Brown Acquisition Aside, Steelers Still Have Mess at Tackle Spots
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports
It was reported earlier today by many sources that the Pittsburgh Steelers acquired Levi Brown from the Arizona Cardinals. Desperate for help at the left tackle spot, the Steelers’ brass ignored cheaper and more familiar options on the open market *cough*Max Starks*cough so they could bring Brown into the fold.
While the 29 year old has a fair amount of experience under his belt (36 starts at left tackle, 43 starts at right tackle), his arrival does not end the “tackle woes” in Pittsburgh. In fact, the Steelers still have unsolved messes on their hands at the left and right tackle spots.
As far as the acquisition of Brown is concerned, it basically signals to Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams that they will be fighting each other for the starting gig at right tackle and a future roster spot.
Both players have underwhelmed early in their respective careers, and it was the versatile Kelvin Beachum, not Adams, who took the starting reps at left tackle earlier today according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
With Beachum ahead of them on the depth chart at left tackle, I think that it is pretty safe to assume that Pittsburgh’s coaching staff have seen enough of both of the second round picks on the blind-side.
Of course, Beachum is no “sure thing” to stay as an offensive tackle either.
The team’s “Swiss army knife,” who has played five positions already this year, might have long term security with the team. Yet if an injury strikes at left guard like it did last weekend, Beachum has to shift there or anywhere the team needs him. And while Beachum is versatile and tenacious, his small-frame (6’3″ 303 lbs.) is definitely a concern for the Steelers if they want him to line up on the blind-side for extended periods.
Then again, the newly acquired Brown is not necessarily a legitimate “answer” at left tackle either. The former Arizona Cardinal was nothing short of terrible during his first two years at the position, especially as a pass-blocker.
So how or why his head coach, Bruce Arians, thought he was an “elite” left tackle is beyond me, and Brown’s incompetency as a right tackle was put on full-display in Super Bowl XLIII if we all care to reminisce about a time when the team was not heavily comprised of incompetent boobs.
I am not exactly sure how or why Kevin Colbert and the rest of the front office thought that acquiring Brown would do them any good in an already “lost” campaign. The Steelers have an absolute “dumpster fire” on their hands at the left and right tackle spots, and Brown’s massive contract is just an added “football to the groin” for this franchise.
This franchise’s issues at both positions are far from solved, and I hope that it does not deter them from taking a top-tier tackle prospect next May like Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, or James Hurst to help in future seasons.
At least to me, this team is not in any better shape than they were yesterday when it comes to the already “messy” situations they have on their hands on the edges of their offensive line.
Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.com, Steelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference
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