Colbert: Steelers' offense is progressing
By Scott Brown
Published: Sunday, June 24, 2012
Steelers Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert watches practice at St. Vincent College July 30, 2011. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)
The Steelers are off until July 25, when players report to St. Vincent College in Latrobe for training camp. The Tribune-Review caught up with general manager Kevin Colbert at the end of offseason practices, and he weighed in on the new offense and the situation at left tackle.
• Tribune-Review: From what you observed during offseason practices, did players make good progress as far as picking up the new offense?
• Kevin Colbert: I’m not listening to what’s being said intimately after a play. There’s not a lot of physical errors I guess is the best way to say it: new offense, people learning about the offense and coaches learning about people, I think there will be some mistakes. I think that’s just part of the growing process. It’s way too early to tell, but visibly I didn’t see a lot of mistakes or corrections being made, no more than usual.
• Trib: Did anyone stand out to you?
• KC: I think we 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. I think (Leonard) Pope gives us some stability at the tight end position from a veteran standpoint.
• Trib: Is there a backup plan if Mike Adams isn’t ready to play left tackle, and if so, does that plan include Max Starks?
• KC: We’re monitoring (Starks’) health, we’ll see how he develops, but Max is coming off a serious injury, and his readiness we don’t know yet. We won’t know until you get closer to camp and he’s had more rehab.
• Trib: Do you feel like this team can be a Super Bowl contender?
• KC: I have no idea. You don’t know what kind of team you’ve got until it starts to unfold because you don’t know the competition. We have one focus right now, and that’s to beat Denver. Beyond that, none of us know, and we won’t know until we get through it. Right now it’s let’s get ready for Denver.
Fine young man. Still, he wasn't worth a draft pick.
Long shot from SMU not ordinary lineman
By Bob Cohn
Published: Sunday, August 5, 2012
Steelers offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum during practice at St. Vincent College
The Kelvin Beachum File
Born: Jan. 1, 1990
Hometown: Mexia, Texas
Size: 6-foot-3, 303 pounds
College: Southern Methodist
Drafted: 7th round (No. 248 overall)
Highlights: Four-year starter at left tackle at SMU; Conference USA first team (2010, 2011); All-Academic Conference USA team (2011); National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society (2011).
Steelers rookie Kelvin Beachum has two degrees from Southern Methodist. He delivered a commencement address to his graduate school class, served on the athletics subcommittee of the Board of Trustees and was president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and belonged to other organizations.
Many are impressed with Beachum’s resume. He, at least for now, is not.
“Nobody cares,” he said. “I’m ready to stop talking about it. I’m ready to play football.”
Beachum will talk about it, if asked, because he is good-natured and polite. He says “sir” a lot. But he mainly is intense and focused, and his sole concern right now is making the Steelers as a guard or tackle or both, or any other place they can use him. As a seventh-round draft pick, he faces long odds. The Steelers also spent their first two picks on offensive linemen.
“It doesn’t matter,” Beachum said. “I’m here.”
“Here” is training camp at St. Vincent College. Among Beachum’s new and varied experiences was a useful lunchtime chat with defensive end Brett Keisel , a former seventh-round pick who began his Steelers’ career in 2002.
“That sort of brought perspective to the whole thing,” Beachum said. “He asked where I was drafted, and I said 248 (overall). He said he was 242. He’s like, ‘It doesn’t matter how you get here. If you get here, do something special. Show the coaches something special every day.’ That’s something I’m trying to do, and hopefully I can be here as long as he has.”
Beachum played left tackle for SMU but moved to guard during the Steelers’ minicamp in June. Now he is playing both positions. A former high school basketball star, he is quick, athletic and smart. Listed at 6-foot-3, 303 pounds, he is not especially large or powerful.
“I’m not the typical, 330-pound mauler,” he said. “I play with leverage. I play with athleticism. I play with what I have.”
“He has functional strength,” said offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who nevertheless added that he likes what he sees so far.
“He’s got excellent feet and a professional attitude. I’m excited about him. He’s got a long way to go. He’s raw in many ways. We’re trying to teach him two positions. But I think he’s catching on faster than I even expected.
