Ask me two or three years ago if the Steelers would have a completely solid offensive line and pro bowl-like play from two tight ends in about four years and I would have called you one of the biggest homers out there for thinking such things. Turns out that as offseason workouts and mini camps progress, the Steelers are becoming poised for such things. I know it’s ridiculously early to call this thing, but it appears that the Steelers have put pieces in place to make the offense a force to be reckoned with.
In an interview with the TribLive, Kevin Colbert pointed out a few things about the offense.
[W]e were pleasantly surprised (with rookie) Kelvin Beachum and his versatility. I think he’ll be able to play guard and tackle, and some day he might be able to play center. He’s a versatile, very intelligent kid. He was a left tackle at SMU. He’s probably a little undersized for tackle in the NFL, but he’s got the arm length and the feet. Whether he can do it at this level, who knows? But he’s athletic enough to play guard, and I think he’s smart enough to play center someday. – Kevin Colbert
Beachum is a 7th round draft pick, and you usually don’t hear news like that coming from a 7th rounder this early in the process of camp evaluations. Not sure if he’ll ever be a Rayfield Wright, a 7th round draftee who is a six time Pro Bowler and Hall of Famer, from the Dallas Cowboys in the 60′s. But, his versatility is an exciting asset to his abilities. And the smarts and ability to play center? Phew. Maybe Steeler Nation won’t sweat it if and when Maurkice Pouncey gets hurt again. Beachum has not been talked about much since being drafted. The focus as of yet has been on early rounders David DeCastro and Mike Adams. Beachum could be a big surprise in camp and step in as one of the better backups while he develops. I’m not sold quite yet, but…. In Colbert We Trust.
Colbert also mentioned that newly acquired TE Leonard Pope has been a standout so far. I’ve talked Poe up a few times of adding an incredible 1-2 punch in the TE slot when playing opposite of Heath Miller. The honeymoon with Pope could be short lived. He might be Haley’s guy, but he still needs to be able to gel with Ben Roethlisberger as well as block well with his other linemates. I’m not too worried about those things. Pope is a very good tight end, and his size will be a huge advantage. 6′-0″, 6′-5″, and 6’8″. That’s the height of Mike Wallace (should he return), Heath Miller, and Leonard Pope. Defenses better get the Miracle Grow and start putting it in the water during training camp, or Big Ben will be throwing bombs and lobs all day long to these three guys in the end zone.
This news from Colbert is very encouraging. I expect this kind of stuff to keep coming out of camp in late July. You getting excited yet?