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Beachum: “I Don’t Want To Just Be A Guy Wearing A Jersey”


When Pittsburgh Steelers second-year offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum took over for Mike Adams at left tackle following the Week 4 loss in London to the Minnesota Vikings, I really had my doubts about him being able to handle the job. Now, 11 starts later, I really believe that he has a good shot at being the starter on the blind side for several years to come and he believes it as well.

"I enjoy being on an island, it all being left up to me sometimes," said Beachum in a recent interview on the team's official website. "I enjoy protecting Ben’s (Roethlisberger) blindside. I enjoy the scrutiny that comes with it because I don’t care what anybody has to say. This is my job to protect him and I take it to heart. I have my own convictions and that is what matters."

The 2013 season has been over for more than a week now, but according to the report, Beachum is already hard at work training for next season. He not only wants to get stronger and increase his knowledge of the game, he also wants to "be great".

"I don’t want to just be a guy wearing a jersey," said the SMU product. "I don’t want to just be a Steeler who has come through here. I want to make an impact. I want to be influential."

How can you not like that attitude?

When Beachum was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2012 NFL Draft, it looked like he would be just another late-round pick that would be lucky to make practice squad. In fact, after watching him closely during that preseason at left tackle and left guard, my prediction was that he would wind up on the eight-man squad after the final cuts were made.

Beachum stuck, however, and his hard work and dedication has paid off. It's worth repeating that he very well might have been one of the best pass protecting left tackles in the league over the course of his last six or seven starts.

Yes, at 6'03", Beachum doesn't fit the mold of a traditional left tackle, but his heart size certainly makes up for it. He is a student of the game and is working on becoming a technician. You might not have noticed, but Beachum took snaps at all five positions on the offensive line in 2013 and while I'm not positive, I am willing to bet that he's the only player in the NFL to do that in quite a while.

Beachum's development has now provided a huge safety net for the Steelers when it comes to the slowly developing Adams. In addition, his ability to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger off of his back will likely prevent the team from spending yet another early round draft pick in May on another offensive lineman.

From this point forward, consider me a huge fan of Beachum's as I believe that he's already made an impact and has been influential. He's going to be around for a while and I wouldn't bet against him from this point forward.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    Go get em beach

  • Brendon Glad

    He was a Steelers MVP candidate, in my book. Love the improvement he has shown in a short time and without being able to concentrate on one job.

  • Luke Shabro

    Kind of reminds me of a Jeff Saturday at tackle. Not a guy of overwhelming size but an incredible attitude and incredible aptitude. I’m pretty sure everybody in Steeler Nation loves this kid. Never complains, busts his tail and will do anything to help the team win.

  • grw1960

    Something I have always believed. Is that Heart and dedication is just as important as measurements and too bad it can’t be used as a draft day tool. As it is an unknown.
    When I look at players like Ward, Harrison, Antonio Brown and Beachum. It just strengthens that belief.

  • steeltown

    BEEEEACH!

  • Chad H

    Put Heyward with that bunch as far as the heart and dedication goes. This guy never gave up and finally became an incredible starter.

  • srdan

    And leader

  • John Hinton

    Well-said!

  • Callentown

    Good story. Great guy for this team for sure. How do you not root for him?!?

    I only wish he would play RT instead. I know he played LT in college, but I’m worried that with an undersized guy at LT and below average lineman at RT, that our line will continue to be weak.

    Who KNOWS what’s going to happen in the middle of the line next season, but the tackles have been a question mark for a couple of years now.

    If Beachum is the LT, who is the RT? I see no one on this team that can play it well.

  • srdan

    He had a great season. Probably the steadiest LT play the fans have seen in a long time.

    I love competition at positions and there are 3 young talented tackles battling for two spots. It’s good for the team.

    I initially looked back at the troy edwards pick (and others) while ward was coming up as a insult or negative action by the organization. But when I digested it a little more, it only fueled Ward to become a SB MVP and future HOF. Great moves by the organization.

    Keeping that track record in mind, I would think that they are bringing in a OL coach to suit the tackles. Ultimately I think the steelers would rather see a prototypical size tackle on the left, but i don’t htink beach is having any of htat.

