I think the top 6 are set, but beyond that is wide open competition. I'm still not sold on Foster being the perfect fit at G. I wonder if Beachum could do better. I reallylike what I've seen of KB so far. Why can't Foster be the swing backup?
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
Whimper and beyond - I just have no idea yet. There has to be some open competition at this point because we havent seen enough of these guys.
By Jim Wexell
Posted May 31, 2013
Joe Long may have been undrafted, and then released by the St. Louis Rams, but Jake Long's younger brother has an opening right now with the Steelers.
PITTSBURGH – Depth was thin at offensive tackle for the Steelers before Mike Adams was stabbed in the stomach and forearm over the weekend.
Adams is expected to be ready for training camp, but in the meantime – and no recovery is guaranteed – the next man up is free agent acquisition Guy Whimper, the veteran who allowed 14 sacks in 2011.
And last season, Pro Football Focus ranked Whimper the 74th-best offensive tackle out of the 80 in the league.
The only other alternative at this point is Joe Long.
He, at least, has some name value.
Long is the younger brother of Jake Long, the All-Pro left tackle who was the first pick in the 2008 draft by the Miami Dolphins.
Jake just signed a $36 million contract with the St. Louis Rams, the team that cut Joe last season.
“My brother got there and said, ‘Oh yeah, they’re asking about you,’” said Joe, a 6-5, 304-pounder who’s quick with a smile. “But I love it here. I would rather be here than with any other team in the country.”
Joe, five years younger than Jake, was undrafted out of Wayne State (Mi.) last year, signed with the Rams, was cut before the season, and signed on with the Steelers’ practice squad last November. He’s now alternating with the veteran Whimper at the tackle spots on the Steelers’ second-team line.
“I’m coming into my second year here, so getting to know the playbook last year gives me a huge advantage,” Long said. “I feel like I’m doing well. We’re doing well as a team. We’re starting to mesh pretty well. We’re getting better every day.”
Joe and Jake grew up with their other brother John in Lapeer, Michigan, about 50 miles north of Detroit and 20 miles east of Flint. Jake went off to star at Michigan while Joe walked on at Division II Wayne State. John is coaching offensive linemen at New Lothrop High School.
“We have O-line blood in our family,” said Joe. The boys’ father, John Long, spent his life working for General Motors. He’s also a big man, but never played football.
“He was working, walking two miles to school in the snow,” Joe said with a chuckle. “That’s the kind of guy he was.”
At Wayne State, Long started a school-record 49 straight games, all at left tackle, and blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher all four seasons (two of those seasons by future NFLer Joique Bell).
Long was named to the conference all-academic team as a sophomore, to the all-conference first team OL and all-academic team as a junior, and to several all-America teams as a senior. He capped off his career by winning the Gene Upshaw Award as the D-II lineman of the year.
Throughout it all, brother Jake was never too busy making Pro Bowls and money to help out.
“It’s great having an awesome teacher,” said Joe. “I’m just trying to kind of follow in his footsteps and watch his game. And he helps me. Whenever I need it I give him a call and he can help me with anything. He’s always had patience with me, him and the rest of my family.”
Long said he doesn’t have a problem with the inevitable set of questions he gets from media and teammates about his older brother. He said it’s actually an asset.
“The guys respect that,” he said. “They kind of think it’s cool that I’m his younger brother. And Jake and I, we have a little bit of a competition. I’m trying to gain on him here a little bit, so we’ll see how the season goes. First I have to make the team.”
The numbers are right. And he’s with an organization that doesn’t discriminate against long shots, so to speak.
“When I got a call from the Steelers I got instantly excited to have this opportunity,” he said. “It’s been everything I expected, the camaraderie, the coaching staff. Coach (Mike) Tomlin, the owners, everybody’s been really great. Great family. There’s a real closeness here. I love it here.”
What kind of insider analysis can he provide on the pass-rushers he sees every day at practice?
