Is Kelvin Beachum Really A Threat To Either Mike Adams Or Ramon Foster?

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is back from his vacation and in his Thursday morning blog post, he wrote that second-year offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum shouldn\’t be counted out as a possible starter at tackle or guard this year. Bouchette goes on to back up his statement by saying Beachum performed so well at right tackle last season after both Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams went down injured as the reason why he shouldn\’t be discounted.

While Beachum did represent himself well at right tackle last year, his run blocking was far from great. In fact, on the 41 running plays that went to the right side on the snaps he played, the Steelers averaged just 3.24 yards per carry. When Adams was on the field at right tackle, however, the Steelers ran to the right side 77 times for a 4.51 yards per carry average.

To take the stats even further, when Beachum was on the field, the Steelers averaged 3.44 yards per rush regardless of the direction in contrast to 4.56 yards per carry when Adams was on the field.

Yes, Adams does need to improve in the pass protection department as he did allow seven sacks in 292 passes blocking opportunities, however, as Matthew pointed out this morning in his post, tight end Matt Spaeth is likely to help Adams out some this year on the right side as the second-year tackle continues to develop that part of his game.

As far as Beachum being the starting left guard when the season opens, that just isn\’t going to happen unless Ramon Foster gets injured. While he will never be considered a Pro Bowl guard, Foster has been very consistent over the last several years in his level of play and besides, the Steelers didn\’t give him a three-year, $5.8 million contract this past offseason to be the sixth offensive lineman.

In addition to Foster\’s play and salary, Beachum has yet to prove that he can play inside. Last year during the preseason, his play at left guard was just as bad as his play at left tackle. Also, Beachum worked a lot as the backup center during the offseason practices, and unless I missed it, he didn\’t get an exorbitant amount of reps at either of the two guard positions.

Beachum is best served being the Steelers sixth offensive lineman this season, and I don\’t think he\’ll be threatening Foster or Adams for their starting spots any time soon.

  • steeltown

    Cant agree more.. spot on with everything

  • Luke Shabro

    Kelvin Beachum is a younger, better Trai Essex.

  • Shea Fahr

    If Adams is not completely healed and has to be initially placed on PUP, Beachum could potentially leap frog him…but only if Adams is not completely healed and able to compete.

  • Randy Neff

    I agree for the most part. We’ll see how camp goes though. Beachum seems to be a gamer and seems further along in his career than Foster was at the same stage.

  • dgh57

    Ha ha, wouldn’t that look good on Colberts resume if Beachum started ahead of Adams at RT! A 7th rounder playing ahead of a 2nd rounder I’m sure doesn’t sound or taste good to Colbert’s pallet and isn’t going to happen! Only way is if Adams isn’t ready to go game 1 due to his injury.

    Foster has earned his spot and is being paid accordingly! Beachum will have his day in the sun, just not now!

  • Shea Fahr

    Actually it would look great on his Resume because he would have a 7th rounder starting in his second year. Just like Foster being an undrafted FA starting at left guard. So you are correct, it would look great on his Resume.

  • dgh57

    That’s probably every GMs dream to find a 7th rounder starting in his 2nd year but he would be back to square one if it was at the cost of a 2nd rounder in Adams. Colbert might be thinking Beachum replacing Foster when his contract is up or sooner if Foster starts to underperform.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Oh, Ed…no wonder so many people don’t take you seriously any more.

  • steeltown


  • JohnnyV1

    I agree that the Steelers would not have given Roman Foster a 3yr extension to not start, but I would not state that Foster’s salary would prohibit Beachum from starting. I recall a year when Max Starks received the transition tag designation, Steelers paid him like $7million, and he didn’t start. Meaning, the Steelers sat guys making more money than Foster before. Foster can play RG, LG and RT, so he is not making crazy money as a swing guy.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Yes I’m a broken record but I still hold the line that not re-signing Lego is going to come back and haunt us. Kelvin is the only real backup center and the way our OL-men go down you can bet your behind that Kelvin is going to be needed elsewhere on the line. That’s going to leave no back-up at center experienced with our offensive schemes. No argument, Lego wasn’t a great guard, but he was a much better than average back-up center. He’s smarter than your average bear and he plays “Steeler” football. Mark my words, this loss is going to rear its’ ugly head sooner rather than later. God bless ya’ll.

  • Shea Fahr

    Foster is solid but not the best out in space in the second level. He will step on heads in order to earn the start which is what I like about him.

  • Matthew Marczi

    John Malecki is also a backup at all three interior positions and, right now, looks to be making the roster. Given the number of poor performances Legursky’s turned in, I’m ready to give Malecki a chance.

  • woundedvet

    Running stats doesnt mean it was Beachum’s fault. Running is more of a total team effort.

    An evaluator must watch film of Beachum, not look at numbers on paper. Pass blocking one in one though is much clearer to attibute to an offensive tackle because simply watch every play of the offensive tackle on pass plays.

  • woundedvet

    You didnt prove Ed wrong. We dont know yet, because have to wait to see if Ed is right. I wouldnt be surprised if Ed’s prediction turns out to be true. Because Beachum played amazingly well at end of last season, & I think Ed is around the players a lot – that gives closer insight than writers who are never at the practice field (“ahem”)…..

  • Matthew Marczi

    I really don’t think Beachum approached anywhere near “amazing”, in my evaluation. Perhaps what you meant to say is that it was amazing that he wasn’t disastrous, given how he played in the preseason. It’s pretty clear that Foster and Adams are better players than Beachum.

    None of the other writers that are “around the players a lot” have made such a silly declaration about Beachum. Just Bouchette. And as far as being around the players is concerned, according to certain writers who spend time at the facility, the majority of them spend their day indoors, rushing outside for the last few minutes of practice to try to speak with a couple players. A lot of these guys don’t even watch practice, and I have a feeling Bouchette is one of them.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Adams gave up 26 pressures in 279 passing snaps (about 6.8%). Beachum gave up 18 pressures in 195 passing snaps (about 7.7%).

  • SteelersDepot

    You must be a new reader, because if you weren’t, you would be well aware of just how much film I watch.

  • walter mason

    I agree with the first paragraph.

  • woundedvet

    You said “Its pretty clear Adams is better than Beachum”, But there isnt anything yet showing that.

    You said Ed’s prediction is “silly”, But theres nothing yet to indicate that. Nothing yet on the field indicated that.

    Adams is tapemeasure bigger, but theres no guarantee. We’ll have to wait & see which one is better on the field this year.

  • Matthew Marczi

    We’ve already given you the statistics on his run blocking and pass blocking. The only way Beachum starts over Adams is if there’s some kind of setback from his stab wounds.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Vet your point is noted and we liked legs however, he also got manhandled pretty badly and the organization liked what we no have. I actually believe that of out ufda’s, three O lineman will join us. 1-2 on the 53 and the remaining on the PS.