The Better It Sounds, The Worse It Feels

By Matthew Marczi

The better it sounds, the less optimistic I am that this deal will make much of a difference.

When it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers traded with the Arizona Cardinals for the services of left tackle Levi Brown, I was not entirely sure what to think. Was this a move to acquire a new left tackle? Was Mike Adams doing such a poor job that the team felt he could not improve over time? Would they not even give Kelvin Beachum a chance at left tackle before moving on?

It initially appeared to be a rather serious move. There was talk of a second-day draft pick being given up, and then there was the millions left on Brown’s contract for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Over the course of the evening on Wednesday, however, we learned, of course, that the Cardinals would be paying for all but the veteran-minimum amount of Brown’s contract, and with the release of Isaiah Green, the displacement cost would likely be a fairly negligible amount.

Later, it was rumored that the Steelers would be giving up a “conditional late-round draft pick”, meaning that the deal is really quite a low risk move for Pittsburgh. But at the same time it begged the question: how high is the reward?

Now yesterday, reports surfaced that the Steelers actually will be receiving a draft pick from the Cardinals as part of the deal that brought Brown over to Pittsburgh. Could it even get any better?

Perhaps the deal itself could not have gone much better for the Steelers, or so it sounds, but now we are left with the question of whether or not Levi Brown can actually help the Steelers out.

It is pretty clear that the Cardinals had a significant desire to move the left tackle, as reflected in the comments made by the team after the trade was made. Then we learned that they had been floating the idea of a trade all season.

So what type of player have the Steelers acquired in Levi Brown, and what type of role will he ultimately fulfill this season? Given the size of the rest of his contract, it does not seem too likely at the moment that he will be sticking around beyond that.

The reality is that Brown could be anywhere from the starting left tackle for 12 games to possibly spending a few games in street clothes on the inactive list. The better the deal sounds for the Steelers, the lower my expectations fall for what kind of impact it will have. Of course, all we can do is wait and see how it all unfolds, but right now, Brown’s best chance of playing might be through the failures of others.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Rednecksrule

    Given the Steelers ineptitude with offensive linemen in the Colbert/Tomlin era, this guy will be useless. Who was that stiff they tried to insert at left tackle before they had to call Max Starks back? Now they had no idea that Adams wasn’t ready to play this year?? Now, he did have a stabbing injury, but you had enough time to figure he wouldn’t be able to play at full strength this year..if he ever can though. Then they decide to only have 2 back up linemen on the roster out of camp…two?? Are you kidding? They had enough tight ends to field an 11 man team of tight ends, but for O line, a position that goes down constantly.. 2 backups? So, let’s go toward not being optimistic over this trade…

  • JB

    I was very cautiously optimistic about this trade at the onset. that small amount of optimism is fading fast…

  • SteelerFanInMD

    They tried to start Jamon Meredith at LT before bringing Max Starks back to save the season. I agree about failure to evaluate O-linemen. Couldn’t they tell in OTAs and training camp what they had in Adams?

  • Whcr Communicators

    they were smart enough to let Adams go just in time

  • Steeler Wheeler

    The only thing more horrific than Adams play is the fact that the coaches decided Beachum, Gilbert, and of course Whimper, are all worse.

  • Xclewsive

    Adams has issue with speed rushers coming out of college it was well documented. So the Steelers moving forward should have addressed this issue with chipping or additional blocking to his side. I don’t believe Adams is a lost cause just a player needing more development.

  • Dan

    Of course, Levi Brown might do a better job now that he’s coming to a team with pass plays that don’t take three seconds to develop, and route trees that don’t resemble Georgia pines.

    Browns fans and Crimson Tide fans weren’t too fond of Arians either, and even Colts fans seem relieved that he moved on before doing too much damage to Andrew Luck. Say what you will about Todd Haley, but he has more quick-developing pass plays than Arians ever did, and he’s taught Roethlisberger how to get rid of the ball quicker too.

  • 1stepforward

    I couldn’t agree more. Adams showed promise at RT last season. His blocking on running plays was really, really good in the second half of the season. I think Tomlinson and Co. envisioned Decastro pulling and thus having Adams, Decastro and Pouncey mauling for Bell. Sounds like a great plan but, like Xclewsive says, you better get that kid some edge help for the passing game.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I will add that since Russ Grimm left the o-line has been a complete and utter disaster. Bring back Grimm who at least have some knowledge about linemen. Obviously Colbert/Tomlin has no clue since its been years of neglect and bad picks.