  • srdan

    It’s crazy to talk about a 6’3″ 350 pound human as small. Right? lol

  • Callentown

    Well, Beachum is around 300 lbs, but it’s the height and strength that will be needed to take on the beasts on that side.

    Here’s hoping the kid can find a way!

  • srdan

    Me too!

  • Virdin Barzey

    Shocked that Beach ended up being our best left tackle. Never would have thunk it but great for him and great for us. Love the attitude. Similar attitude like Brown and Jones. You can tell a whole lot from the way some of these guy talk and if its genuine love for the team, game and winning.

    Did not see it in Wallet, Sanders and though it appeared to be there, we don’t see it in Woodley anymore.

  • steeltown

    He’s around 305lbs currently, but Im hoping he comes in around 310-312lbs next season, hopefully all added muscle/strength

  • srdan

    I am 6’1″ and most people think I am big. I was just pointing out that it’s crazy to call someone 6’3″ 300# small.

  • steeltown

    Indeed

  • Callentown

    Even crazier when you see them on the field without true perspective, right?

    In the N.O./Philly game, there was a moment when Sproles was standing next to one of the N.O. lineman and he looked like a small child next to him. Funny.

  • dgh57

    If only Beachum’s attitude would rub off onto Adams or even Gilbert would be nice!

  • David Edward

    While listed at 303 (which was his pre-draft wt.), I’ve heard Beach struggles to keep his weight up to 300 and is more of a 295 guy. And he’s a tad under 6’3″. Even so, his size won’t be a problem if he uses proper techique and lives in the weight room this off-season. Pouncey is another guy who is undersized and also listed at 303. I think at one point he was in the 280s. Quickness and intelligence was the key for Pouncey, but I’d like to see him get stronger too. Three simple power lifts…bench, squat, deadlifts…load the plates on the bar and go to it…add in military press for shoulders…learn to love the smell of iron!

  • StrengthOfVictory

    You also have to love that the youth on the Steelers O-line matches the youth in their backfield. Hardworking guys like Beachum and DeCastro will be developing right alongside Bell. They’ll get better and grow in experience together. Developing that chemistry in these players’ early years will be invaluable to the strength of this offense going forward.

  • HiVul

    The question to me is, why move Beachum out of that position if he played so well for half a season? I know you say he’s undersized, but if it isn’t reflected in his production then do you still consider it a problem? I would say no and stick with what’s working. If we really need to make a move at RT (I’m not personally convinced that we do) then we should try to find a new RT, not a new LT. LTs are harder to come by

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Leave Beach where he is, as he has earned it. I don;t give a damn how big he is, it’s strength and speed that matters. Some of the OLB’s he will go against are not big, but tremendously fast. Some of the DE’s are very strong, so I have no problem with him being in the middle somewhere. Perhaps it even helps him get his hands into the guy’s chest and hang on. I don’t know why it’s working, but it is working.

    Great work, Beach! You are a true Steeler.

    And who knows, maybe Adams trains like a maniac this off-season and ends up taking the RT position. We already know that as a rookie he did a very good job run blocking. Perhaps he can train hard, learn a bunch and work on getting some quicker feet for pass protecting. Mike might want to take some form of martial arts, as I don;t think he is the ballet type.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes for Beach and Pouncey. I think the bigger boys like Foster and Adams and Gilbert should do some cross training, martial arts perhaps and definitely hire a nutrition expert. This is your livelihood so act like a pro for 10 years, eating, sleeping for football preparation.

  • Callentown

    Obviously, it’s still very early for Beachum. My concern is that he will struggle against the premier DE’s in the league.

    It’s early to say that he “played so well” also. He gave up 7 sacks while we used all sorts of unique play calling to protect the weakness of our line overall.

    Looking purely at what it takes to play the most important position on the line, I’d just like to see the Steelers finally invest in a true LT.

  • Callentown

    :) See that’s the ‘fan’s disease’ that we all have.

    We WANT these two tackles (Adams and Gilbert) to work out because we drafted them high. We’ve seen enough to know that neither will be a QUALITY RT anytime soon, if at all.

    Neither have shown any sign that this is the case.

