Pittsburgh's O-line fallback plan
Dominant offensive line play hasn't exactly been a hallmark of the Pittsburgh Steelers' performance over the past several years, and QB Ben Roethlisberger is celebrated as much for his ability to create plays when he's hassled in the pocket as he is for plays when everything runs smoothly.
As the 2013 season looms, the Steelers are poised to push forward with two young players at the bookend spots on the O-line in Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert.
But what happens if one of them is injured or proves inept?
There's always the chance that the team could add at the position -- players like Eric Winston, Winston Justice and Jammal Brown are out there -- but if not, things could get a little dicey for them, as ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley explains:
Attachment 878 Jamison Hensley
The Steelers will see one of their bigger fears play out if right tackle Mike Adams isn't ready to start training camp after getting stabbed twice in an attempted carjacking. Each of Pittsburgh's backup plans at tackle carry a great deal of concern.
The Steelers can go with Guy Whimper, a free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars who led the NFL in sacks allowed in 2011 with 14, and gave up four sacks in six starts last season. The other option is Kelvin Beachum, who started the last five games at right tackle for the Steelers last season.
Moving Beachum to right tackle would hurt the interior of the line. Beachum has been working this offseason on becoming the top backup at guard and center after Willie Colon was released and Doug Legursky wasn't re-signed. In other words, Pittsburgh can't afford for Adams or left tackle Marcus Gilbert to get hurt.