  • cencalsteeler

    Nice post. He’s young and is learning. If he rides out the season, maybe some offseason Tom Shaw, or some offseason training specialist is what he needs to improve his game. I’m not throwing the towel in on him just yet. The addition of Brown could also work two fold. 1. Competition and 2. Brown might bring some pointers to Adams to help his game as well. (maybe). The fact is Adams weaknesses have been exposed. Now all he needs to do is address them.

  • cencalsteeler

    Agree about Haley. Now, if Ben will just implement the quick passing plays more, I think our oline will look better and Ben will be throwing more high percentage passes. Let these guys work for YAC. That is a style of receivers we have. We do not have Calvin Johnson type players where you run down the field and heave it to him and he outleaps the defenders. These receivers we have are designed more for the catch and go.

  • rizzo29

    What pointers ,how to be a lump of crap,Brown,s a perfect example of wasted talent, Doesn,t work to improve and has a don’t give a sh$t attitude.Yeah he’ll be a big help.

  • Dan

    I’d like for the Steelers to either draft a tall, physical WR next year, or develop Derek Moye for that role.

  • cencalsteeler

    Yes, multiple dimensional threats just add that much more to your arsenal. Couldn’t agree more Dan.

  • Bilgewater D

    Grimm is part of the staff that took Levi Brown in the top 10 and you want to bring him back?

    Did you see the Cardinals o-line while he was there?

  • Bilgewater D

    Mike Evans Whoop Whoop!

  • JohnnyV1

    If nothing else, the guy provides a backup tackle with some experience in the offense for not much money or draft picks. And if he really sucks, they get out of any draft pick compensation at all. Moving on…

  • starbuck1963

    Sorry folks but before you trash Adams even more please remember that he has only started about 8 or so games.
    Does he suck now? Well yes he does.

    Can he improve? Hopefully
    Will he improve? Now that is the question.

    Need I remind the long-time Steelers faithful that Terry Bradshaw was absolutely horrible his first two seasons and James Harrison was undrafted and cut four times from two teams before he finally progressed to NFL defensive player of the year.

  • Johnny Loose

    Adams doesn’t have as much experience as people give him credit for. He was great at Ohio State and was one of the more highly touted prospects at tackle for a reason. We should be just a little bit patient w/ the kid. Plus he got stabbed in the offseason I mean come on. Life is probably a whirlwind for him right now. He’s got his feet wet, lets see how he responds to it.

  • Garrett Hunt

    It makes me nervous that we still don’t know what pick we will give up. Anything in the first 4 rounds would be a mistake. Seems that since we are getting a pick as well then the conditional pick we sent them must be substantial. If not, awesome move.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    There are a lot of people who feel the same as you (I’m one). The problem is while being patient through his growing pains Ben’s getting killed back there. Ultimately Ben’s ability/availability as a functioning and (relatively) healthy Steelers QB for the foreseeable future rests partly (mildly put) in this kids hands. TB and JH being good examples to your point however never had that responsibility Adams’ has. To your 3rd question posed I’d like to say I hope that happens and rather quickly too. Needless to say a long season awaits us fans.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Someday Adams will be a pro bowl caliber tackle and we’ll marvel at the kid.

  • CrazyTerry

    Carson Palmer is feeling that effect now in AZ. Not many points. Turnovers. Sacks. This is why Arians had to leave. I dont know if Haley will ever be very good, but overall, the offense has improved with each passing game this year. Arians offense benefited from defensive turnvoers. We dont get those anymore.

  • rizzo29

    If you really believe that then, i have some gorgeous oceanfront property in arizona to sell you

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I had mentioned the same thing…the FO/Coaches should have been playing the OL a heck of a lot more than they did to know what they had and made the moves before the season started. Failure plain and simple.

  • walter mason

    Adams has the potential to get better.

  • Paul Jones

    when i think of mike adams i think of lenny from of mice and men. Its a joke to watch ben get pummeled by a pass rusher who goes unblocked because lenny cant handle stunts