I was pretty sure that Pittsburgh Steelers second-year offensive linemen Kelvin Beachum would at least play two positions Saturday night against the New York Giants in the preseason opener and even wondered if he might play three. So how many positions did Beachum play? Just one, as he played 35 snaps Saturday night and all of them came at right tackle.
Over the course of the offseason, Beachum has worked at center in addition to right tackle and occasionally some guard, but the Steelers coaching staff chose to let John Malecki follow starter Maurkice Pouncey into the game at center, and he was followed by Justin Cheadle when Malecki moved over to right guard later on.
Cheadle, like Beachum, is also trying to add to his position flexibility by learning the center position, but he certainly didn\’t look comfortable doing it against the Giants. Several of his shotgun snaps were floaters, and he didn\’t necessarily explode off the ball in addition.
So will Beachum receive snaps at the center position next Monday night against the Washington Redskins? It\’s really hard to tell at this point. Perhaps the coaching staff wants to get him as many reps as possible at right tackle over the course of the preseason as they continue to let him work at center during practice.
Should Malecki follow Pouncey into the next preseason game against the Redskins, it will solidify him being the backup center heading into the season, and it would mean that Beachum is merely the emergency center. Being as he is the backup right tackle, I have no problem with him centering his attention to that position throughout the rest of the preseason.