No thanks. I'd prefer to keep Pouncey at center, with DD next to him at one guard spot, and Colon/Foster at the other.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
Also, I'm quite pleased that Beachum proved me wrong. I thought he would be an unmitigated disaster at RT, but he held his own and made a few decent blocks. I thought he needed a year on the PS to get stronger, but I think he'll be able to fill the Essex role of utility lineman going forward.
I said coming out of camp that Beachum would surprise. really glad the kid steppeed up and did well. I still think he will be better at Guard but his future is as one of those multi position back ups that Tomlin loves. Give this kid a full off season and I think he really comes back as a solid product next year.
Originally Posted by phillyesq
Props on that call - I do remember you being an early backer of Beachum.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
I'm not going to crown Beachum a successful pick yet just like I didn't crucify Batch last week. One game is just one game. It is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Remember a tackle who came in and played pretty well in 2010. He was pencilled in as a starter in 2011 and was horrible. I can't even remember his name.
Having said all that Beachum did play great and I hope he keeps it up. In fact the entire O-Line played great. The pass protection for Charlie was fantastic.
That's not Jonathan Scott is it? Even when he was playing ok he was only ever hanging on by a thread. Agree that this is just one game, but the role of a backup is to excel just one game at a time. In the past few years we have barely had starters who excelled one game at a time. This performance is a big upgrade.
Originally Posted by ikestops85
Wow Beachum destroys Nagta on Redman's 24yd run
Originally Posted by TD386Steel
On a similar note, anyone notice Baltimore's FB level Casey? That's something I dont think I've ever seen.
Originally Posted by TD386Steel
Kelvin Beachum: Unsung hero in Steelers Week 13 win over Ravens
By SteelCityRoller on Dec 3
While congratulations are deserved by multiple players in Sunday afternoon's emotional victory, one player seems to get lost in the shuffle.
The heartfelt exchange between Charlie Batch and Ben Roethlisberger immediately upon the referee's signal of a successful field goal, spoke volumes to the importance of this game and this team, to these players.
The odds were more than stacked against the Steelers, Pittsburgh was buried in them. The Steelers were already without the top two quarterbacks from the team's opening day roster; and the third-stringer Batch, had done little to evoke confidence in even the most, die-hard fan. Toss in the loss of the team's starting left outside linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, and its second starting right tackle in Mike Adams; and the Terrible Towels began to twirl a bit slower.
Then, in the early moments of week 13, the Steelers suffered another setback, with the injury to Ike Taylor. On paper, the Steelers had lost this game before they ever got off the buses.
The tears on Roethlisberger's towel, stood as evidence of the physical and emotional investments made by Batch. The often attacked Cortez Allen stepped up and proved that "The Standard is still the Standard". Jonathan Dwyer played like a starting running back, while the Steelers deactivated their long time starter Rashard Mendenhall. Jason Worilds was solid in his support of Woodley. James Harrison looked like a younger version of himself, and Ziggy Hood looked like a much wiser version of himself. Every participant deserves a pat on the back for their contributions in a hard fought, much needed victory; especially, Kelvin Beachum.
Beachum, one of the Steelers' four seventh-round draft picks in 2012, impressed coaches with his football intelligence. While his 6-foot-3, 300 pound frame doesn't exactly translate into an NFL right tackle, this collegiate tackle was seen as a guard, or center project. While his potential impressed coaches in the classroom, his work ethic is what earned their respect.
Even from his days at SMU, Beachum has deservedly earned a reputation for an exceptional work ethic. He stays hours after practice has concluded, constantly watching tape and working on his technique. His work ethic, combined with his open mind towards positional flexibility, allowed the coaches to feel confident enough to release long-tenured veteran, Trai Essex. However, Beachum was never intended to play at either tackle spot. He would be an inside blocker, only.
When Adams went down with a leg injury, and was subsequently ruled out of the week 13 game in Baltimore; everything changed. The situation had been deemed so dire, that Maurkice Pouncey, an all pro center, was moved to guard; allowing Doug Legursky, who has played less than spectacularly at guard, to play center. An injured Willie Colon was pushed all week, in hopes he would return; but his pain refused to comply. Because of the shortage of bodies, Beachum was forced into his first NFL start at right tackle.
While the Ravens' pass rush relies heavily on the blitz, and not as much on their defensive line; Beachum played admirably at a position that no one wanted to see him play; in a game no one wanted to see him in. While the Ravens generated pressure at times, little mention was made by the television broadcasters of a rookie right tackle looking overwhelmed in his first start.
Beachum has had quite a journey from his birthplace of Mexia, TX, to the three rivers of Pittsburgh, PA; but when his number was called upon in Baltimore, MD, he did all anyone could ask of him. Because of his performance, Charlie Batch found plenty of time to lead the team to an eventual victory; and because of his relentless desire to improve himself every single day, Beachum has proven that he belongs on this roster.
Not many seventh-round draft picks get to say that they played a significant part in the resurrection of his team's post-season aspirations. Today, with his head held high; Kelvin Beachum can.
