After struggling with their offensive tackles throughout the season’s first three games, the Pittsburgh Steelers have made it a point to upgrade the position. And upgrade they did, at least in appearance.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Steelers and Arizona Cardinals have agreed on a deal that will send veteran offensive tackle Levi Brown to Pittsburgh in exchange for a late-round pick, pending a physical.
Hearing it will be a late round pick going from PIT and AZ for Levi Brown. Brown’s contract will remain as is. Makes $4.75M this year…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 2, 2013
Brown, a Penn State product, was the fifth overall pick in 2007, but has never lived up to the hype. In addition the Steelers will be taking on his salary of over $4 million this season, something the Cardinals were more than happy to unload.
But with the Steelers desperate for tackle help, the move is worth a shot, even though Brown is one of the worst tackles in football and doesn’t necessarily represent much of an upgrade.
When you look at it, the Steelers upgraded from our 68th ranked tackle in Mike Adams to the 60th in Brown. Both guys rank in the bottom 10 in Pro Football Focus’ pass blocking efficiency stat.
However the Steelers had to do something to get Adams out of the lineup.
Last year’s second round pick out of Ohio State has struggled so badly that the team announced on Tuesday that he was heading to the bench in favor of seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum. But with guard Ramon Foster’s status in the air after a pectoral injury suffered Sunday in London vs. the Vikings, Beachum may be needed more at guard.
With the week off coming at a good time, the Steelers should have plenty of time to work Brown into the lineup.
He should be an upgrade over Adams, but only marginally. Brown has struggled to find consistency his entire career which isn’t good news for Mike Tomlin’s team.
Through four weeks, the Steelers aren’t only winless, but rank 29th in rushing yards at less than 60 per game. The lack of success has forced Pittsburgh to throw more, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times and is under intense pressure every time he drops back.
Will Brown fix that problem?
It’s highly doubtful, but the Steelers at 0-4 had to try something.