Mike Adams joins Pittsburgh Steelers at minicamp

PITTSBURGH -- Willie Colon couldn't help himself. When rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams walk into the offensive huddle during the opening practice of Steelers minicamp Tuesday, the veteran left guard decided to have a little fun at the expense of the new kids.

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"It smells like baby milk and pampers in here," Colon said just before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called out a play.

Hopefully, not for long.

The Steelers wasted little time putting their top two draft picks to work during their first drills with the veterans. Both players split time with the first team in an effort to play catch-up after missing three weeks of organized team activities while finishing their studies.

Offensive line coach Sean Kugler did his best to keep his two new projects up to speed, calling them daily to go through reps and relay questions that came up during meetings.

Adams -- taken in the second round out of Ohio State -- often would bring his playbook and his iPad wherever he went during his final days on campus to help fight off boredom.

"To be honest, I'd be in class watching film and stuff like that," he said. "I kind of checked out of school awhile ago, just wanting to be here, getting back with my team."

The sooner, the better for a player who's eager to shed the reputation he received during his bumpy career with the Buckeyes. Adams was an All-Big Ten Conference selection in 2010 and made the second team last year despite being limited to eight games because of his role in the scandal that eventually led to coach Jim Tressel's dismissal.

Throw in his failed drug test just before the NFL Scouting Combine, and Adams arrives in Pittsburgh with plenty of baggage to go with his potential.

"I think some people question my ability (as a person) and as a football player," Adams said. "As long as I do what I'm told and do what I'm taught I'll be all right."

He won't have to look far for guidance. The locker room is littered with leaders, Colon among them.

The affable 29-year-old now is the elder statesmen among the linemen and is moving from right tackle to left guard. If Adams and DeCastro both do enough during training camp to be starters, Colon will have as much experience as the other four starters combined.

Asked if that makes him feel like a grandfather, Colon smiled and said, "I don't know about grandpa. Maybe like an uncle."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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