How the Steelers used slide protection in Week 13 and could use it again against San Diego
By Paper Champions on Dec 6
Kelvin Beachum faced a daunting task on Sunday with his first NFL start. Luckily, the Steelers coaches did what great coaches do: they put Beachum in the best possible position to be successful.
Mike Adams struggled in pass protection against Paul Kruger and the Ravens during their initial match-up at Heinz Field. As a result, Steeler Nation was understandably worried about the presence of Kelvin Beachum during the rematch. The pass protection overall was much improved, and has been widely reported, Beachum handled himself well. The Steeler coaches should receive some credit for this because they made some major changes to their protection schemes that the Ravens seemed unprepared for.
Slide Protection versus Man Protection
Offenses employ numerous different protections during a game. Famously, Buddy Ryan used to say that he just wanted to know the protection that the offense used in the first quarter. Buddy then rationalized that the offense coordinator would call that protection again in the fourth quarter when things got hot. Whatever was called first was the primary protection and would usually be used again at the most crucial moments. To counter the protections, certain blitzes are called to attack certain protections. A quarterback changes the protection pre snap (a tip off to this is when you see the back change sides when the quarterback is in the shotgun) and the defense changes the stunt. This is the chess match that occurs every play.
Man protection is exactly what is sounds like. I got the guy across from me. Man protection is, obviously, simple from an assignment stand point, and its good for 5 and 7 step drops. It allows the offensive lineman to maintain his block longer. With man protection, each offensive lineman determines his pass set. The offensive lineman has to think pre snap, "What footwork do I have to use in order to be successful?" Because the launch point of the quarterback is different for some throws, and the defensive lineman has different alignments every play, the set for the lineman changes every play. And, it's different for each lineman. Everybody loves the deep ball. Everyone wants to sit back there and sling it every play. But, as we saw with this week's GIF, vertical setting on a wide rushing defender is hard. I once saw Green Bay's offensive line coach explain how they went from giving up 4.5 sacks in one game to Jared Allen to winning the Super Bowl two years later. He explained that he convinced the powers that be to quit calling 7 step drops all the time. There was another offensive coordinator that used to stubbornly always call 7 step drops with a porous offensive line, but let's see if anyone can guess who that was in the comments. Anyways, vertical setting in man protection is hard, but it can lead to prodigious offensive performances.
This was the dilemma that the Steelers faced going into Sunday's game. Rightly, in my opinion, the Steelers refused to expose Beachum to a lot of man blocking. Instead, the Steelers heavily employed slide protection schemes against the Ravens.
We highlighted slide protection in the GIF from the first Ravens game. Slide protection is like zone blocking: instead of blocking a man you are blocking an area. You can do a full slide with all the offensive lineman, a half slide, or a few other variations. It usually starts with the quarterback declaring who the Mike linebacker is, and the center usually then calls out the type of slide. So, for example, let's say the Steelers are in an empty formation with five eligible receivers. Most defensives won't play zero man, so let's say that the defense is defending with six. That leaves five against five, but where are the five defenders coming from?
Based upon the pre snap look, Ben thinks that they are going to bring three from his right, with one of those three being a corner coming off the edge. Beachum and Foster are both covered, and Legursky calls slide right. Beachum steps to his right and the defender that was aligned on him slants inside of him towards Foster. Beachum lets him go (block your zone, not your man) and looks for someone threatening the edge. Foster does the exact same thing, so he picks up the guy slanting towards him. Legursky is uncovered and he is also in the slide, so he picks up the guy that aligned on Foster that is now slanting towards him. Pouncey and Starks are also both covered, so Legursky communicates to them that they are not part of the slide. Instead they are blocking the guys on them. That leaves the linebacker unaccounted for. If pre snap Ben thought that they were not bringing three from his right, he would've communicated that and Pouncey would have been part of slide. He and Legursky would've been responsible for the down lineman and the linebacker. As it stands now, Ben has to account for the linebacker. He has to communicate to the receivers that the linebacker is the hot read. Therefore, whomever the hot receiver is has to recognize the blitz and adjust his route.
Lots going on there mentally, but not as daunting physically. Since you are not blocking the defender if he goes inside of you, the technique is a lot simpler. Which brings us back to Beachum: whatever shortcomings he may have, intelligence is not one of them. As a matter of fact, with Pouncey playing guard and Legursky playing center in addition to Beachum at tackle, this was probably the "smartest" offensive line we've had in a while. No disrespect intended towards the normal starters, but because of the responsibility given to centers, they play smart by necessity. Otherwise, they'd be out of the league. Moreover, Beachum's intellectual acumen was well documented after the draft. It's not a slight to anyone to point that out. When playing offensive line, the who is always more important than the how. In otherwords, if you block the wrong guy great, the play has no chance of being successful. However, if you block the correct guy just adequate, you have a chance at having a successful play.
The flip side of all of this is the fact that the Ravens were never able to successfully attack the Steelers' slide protection. They were obviously caught somewhat off guard by it, but I think the aforementioned mental preparedness of the Steelers was the main reason for their success.
It will be interesting to see what adjustments the Steelers make this week. Whatever they are, I'm confident they'll play to our strengths and not our weaknesses.