“They’re all good,” he said. “I’ve been going against Sly (Stevenson Sylvester) a lot. I’ve also been going against Jarvis (Jones) a lot more these past few days. He’s a good player. He’s fast, definitely a strong kid. He’s going to do well.”
I still think Foster would be a good option at RT if Adams doesn't fully recover quick enough. Beachum played well as well and it seems it would make sense to move him inside. Instead of Whimper being the backup at T, why not go with Gilby - Beachum - Pouncey - DD - Foster. Foster has the build to play tackle imho. Every time I saw him, he looks like Max in terms of size and always looks awkward playing G.
I think they have seen enough to know that Foster can't play in space unless it is a complete emergency situation.
Originally Posted by flippy
Hopefully Adams recovers quickly and completely - first as a person, and second as a player.
There are still plenty of options available if the Steelers want to add another veteran. The Whimper signing still makes little sense. Of the available FA tackles, he seems to be the worst, and with Adams and Gilbert, it's all but guaranteed that the third tackle will play this year.
Whimper was probably the most affordable of who they were talking to. When you have no money you have to shop at Goodwill.
Originally Posted by phillyesq
I think you hit it on the head, Ovi. I like Foster's effort but he is ugly in space. Only as a last option.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
Agree on the Whimper signing, completely baffling why a team would pay ANY money to a turnstile tackle. If they wanted a warm body, at least go get a guy that is unproven. Whimper has already been proven he is incapable of playing the position. I would take anybody with possible upside vs someone with only downside.
Originally Posted by phillyesq
Without Adams, Backup Tackles Must Step Up For Steelers
Jun 1st, 2013 by Dominic Di Tolla
Although the former Buckeye is scheduled to return for training camp, losing him during an important “gelling period” definitely hurts Pittsburgh’s offensive line as they try to build continuity as a unit.
While the Steelers have turned to Max Starks in years past for their offensive tackle-needs, “Old Reliable” is now a member of the Chargers. With Starks gone, backups Guy Whimper and Kelvin Beachum will likely be forced to pick up the slack at right tackle.
At least to me, I believe that the team should give Beachum the lion’s-share of reps with the first-team while Adams is sidelined. While providing the former S.M.U. Mustang with second-team reps at center is extremely important for depth-purposes, Whimper has done little over his professional career to prove that he is more than a turnstile as an offensive tackle.
The 30 year-old was cut earlier this year by Jacksonville after two and a half miserable seasons with the team. In 2011, Whimper allowed 14.0 sacks in 15 total games, and he was benched for much of the 2012 campaign (six starts) due to poor play as well.
To his credit, Beachum played well at times at right tackle during his rookie campaign (five starts) after Adams went down with an ankle injury, and there is definitely no harm in sticking him there until Adams is ready to play. If the Steelers want to turn Kelvin into a “jack-of-all-trades guy” for their offensive line, then they might as well continue the process by having him fill in for their injured starter.
In addition to Whimper and Beachum, Pittsburgh untested and rookie backups like Joe Long, Mike Farrell or Mike Golic, Jr. could see more snaps over the following weeks as well. As I alluded to before though, this group is largely inexperienced as both Farrell and Golic, Jr. are 2013 UDFA’s, and Long spent the end of the 2012 campaign on Pittsburgh’s practice squad.
I truly hate to be a “Negative Nancy,” but I really wish the Steelers had the reliable Starks to plug in once again for security purposes. For now though, let’s hope that whomever the Steelers insert in Adams’ place can hold down the fort until he comes back healthy.
Most of all though, let’s be thankful that Adams not only survived his ordeal, but that he came away from it in one piece and can resume his career once he fully recovers.
Don't count Golic out. He has played both Center and Guard at a major program. He also appears to be able to play OT in a pinch. He has the position flexibility that Tomlin loves for the OL. I think he could make the team ahead of Embernate who seems like an OG only.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher