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Old 01-13-2014, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Beachum embraces challenges at left tackle

By Scott Brown | ESPN.com
http://espn.go.com/blog/pittsburgh-s...at-left-tackle

PITTSBURGH -- Kelvin Beachum started 11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers' final 12 games at left tackle -- he missed a game because of a knee injury -- and strengthened his grip on the position as the season progressed.

Not that Beachum would engage in any talk about his future at the all-important position when he cleaned out his locker a couple of weeks ago.

Beachum gave his standard replay -- "ask the organization" -- when the subject was broached multiple times in multiple ways.

He did explain why he refuses to address his future at left tackle.

"I don't know what their plan is," the second-year man said. "All I can do is continue to prepare, look at film, grow from it. I learned a lot playing left tackle. All I can do is continue learning and continue getting better."

Such sensibilities may stem from Beachum getting taken near the end of the 2012 NFL draft. The seventh-round pick knows nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, particularly for those who enter the league in the manner that he did.

Beachum's stock answer to all left tackle questions also speaks to the singular focus he applies to his job -- whether it is learning every position along the offensive line and filling in where needed or doing everything he can to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's blind side.

Beachum takes the latter seriously enough that he has sought out advice from a number of former Steelers offensive linemen, including Tunch Ilkin, Kendall Simmons and Marvel Smith.

Beachum talked with Simmons at a Steelers event last season in Pittsburgh. He met with Smith, who was the Steelers' left tackle for much of the last decade before back issues cut short his career, when the team played in Oakland last October.

Ilkin, the color analyst for Steelers' radio broadcasts, is a regular at the team's practice facility, and he is often seen chatting up Beachum.

"Anybody that's willing to help me become a better player I'm willing to take their advice and put it in my tool box," Beachum said.

That willingness to soak up advice from those who have played before him is one reason why Beachum will enter offseason workouts and practices as the starting left tackle.

"He's got a big offseason and training camp [ahead of him]," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "but he's in pretty decent position from that regard."

That is all that Tomlin would concede when it comes to Beachum's hold on left tackle.

"I will not allow him to have an opportunity to exhale or seek comfort in regards to that," Tomlin said.

Not that Beachum needs any reminders that he has to keep working and keep getting better.

The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder, who is not a prototypical left tackle, said he wants to add strength during the offseason without compromising his athleticism. He plans to work out in Pittsburgh with defensive end Cameron Heyward among others in advance of the Steelers' offseason workouts.

Beachum's emergence at left tackle should allow the Steelers to use their first-round pick in the 2014 draft on another position. Even if the Steelers don't draft a left tackle at some point Beachum will face competition from Mike Adams.

Adams faltered at left tackle last season but the 2012 second-round pick steadied himself after his demotion and contributed as an extra tight end. Adams also played well when he started in place of Beachum against the Dolphins last month.

Adams will have a new position coach this year and he won't have to overcome an offseason stabbing, something that had to set him back last year. His presence -- as well as the investment the Steelers made in Adams -- won't allow Beachum to get too comfortable at left tackle.

Whatever challenges Beachum has to fend off won't faze him considering the path he has taken from the 248th pick of the 2012 draft to the job of Steelers left tackle.

"I embraced and enjoyed the challenge," Beachum said, "and we'll see what the organization has in store for me moving forward."
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Beachum embraces challenges at left tackle

gotta love Beachum! It's wonderful to be able to hear about attitude and the hard work of players like this. I hope he holds on to that spot for 12 more years and just keeps getting better and better.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Beachum embraces challenges at left tackle

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gotta love Beachum! It's wonderful to be able to hear about attitude and the hard work of players like this. I hope he holds on to that spot for 12 more years and just keeps getting better and better.
Hell yeah , Beach is a worker. Our next AB , if you will.
A man with a chip on his shoulder is a good thing. AND usually is a Steeler for life !

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
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Hell yeah , Beach is a worker. Our next AB , if you will.
A man with a chip on his shoulder is a good thing. AND usually is a Steeler for life !

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and he's going to work with Heyward in the offseason, it would be odd watching that from far away. The teams biggest hothead fighting with a player who looks like he's 15.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:58 PM   #5
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and he's going to work with Heyward in the offseason, it would be odd watching that from far away. The teams biggest hothead fighting with a player who looks like he's 15.
Hopefully alot of the players are working out together. Championships are forged in the off season.


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Old 01-13-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Beachum embraces challenges at left tackle

I hope Adams was standing right next to him during all those chats
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Beachum embraces challenges at left tackle

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and he's going to work with Heyward in the offseason, it would be odd watching that from far away. The teams biggest hothead fighting with a player who looks like he's 15.
I love the fact that Heyward has that attitude. I didn't hear any incidents in training camp this year did you guys? We NEED more players like that on defense. We need to bring back the nastiness to this defense, no matter what Goodell wants to force us to do. I can't stand Seattle because I find them too cocky, but if we can bring the swagger back on defense like that, I for one would love it. Remember 2008??!!
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