During his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin might have dropped a few hints as to what he thinks the starting offensive line might actually be Sunday against the New York Jets.
The Steelers of course acquired veteran tackle Levi Brown via a trade last week with the Arizona Cardinals and Tomlin called the move a “critical acquisition” during the opening statement of his weekly press conference.
“He’s a veteran, battle-tested offensive tackle,” Tomlin said. “Still working to establish a role, still working to make him familiar with our football. Obliviously, just had one day of on-the-field work, but his presence is needed and valued.”
Critical? Needed? Valued?
Those sound like some pretty strong words for a player that hasn’t played well so far this season and in 2011. That poor play led to the Cardinals virtually giving him away to the Steelers for a ham sandwich.
Tomlin also chose to use the word “critical” a few minutes later when discussing the health status of left guard Ramon Foster, who is currently trying to overcome a pectoral injury.
“Ramon Foster worked in a partial capacity yesterday with a left pec strain,” said Tomlin. “We’ll anticipate him to continue to do so as we push through the week. Obviously, what he’s capable of doing in pads is going to be critical. We’ll get a look at that a little later in the week.”
If the game against the Jets took place today, it sounds like Foster wouldn’t be able to go. Tomlin admitted Tuesday that he’s likely to be limited Wednesday and possibly Thursday as well. in fact, he probably already knows that Foster won’t be ready come Sunday.
Should Foster indeed not be ready to play against the Jets, then Brown will more than likely start at left tackle as Kelvin Beachum would have to fill in at left guard. Should that wind up being the case, then the addition of Brown was indeed a critical, needed and valued one.