  • Jeff

    Wow… First the video on Cam Heyward, and now Beachum showing leadership qualities and a true passion to succeed… It’s hard not to be optimistic about this team moving into next year! Another solid draft in 2014 might propel this team back to the top of the AFC…

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Excellent point and I definitely agree with you there. That’s why at some point you have to really, REALLY motivate these guys. They need to be challenged. If I were the Steelers I would do an assessment on all players at this time.

    1) A guru to design some kind a of program for the athlete’s specific needs.
    2) A nutritionist to help them naturally build strength, speed and stamina.

    They spend 100′s of millions a year on all kinds of expenses for the operation of the team, so why not spend a few more bucks on a team of experts to get the most our of these men.

    And 6 months from now, you will easily be able to tell if there is some kind of improvement or not.

    I think that’s why Dwyer was let go 5 months ago, although he supposedly had a little injury in the off season and his son was born. There is no excuse for eating like a pig and bulking up while not working out. His wake up call was getting cut. Now I have always thought there was potential but now I think he has truly seen the light.

  • Callentown

    I’m surprised they don’t have literally every single kind of health and fitness expert at their disposal.

    With all of the injuries this team seems to have compared to other teams, they seem to need help with this kind of stuff.

    Good points Bullion..

  • Dan

    Indeed. I’ll need a bigger TV if Foster’s gut gets any worse. I know Guards don’t need to be svelt, but holy buckets that guy needs to loose a pound or 50.

  • Dan

    Great to see his attitude. Certainly if Matthews falls to us, we can’t pass (and a couple other guys would have to be considered as well), but I’d say we can put LT a little lower on our draft prio list. Maybe this is an unrealistic dream, but I’d like to see what our O-line can do with the same line up for a whole season (so DeCastro keep away from everybody’s knees….and watch out for your own.)

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Agreed. I SMH! Being in phenomenal shape helps immensely. I still used to get injured, but often played through them or rehabbed quicker. And I didn’t have all the money the Steelers have at their disposal.

  • Jeff

    HEYWARD TOO!

  • Robert Alaniz

    Whats wrong with Adams attitude? He took being cut up pretty good and losing preperation time for the season, into being moved over to LT when he was doing very well at R/T and imploding…….into hard work and not feeling sorry for himself and doing quite nicely when given the opportunity to play again.

    Two moves I don’t understand. Cutting Dwyer for Redman who made starting rb from the tub or moving Adams to L/T who was doing very well at R/T.

    Gilbert on the other hand is my concern. Coming off his CBA offseason by falling flat on his face and getting carted off the field just trying to pass the basic conditioning test during camp? That raised an eye brow from me.

    If they put Mike where he belongs back at R/T, Gilbert can go bye bye after 2014.

  • Robert Alaniz

    Actually MIke Adams was doing well at RT and then we decided to move him to LT.

    Gilbert, I have no use for.

  • ATL96STEELER

    You have to like Beachum…imo he’s not the long term answer @ LT. I think he’s going to do okay vs the shorter, speed rush guys in the DIV, like Suggs…but will always struggle with the taller premier DEs, like Peppers.

    I wouldn’t take a OT @ 15 because NONE of them I would trust in front of Ben @ LT next season…Matthews really just started playing LT and he’s considered the top OT. There are some guys I like in the 2nd/3rd round…Seantrel Henderson from MIA is one that I think could play LT after a year of seasoning @ RT.

  • Joe Paul

    I went to Steelers training camp in August for 4 days. Everyday, the first guy out on the field and starting to warm up was the same, KELVIN BEACHUM.

  • dgh57

    It has more to do with Adams demeanor and/or work ethic as compared with Beachum as to what I’m talking about. So it’s more about what’s going on upstairs that I wish would rub off onto Adams. Beachum has what it takes upstairs(and what counts first) which helps him make up for his lack of being built like a prototypical LT. Adams is built just the other way around where his stature can’t make up for what’s going on upstairs which may end up limiting him as a backup only or RT. We will see how it goes as next year will be his 3td year and along with that more maturity. To bad we can’t meld these to players together you might have a All Pro LT!

  • Callentown

    Robert, in my opinion ‘doing well’ is subjective. If you’re talking about him as a run blocker, yep I saw that too.

