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Now That The Facts Are In, Steelers Decision To Trade For Levi Brown Was A Good One


Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert took an undeserved beating Wednesday from a large chunk of the fan base for his decision to trade for Arizona Cardinals tackle Levi Brown. Now that all of the facts of the deal are in, I will give you my thoughts.

First, the Steelers only have a conditional draft pick and a base salary of $840,000 tied up in Brown because they were not forced to restructure his 2013 base salary in order to get cap compliant. That alone makes this deal a win for the Steelers.

Second, they now have a former first-round draft pick that played well at the end of the 2011 season. Brown is clearly not the same tackle that he was prior to suffering his triceps injury in August of 2012, but if they can fix his technical flaws, they have stolen a starter. That’s a big “if”, but the jury is out right now.

Third, for all we know, the Steelers might want to look at just how position flexible Brown really is. Perhaps the team is concerned a little more than they let on about Ramon Foster after he suffered a pectoral sprain Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Foster won’t need surgery, but they have to worry about the injury moving forward until it is fully healed.

In fact, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and General Manager Steve Keim both said back in late February that Brown could possibly make the move inside.

“He’s a talent,” Arians said at the time. “I don’t think he’d have any problem playing guard.”

Keim also didn’t rule out a potential move at the time.

“The fact Bruce [Arians] wants our five best offensive linemen out there means Levi could potentially move inside to guard,” Keim said. “That just depends on the combination of players we either sign in free agency. Looking at it on the horizon I don’t anticipate that happening, but you never want to say never.”

Fourth, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley knows all about Brown as he was the Cardinals offensive coordinator in 2007 when Brown was drafted fifth overall.

It might take Brown a week or two to pick up the Steelers system and it is important to remember that he won’t practice with the team until Monday. With that being the case, the Steelers might just start Kelvin Beachum at left tackle against the New York Jets and try to have Brown ready to serve as his backup.

Having a veteran like Brown on the roster will also help push Mike Adams, who very well could be inactive against the Jets if Brown dresses.

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with this trade. It has nothing but upside right now when you consider all of the reasons above. If he is indeed washed up as a tackle and can’t move inside, the Steelers will release him after the season.

Colbert made a very low risk move with the intentions of making the team better and he should at least be applauded for the effort. He could have just sat around and did nothing.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Matt Manzo

    Finally some good news! Let’s keep it coming!

  • gene mann

    I was curious how healthy is Brown at his point . So Whimper gets a hat instead of Adams ???

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You most definitely are looking at the glass of water half full. I can respect that but unless the move to inside is a definite move, I still stand on my words. Levi Brown will not be a significant improvement at LT. At LG? I love it! I doubt they are going to make the move though.

  • Mike.H

    I”m gonna be bombarded with idiotic remarks but why can’t an athletic all pro like Pouncey play LT or RT? — 6’4″ 305… besides experience.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I know Adams has been playing poor but he has to be better than Whimper right?

  • Chris92021

    No, not at all. After all, the Steelers made a similar move with Alan Faneca in 2003. Marvel Smith got injured and Faneca played LT. He was not great but he didn’t embarrass himself. I still think Pouncey is a very good center but would be a great guard. As for the Brown trade, I am glad to see it is a conditional pick. If plays really well and is under contract for several more seasons, then I would gladly give up a 3rd or a 4th round pick for him. I still think the best offensive line we got going into NY in two weeks will be Beachum at LT, Brown at LG, Velasco at C, DeCastro at RG, and Adams at RT. Dress Gilbert as the swing tackle and dress both Cody Wallace and Whimper. I don’t think Foster is gonna play for a few weeks so he will probably be inactive.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    Dave said in another post that they view Whimper as a guard, not a tackle.

  • gene mann

    I am not sure that an option but it been suggested.I know they talked about him to Guard and resign Veleasco

  • alex

    thanks FO…doing what you can to make the 2013 world work…

    we started the season w/o our starting RB/CB/TE and ,essentially, C…

    and, now, its on, baby…bring on 2013 with reckless Steeler abandon!

    XXXX (thats my fingers and toes crossed)

  • gene mann

    But Beachum can play OG and Adams can play Tackle in a pinch

  • gene mann

    Just an FYI the last team to mkr the playoffs after going 0-4 was SD in 1992

  • gene mann

    Does Brown Play Guard thought he was strictly a Tackle

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    I didn’t say it makes sense. I was expecting him to be released, even with the guaranteed salary.

