegram.com/smedia/2011/01/31/22/0201_afc_spot.ART_GSN17G25B.1+0201_afc_spot.IMG.st andalone.prod_affiliate.58.jpg

Flozell Adams' teammates and coaches say that the former Cowboy has provided key leadership.

In Flozell Adams' 12 years with the Dallas Cowboys, was the word joy ever put in the same sentence as his name?

On the first day of Super Bowl week, Mike Tomlin managed to do it.

"Flozell is a joy to be around," the Pittsburgh Steelers coach said. "It might sound funny, because he doesn't always have a great disposition. But we enjoy that about him, too."

The Steelers clearly have a lot of affection for the 6-foot-7, 338-pound veteran tackle. His fellow offensive linemen got some throwback Michigan State jerseys and wore them on the flight to Texas as a nod to Adams, who joined the team as a free agent right before training camp last summer.

"When I got there this morning, I think I was the second-to-last O-lineman there, they all had them on," Adams said, smiling as he talked to reporters at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, where the Steelers are staying. "I said, 'Whoa, what's that?'"

It was thanks: Thanks for stepping in at right tackle for Willie Colon, who tore an Achilles' tendon in a summer workout. Thanks for providing leadership with the younger players. Thanks for being a pro.

"The thing that's probably the most impressive about Flozell is, his intentions have been so pure since the day that he joined our football team," Tomlin said. "Here's a guy who's made some money in this league, who's garnered some accolades in this league -- five- or six-time Pro Bowler, what have you. This guy just wants to win, and he has brought that mentality and approach since Day One.

"He's a veteran player. He doesn't ask out of anything. He works extremely hard. He has a can-do attitude. All of those things endear him to his teammates."

Adams said he wasn't trying to endear himself to anybody. He was just trying to fit in -- he was changing teams and positions for the first time in his career. Until then, he had played only left tackle.

"I just asked a lot of questions," he said. "Like, what do you guys do? How do you do it? Where do you do it? I talked to the coaches, as well. Learning the offense.... Techniques, moving to right tackle. I studied film after we had our normal sessions, went over plays, the whole shebang like I was a rookie. I wasn't mad at it or anything. I just took it in stride, and I knew it was what I had to do to succeed in the transition, and that's what I did."

Adams said he had some rough training-camp moments when he'd make a mistake in footwork or use an old habit from his left-tackle days. But Tomlin gave him time.

"He knew what I could do," Adams said. "A couple of times, he'd just look at me like, 'Well?' I'd be like, 'Coach, I need to work. I need to work a little harder this week.' He'd say, 'Well, just get some extra stuff in after practice,' and that's what I did."

Now Adams gets a chance to play in a Super Bowl. Not only that, he's a starter with the confidence of his team behind him. He's got the shirt to prove it.

"He's been a mentor to all of the offensive linemen," receiver Hines Ward said. "He is kind of their father figure, their big brother. It was a great respect for the offensive line to do that for Flo."

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/01/31 ... z1Cgb2xPk8 (http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/01/31/2811846/pittsburgh-steelers-appreciate.html#ixzz1Cgb2xPk8)

02-01-2011, 12:38 PM
With no OT floating around when Colon went down, getting Flozell was truly a season saver.

I never like to be tainted with ex-Cowboys, but I'm happy to make an exception this time.

And yes, the Flozell, and other phoney distractions were genius to develop.

The Pouncey thing is great cause Raji (Leon Lett reincarnate) is going to be flummoxed all week on who he's going against.

02-01-2011, 03:26 PM
Gorman: Steelers go with 'Flo'

By Kevin Gorman
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Flozell Adams passed through airport security Monday morning and, to his astonishment, spotted all of the Steelers' offensive linemen wearing his green Michigan State No. 76 throwback jersey.

That they wore them on the plane to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas wasn't just a show of solidarity but a not-so-subtle shot at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The Steelers have made Adams a rallying point this postseason, vowing to win a Super Bowl ring for the 13-year veteran offensive tackle who had one career playoff victory in a dozen seasons in Dallas before being released last April.

"Guys just want to win it so bad for him," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "The greatest compliment you can get is our whole offensive line showed their respect for him by wearing his jersey. We've got so many storylines on this team, but that one is special: We want to win the Super Bowl for Flo."

This wasn't the Steelers' first Super Bowl publicity stunt. They wore No. 6 Notre Dame throwbacks to honor Jerome Bettis in his Detroit homecoming in 2006. "The Bus" was a Steelers legend, playing one last season in hopes of winning a Super Bowl ring. "The Hotel" is a newcomer, seeking the same result in his first season with the franchise.

The Steelers will take motivation wherever they can find it.

"Most of the guys have a Super Bowl ring here, but one is never enough," said Adams, crediting linemate Trai Essex as "master planner" for the throwbacks. "You always appreciate when guys show some love, so I'm grateful for it."

The gesture put a perpetual smile across Adams' face yesterday, replacing the 6-foot-7, 340-pounder's surly scowl and menacing glare. Even Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made reference to that reputation.

"Flozell is a joy to be around," Tomlin said. "It might sound funny because he doesn't always have a great disposition, but we enjoy that about him, too."

Adams, with a laugh, took exception to the description.

"I'm not in a bad mood all the time," Adams said. "It just looks like it."

What Adams looks like is an absolute steal for the Steelers, who signed him to a two-year contract in late July after starting right tackle Willie Colon was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.

There were a couple of concerns about Adams. At 35, he's in the twilight of a stellar career. He was the second-most penalized player in the league since 2005, allowing eight sacks last season. And, to make matters worse, he hadn't played right tackle since college. Adams has started every game, picking up only a handful of penalties.

Talk about your throwbacks.

"I can't say enough about what (offensive line coach) Sean Kugler did with him and what Flozell did in accepting that change, to move to the right side," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. "I mean, it's a five-time Pro Bowl guy going into his 13th year and he's willing to make that move. It was fortunate for us."

What the Steelers didn't anticipate was how easily Adams would be accepted or how hard he would work. He was the consummate professional, spending extra hours watching tape and working on technique with Kugler to make a seamless transition.

"We went over the whole shebang," Adams said, "like I was a rookie."

All in the quest for a shot at the Super Bowl.

"The thing that's probably the most impressive about Flozell is that his intentions have been so pure since the day that he joined our football team," Tomlin said. "He's a guy that's made some money in this league, that's garnered some personal accolades in this league, five-time Pro Bowler or what have you -- this guy just wants to win, and he's brought that talent and approach since day one. He's a veteran player who doesn't ask out of anything, who works extremely hard, he has a can-do attitude. All of those things endeared him to his teammates. There's a lot of respect there.

"Those guys felt it necessary to honor him, and I'm glad that they did."

Adams acknowledges how special it is to finally reach the Super Bowl, especially in Dallas, and appreciates the grand gesture the Steelers made in his honor by finding a way to turn talk of payback instead to that of throwbacks.

Come Sunday, he hopes to return the favor.

Read more: Gorman: Steelers go with 'Flo' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1CjVUVRM5 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_720723.html#ixzz1CjVUVRM5)