Rookie offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum will get a baptism by fire on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at right tackle as Mike Adams has been ruled out with an ankle injury that he suffered last week against the Cleveland Browns.
Beachum, the Steelers seventh round draft pick out of SMU, will have a tall task as he will be seeing quite a bit of Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who two weeks ago had his way with Adams in the game at Heinz Field. In that game Kruger recorded 2 sacks, 3 quarterback hits and multiple pressures.
Beachum must hold down the right side without actually holding as well, something that he is slowly building a reputation for. On his first snap upon entering the game last week against the Browns, Beachum was flagged for getting a fistful of jersey of Jabaal Sheard and it negated a 30 plus yard completion from quarterback Charlie Batch to Heath Miller in the process.
Beachum, who played both left tackle and left guard doing the preseason, was flagged 4 times for holding during his limited exhibition playing time, so you can see why he has somewhat of a reputation of clutching right now. To his credit though, he hasn\’t allowed a sack during his 22 pass block sets in both of his regular season appearances and only 1 quarterback hit.
It is obvious on tape that the young tackle is not afraid to use his hands, and that could be one of his strengths Sunday in Baltimore if he can discipline himself to keep them inside and not grab
On Tuesday head coach Mike Tomlin said that he thought that Beachum represented himself well against the Browns, but he also left the door open for right guard Ramon Foster to shift over to right tackle should the need arise.
Beachum understand the magnitude of this game and the opportunity that he is now presented with this coming Sunday. He said this past week that he has talked a lot to Adams and tackle Marcus Gilbert, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with an ankle tendon injury. Although neither of those young tackles have much experience against Kruger, whatever advice that they can give him can\’t hurt.
When asked what he learned from the last Baltimore game that he can use this week to help him, Beachum said, “It\’s one of those things where you just have to go out there and play, go out there and have fun. Don\’t go out there and anticipate what might happen, just go out there and mess somebody up.”
Here is to Beachum messing Kruger up on Sunday and not messing up himself by holding.