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Keion Adams is “healthy, confident and excited” for next opportunity with Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t draft an outside linebacker this offseason, and this speaks volumes of what the team thinks of second year linebacker Keion Adams.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Most fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers were left with questions at the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Draft, and one of those questions was ‘What is going on at the Outside Linebacker position?’

With the Steelers not signing a free agent outside linebacker, not drafting one or even re-signing a player like Arthur Moats, it left the team extremely thin at the position. What the lack of movement also did was speak volumes about second year player Keion Adams.

And don’t think Adams didn’t notice the team didn’t go out of their way to add talent to the position.

“I noticed that,” Adams told Mike London of the Salisbury Post. “But I wasn’t really worried about who we might draft.

“All I’ve been worried about is taking care of my body and being in the best shape I can possibly be in.”

For the second year, seventh round draft pick out of Western Michigan, Adams finally feels healthy and able to make an impact with the team who took a flier on him in the 2017 NFL Draft.

“My shoulder has felt fine since early May, a couple of weeks before we started OTAs (Organized Team Activities),” Adams said. “I’m 100 percent as far as the shoulder. And I’ve been able to tell a difference on the field this year as far as my experience. Things have slowed down some. I’ve been able to react more quickly than last year, without thinking, and that’s critical in this league.”

When Adams was placed on Injured Reserve last year, he didn’t view it as a year wasted, but an opportunity to get better both on, and off, the field.

“I got hurt in training camp with the Steelers last year, but it wasn’t a year that I wasted,” Adams said. “I had opportunities to finish up the classes I needed to get my degree. I knew I needed to get it done right now, that the longer I waited, the harder it was going to be to go back to school, and so I did it. I’m proud of the degree. I grew at Western Michigan in a lot of ways.”

“Being injured, being on the sidelines, was a new experience,” Adams said. “In high school and college, I only missed like two games in an eight-year span, so this was all new. I got good advice from Sean Davis (a Steelers safety who had come back from a shoulder injury). He said to treat it like a redshirt year, and that’s what I did. I tried to do everything with the team. I was at practices and I attended position meetings. I studied tendencies and I studied formations. I learned a lot of details, a lot of small things. My coaches and my teammates kept my spirits up. There was never a dull moment and I laughed a lot with our linebackers. There was never a day when I didn’t feel like I was part of the team.”

If you recall, last year Adams was turning heads throughout the offseason workouts, but it was the Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe High School where Adams suffered what turned out to be a season-ending injury to his shoulder.

He details just what happened on the play in which he was injured:

“We just got tangled up, and I went forward but my shoulder sort of stayed behind,” Adams described going against a tight end in a one-on-one drill. “I knew it didn’t feel right, but I’d never really been seriously injured before, so I didn’t expect it to be as bad it was. I finished the drill, but I was in pain.”

Adams is ready to get back to work, and is awaiting training camp to show the Steelers made the right decision to keep him in the fold last season.

“I’m healthy, I’m confident, I’m excited.,” Adams said. “When training camp comes, I’ll hit the ground running.”

It would be a huge boost to the Steelers, the defense and the outside linebacker position if Adams can be quality depth behind T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and Anthony Chickillo. Adams is a dynamic player, and is ready to be unleashed when the team reports to training camp on July 25th at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.