With all the talk of the lack of depth of the Steelers offensive line it’s great to see one young lineman stepping up and taking Mike Tomlin to heart when he preaches “position flexibility” and ” The more you can do. ” That player is second year lineman Kelvin Beachum.
Beachum was a 7th round pick out of SMU (246th pick overall ) in 2012. From the very beginning, the Steelers were impressed by Beachum and his versatility and high intelligence.
To say Beachum excelled in academics at SMU may be an understatement. As a senior he was named to Conference-USA All-Academic Team and served as a student representative to the SMU Board of Trustee. Beachum was on SMU president R. Gerald Turner’s Commission on Substance Abuse, the Student Affairs Leadership Council, the SMU Athletic Council and the Apple Committee (a drug awareness group for student-athletes).
Beachum presented the Commencement address to fellow 2012 graduates of Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Beachum earned his undergraduate degree in economics and his Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from SMU.
In 2012 Beachum was honored by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame by being named a member of the 2012 NFF Hampshire Honor Society which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. Beachum is highly intelligent to say the least.
Beachum worked most of the 2012 training camp and preseason on the inside of the line at guard, but due to injuries to Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert during the season, he was moved back outside to right tackle.
Beachum started five games at tackle for the Steelers in 2012 and showed coaches he was not only capable of playing at the NFL level but a valuable asset as a swing man with the ability to play multiple positions.
As the 2013 OTA Sessions began, Beachum began taking reps at center to fill the Steelers back up center role. He continued this for the first two weeks. Here are some quotes from Beachum found at steelers.com
Beachum on playing center : “I understand that it’s something that the team wants me to do, so I’ve got to get it right. My livelihood depends on it, so I’m working hard to get it and working hard on it every day. There are some growing pains but I’m going to get there. It’s going to work.”
Beachum on position flexibility: “Coach Tomlin talks about the more that you can do and the standard is the standard. You never know what’s going to happen throughout the season, so I need to be ready to compete and compete now. They’re throwing me in the fire, which I don’t mind doing. I feel the urgency, and it’s something that I’m getting done. Like I said, I’m going to work on it and I’m going to get it.”
Beachum on extra work with offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr.: “Every minute, every single minute I can, and every single opportunity I can. I’ve got to find a way to get it done, and I’ve got to get it done now. That’s the urgency that I need to have, and that’s the urgency that I do have.”
Last week right tackle Mike Adams was stabbed and is expected to be out till training camp begins. Once again, it’s Kelvin Beachum to the rescue as he filled in for Adams at right tackle to start this week of OTA practices .
Steeler nation, It looks as though the Steelers have found their new king of swing! Kelvin Beachum, jack of all trades, with a Master’s degree.