Pittsburgh Steelers: Can Kelvin Beachum handle left tackle?

So far throughout five games of the 2013 season, the left tackle spot has turned into a comedy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The play of Mike Adams alone turned out to be funnier, or drastically sad depending on your point of view, than anything sitcom you could find on primetime television.

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kelvin Beachum (68) calls a play during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Adams’ struggles led the Steelers to panic and pull off a trade for Levi Brown. Brown wouldn’t have been much of an upgrade, but we will truly never know as the former No. 5 overall pick suffered a triceps injury in pregame warm-ups Sunday, prior to making his Steelers’ debut.

With Brown now on injured reserve, meaning he will never play a snap in a Steelers uniform, it looks as if 2012 seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum could be the man the rest of the season to hold down that left tackle spot.

That’s news that shouldn’t make quarterback Ben Roethlisberger very comfortable the next 11 weeks.

Beachum got the start Sunday in the Steelers lone win against the New York Jets and if he proved one thing early on, it is the fact that he is not an every week NFL left tackle.

He was beaten badly in the first quarter for what should have been a safety and took a pair of bad holding calls. However he officially didn’t allow a sack, although he got beaten often. Beachum steadily improved throughout the game, but despite that fact he really isn’t the answer the Steelers are looking for.

However Beachum may represent a slight upgrade for the time being.

That’s fine, but the problem with Beachum at left tackle really occurs if an injury happens along the interior of the line.

If one of the two guards go down with injury, Beachum is almost certainly going to have to move inside, leaving what- Guy Whimper at left tackle?

That’s also a sad thought.

I admire Beachum’s work ethic and the fact that he has really learned each position on the line in under a year and a half. His versatility is valuable to this team, evident by the way he was able to step in and man the left side on Sunday.

But the fact that Beachum is likely to line up there for possibly the next 11 weeks speaks volume to the Steelers lack of quality depth across the line.

I often wrote that it would be a major problem going into the season, but not even I thought it could turn out to be this bad.

Given the Steelers history of injuries on the offensive line, this problem is likely to get worse for a while until it starts to get any better.

In the meantime it will be interesting to see how Beachum handles the left side on a week-to-week basis. If he continues to improve, some position battles could become very interesting before next season begins.

In addition to placing Adams on IR, Pittsburgh also placed tight end/fullback David Johnson on injured reserve, signed free agent tight end Richard Gordon and promoted cornerback Isaiah Green from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

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Topics: Kelvin Beachum, Levi Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

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