Originally Posted by blackandgoldsc
Would we rather see Starks/Gilbert on the ends, Starks/Adams, Starks/Beachum, Gilbert/Adams, Gilbert/Beachum, or Adams/Beachum?
I really don't know. I think Starks is very underrated, I think Gilbert is kind of overrated but that doesn't necessarily mean I am right or that the Steelers agree. Not sure what to really think of Adams and Beachum yet.
That's the question, for sure. We know what Starks brings to the table - he's adequate to play the position, a journeyman-level NFL OT and nothing more; but on our O-line that makes him the best OT.
Adams would have reasonably been expected to take the starting left tackle position, but he's had technique problems in pass blocking, followed by injuries, and he simply hasn't progressed. He's fine as a run blocker. He needs more time, health, training and experience. So Adams is still an open question, but injuries are injuries, and we can remain hopeful.
Gilbert would have been reasonably expected to continue developing after his solid rookie year, but instead he regressed badly. His pass defense is worse than Adams. Not only has he been regularly beaten, he's losing on technique and he's losing physically. Indeed, defensive players have been driving him into the turf, and into other teammates. He's being beaten like a bongo drum. He's nowhere near Adams in run blocking. Gilbert is a big concern.
Beachum is a big surprise. In preseason, all he seemed to do was hold; he looked kind of helpless. But in the last two games as a starter, he's looked better than either Adams or Gilbert in pass defense (and behind Adams in run blocking, of course).
We really need at least
one of these guys to step up and get beyond the Starks level, and it really should be two - because honestly, we're a bottom five OL, and it should be an achievable goal. Maybe one will be Beachum, and maybe Adams will progress or Gilbert will get his head right. Maybe both!!! Or maybe neither ...
I don't think we're going to know the answer this year.
PS: I was very happy with DD's play.