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Pittsburgh Steelers give OT Mike Adams second chance in draft

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers weren't going to draft Ohio State's Mike Adams after the talented but troubled offensive tackle tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

When Adams reached out to the Steelers for a second interview to express remorse and ask for another chance, the team agreed, though general manager Kevin Colbert told Adams he was nowhere near Pittsburgh's draft board.

During the meeting, Colbert, coach Mike Tomlin and owner Art Rooney II outlined the criteria that Adams needed to meet if he wanted any shot at being picked by the team he rooted for while growing up in western Pennsylvania.

Convinced Adams wants to turn his life around, the Steelers selected him in the second round Friday with the 56th overall pick in the draft. While acknowledging Adams' checkered past -- he missed five games last season while serving an NCAA suspension for receiving improper benefits -- the Steelers also believe he's sincerely trying to clean up his act.

"We didn't call him, he called us," Colbert said. "Had he not called us, this may not have occurred."

Though allowing the team's relationship with Adams is a "day-to-day process," Colbert believes the gamble will pay off.

"It's more a risk than we're usually comfortable in taking," Colbert said, "but again, because he was forthcoming, because he took matters and met our criteria, we're comfortable in taking the risk."

Offensive line coach Sean Kugler said Adams received a "first-round grade" during his evaluation because of his size and agility before character considerations dropped him into the latter stages of the second round.

"He's a physical player, and that's a size combination that's tough to beat at the tackle position," Kugler said.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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