    Pass blocking – major liability. Remember they moved him to RT when Gilbert was hurt and it was the same thing. He can’t pass block to save his life – or Ben’s.

  • Brandon James

    IMO I think he is the long term answer, at least for 3-5 years. he went up against some of the top 5 pash rushers in the league already. With this attitude, and love for the game he is only going to get better because he will put the work and effort in. It was also his first season starting LT in the nfl. He actually played 3 full college seasons as LT…which most people don’t know.

  • Brandon James

    Thanks for the laugh haha

  • Brandon James

    I will say this, Dwyer was in tomlins doghouse (For reasons im sure we know and don’t know) This year I have never seen him run as hard and powerful as he did. So it obviously worked.

    And I agree with Adams back on the right side, and then keep gilbert as a Swing backup. Our line should be well established for years to come with all this depth.

  • Brandon James

    You see all the reports coming out from the patriots and i think GB saying the loss of extra OTA’s and practices and contact is where all these injuries are coming from.

  • AndyR34

    How do you know what or what isn’t going on “upstairs”? How do you know what his work ethic is? Are you in the OL room during the week? Has Adams talked to you privately? Are you aware that the purported reason for getting rid of the coach was that he wasn’t developing the players? Most players are said to develop the most between their first and second years…Adams opportunity to develop was restrained by his injury. Lastly…we all know that Beachum is smarter than most…are you knocking Adams because he is not as smart as Beachum? That’s not a very fair assessment, IMHO.

  • AndyR34

    Reportedly, Foster did lose weight from last year

  • ATL96STEELER

    I’m okay with Beachum being the LT, just don’t see him as ideal…I certainly wouldn’t draft one until round 3 or 4 this year…his attitude, work ethic, etc. is really what separates him from Adams,,,not so much physical talent.

    He does appear to be a good fit for the rush ends in the DIV.

  • Asmitty56

    5 spots on the OL, and TE makes 6.

  • george

    everybody we have would struggle against the premier DEs in the league. it seems like they havent given up on Adams and Beachum is good protection. While a standout OT would be great I think CB WR Safety and LB are greater needs now.

  • george

    I agree. Just look at Adams…very big and no technique.

  • dgh57

    It’s called having to read between the lines when it comes to Adams because he seldom talks to the media so fans can get a handle on what he’s about and that he’s into wanting to progress like Beachum wants to. Beachum talks so you know how he feels about his job and then backs it up with his play. Adams does neither. Adams stabbing incident happened on 6/1/13 well before week #1 and I doubt they would start him if he wasn’t fully healthy. Players just don’t only learn from coaches but from other players at their position and so if Adams still needs a coach then I rest my case with Adams as S. Thomas probably has learned a boatload from Troy in his one season. If it makes you feel any better I think Adams has more of a chance at seeing his 2nd contract then does Gilbert because Adams only needs maturity which year 3 should bring.

  • alex

    attitude, no doubt…

    if Gilbert and Adams, as well as the rest of the team, cant get motivated and focused when a 7th rounder takes there premiere LT postition away from them, then to the scrap heap you go!

  • AndyR34

    It’s called making an assumption based upon your biases and perceptions of the way people…who are inherently different in their perspective and their relative place on the extrovert/introvert continuum. Assumptions are dangerous and wrong at least as often as they are correct. You should at least acknowledge that. Also, remember starters start many, many times when they are not fully healthy, so you can forget that assumption. :)

  • dgh57

    No, it’s called your making assumptions about what I’m talking about! No where did I say that what I said was definitely true, or use the words, in no doubt, in anything I said so if your would only READ BETWEEN THE LINES you would see I had already admitted or left the door open that I may possibly be wrong. I’ll say this though, I’m more right than wrong about Adams. Regardless, a 7th rounder shouldn’t be outplaying a 2nd rounder in any situation so you can list that as another knock on Adams or give credit to Beachum. I choose to do both!

    This is a blog site for everyone to voice their opinions on the subject of anything related to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I voiced mine and I’m entitled to it. Same goes with everyone else who posts on this site.

  • dgh57

    I agree, if Adams can’t get motivated by losing out to a 7th rounder nothing will!!

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