  • zbluez1

    Okay so we have an O-line with 3 right tackles(1 playing left guard with a bad pectoral ), 1 center ( not with the team at the start of the season ), 1 right guard ( a genuine draft pick, O.M.G! ) , 1 switchblade utility lineman ( another draft pick ), 1 traded for left tackle ( who hasn’t been the same since injured ), 1 O-lineman who has yet to dress for a game and has no actual position listed on the official roster ( Wallace ), and 1 guy listed as a tackle that has dressed for every game as a backup that no one wants to see play and the coaches say isn’t prepared to play (Whimper ). I guess I am skeptical that this group of people can gel into a mediocre O-line capable of running the football and pass protecting a 100 million dollar QB. Then again I have been surprised before, I hope I am surprised again.

  • HarryBackside

    Is Brown a better run blocker than Adams? If so, then this was a positive move.

  • CW

    Is this a perfect move? No. But if the Steelers can get Levi Brown for next to nothing with zero long term commitment and only a late round pick if they keep him at the end of the year which they will only do if he shows that he’s worth keeping, then I can’t say a word against Colbert on this one.

    Mike Adams might be a better right tackle in the Pros and we might need to look for another replacement in the draft, but we get 3/4ths of a year to figure out if all Levi Brown needed was a change of scenery to get back on track.

    Things are pretty bad at this point so even if he does nothing and gets cut it’s a wash because it costs us next to nothing to play this hand out.

  • steeler4life

    I say put Brown at LT and Adams a RT he was and is better than Gilbert, also Beachum can play guard and from what I saw against Minn he did a good job. I can see this line shaping up with Brown at LT, beachum at LG, Velasco at C, Decastro at RG, Adams at RT. Next year just replace Beachum with Pouncey, and keep Beachum and Foster as backups ready to go. This could be a blessing in all this mishaps this year. So let go Steelers!!!!

  • Jason

    Gilbert is just settling in at RT. His play has improved a lot from early in the season and there is no reason to put Adams on the right side unless you just want Ben getting hit from a different angle. Gilbert is far from great but Adam’s deserves to be benched. Plus we spent just as high a pick on Gilbert as we did Adams so he deserves the same patience that many are giving Adams.

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    Does anyone know how many, if any, Steeler castoff OLs are on other rosters?

  • WilliamSekinger

    Anyone know the conditions attached to this conditional pick?

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    Sure but try and follow the conversation… the point was not that Guy could be left tackle but that Adams would be a better guard now that he is not need at left tackle than Whimper would be… assuming that Brown is healthy and ready to go.

  • dkoy85

    You know I was going to write the same thing. For all this mess we may very well have added some veteran experience and depth for next year IF everybody plays to their potential. Everybody in camp pushing each other to be better.

    I’ve been saying that this year could go a number of ways but with the offense getting more experience together and the young guys on defense getting more experience- and Jones packing on some weight- and a couple of good draft picks next year to go along with depth on the Oline 2014 could be a year of excellence. If you look at the potential on this team and realize how little the “potential” has played together you can see how I feel next year and 2015 we could make serious run.

    In Ben we trust!

  • Bill Molinaro

    I said in a previous comment that I thought
    this was a decent deal for the Steelers because they badly need OL depth. The
    details of the deal make it all good for the team. Perhaps a change of scenery
    from the southwest to the Golden Triangle will improve his technique which
    seems to be his main fault.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Actually sounds better than what we had last year with all the injuries.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    PFF grading says yes by a large amount…

  • Ken

    I think Adams would be a good guard, he is the best run blocker on the team when he isn’t flustered by pass blocking on the left side that he is very poor at.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    I don’t know what conversation you are having, but

    “I was curious how healthy is Brown at his point . So Whimper gets a hat instead of Adams ???”

    In no way says anything about Adams playing guard.

  • Matt Searls

    What did we trade for him?

  • Mike.H

    Chris thanks for great, intelligent answer. I assume 92021 is in El Cajon. I used to work there 15 yrs ago. Go Steelers!

  • Chris92021

    Yes sir, you would be correct. I miss San Diego everyday (I live in ATL now)

  • Mkeller

    I was one who bashed Colbert. I’m going to continue to bash him. This deal will likely be a net zero transaction. I’m not going to pat him on the back for going into this season with a starting o-line that has contributed greatly to the 0-4 start. This nothingness that has occurred does not change the last 6 draft classes and the totally unacceptable botch job on the salary cap. Yayyyy……way to go Kev.

  • PA2AK

    So you’re saying there’s a chance?!

  • Jay Brenner

    I totally agree. How are we supposed 2 compete with the ratbirds when Ozzie is the best in the business and Colbert is a chump! He came from the lions for gods sake. When were they any good till know. Every problem we have can be traced to Colberts ineptitude. He’s got 2 go or will never b competitive again. He simply cannot draft ! Or trade.Dump the chump !

  • Dan

    Willie Colon is starting for the Jets, and Kraig Urbik is starting for the Bills. Jonathan Scott is wearing street clothes with the Bears. Sean Mahan, Justin Hartwig, Darnell Stapleton, Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex and M** S***** are all out of the NFL now.

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