“If you look at the background of this kid, it’s really amazing. He’s well-rounded, and to me, that translates to football. You’ve got to be smart. You’ve got to adjust to things on the move. He’s ahead of the curve there. He’s a very mature kid for his age.”
Beachum has a mean streak, which he flashed early on in a couple of scuffles during drills. He said he was just trying to finish his blocks the way he was taught. His college position coach, Adrian Klemm, a former guard for the Patriots and Packers, preached “seven seconds of violence,” and Beachum and his linemates tagged themselves, “The Goon Squad.”
“It’s all about competing,”said Beachum, who grew up a Steelers fan in the middle of Texas, (his father, Kelvin Sr., is a big Cowboys fan). “That’s what we’re here to do: competing, finishing, doing what the coaches ask. All they ask is that you finish. Sometimes things can be escalated.”
Beachum’s orneriness stems also from a career mission to prove doubters wrong, to rise above what he calls “stereotypes and assumptions.” Lightly recruited out of Mexia, Texas, a small town near Waco, he became a four-year starter at SMU, won All-Conference USA honors and got drafted. He showed up with a public school background that was perhaps lacking compared to some other students at the prestigious, private university, yet he still managed to excel.
Beachum, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in organizational dynamics, said much of his off-field service was devoted to trying to narrow a rift between athletes, especially black athletes, and the rest of the university community. He sought to provide athletes with a greater voice on campus and dispel those stereotypes and assumptions that exist in what he called a somewhat “snobby and ritzy” campus atmosphere. “They thought we were just there to play football,” he said.
He said he wants to be “an authority figure” to kids. In his graduation speech, Beachum spoke of testing his will and “facing many challenges,” he said. “I have been told, ‘You can’t, won’t or shouldn’t.’”
“I saw his potential as an athlete and saw his willingness to learn and take advantage of the opportunity he was given,” said former Southern Methodist athletic director Steve Orisini, who encouraged Beachum’s participation on the board. “For a lot of young people, it doesn’t click later in life, the realization that, ‘Hey, I’ve got a great opportunity here, and I want to make the most of it.’”
Monique Holland, a senior associate athletic director at SMU who worked closely with Beachum, predicted, “He’s gonna be a great role model in the NFL. He’ll never lose his values. That’s just gonna be him.”
Beachum said he had a practical reason for accelerating his studies.
“I wanted to get it out of the way so I could concentrate on football,” he said. “I’m not that smart. I just work hard.”
Educational values were instilled early by his mother, Culetta, who gave birth to Beachum when she was 19 and quickly had three more children. There were rules: No TV during the week and always a book to read. She would give her kids spelling tests. If they missed a word, they had to write it 20 times.
“I wanted them to be better than Mom,” she said. “I was just thankful to finish high school. I pushed education.”
Beachum was first in his family to graduate from college, narrowly beating out his mother. A psychological assistant at a state mental health facility, Culetta Beachum got her associate’s degree in 2008 and her bachelor’s degree online three years later. Kelvin Sr. never got past eighth grade but owns a successful car repair shop in Mexia. Beachum’s grandfather, John Wesley Beachum, fixes transmissions even though he was shot and blinded during a family dispute more than 60 years ago.
“He can pull a transmission and rebuild it like nobody’s business,” said Beachum, who is known as K.J. (for Kelvin Jr.) back in Mexia.
On Dec. 16, the Steelers play Dallas at Cowboys Stadium. Said Culetta Beachum, “The plan is to be there.”
Many 3rd round picks don't appear to last past 1st contracts with the teams where those players were drafted.
Not sure high fan's hopes should be of 3rd round picks based on that knowledge.
Last edited by BURGH86STEEL; 08-06-2012 at 11:18 AM.
Imagine the conversations in a Latrobe dorm room between the likes of Kelvin Beachum, Myron Rolle, Baron Batch, Troy Polamalu, etc. and compare that to the average conversation taking place at Cincy Bengals thug camp.