Coming off of their bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a real, tough decision ahead of them to name a starting left tackle when they take on the New York Jets. The Steelers’ left tackle situation has been a lingering problem throughout the season. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked an average of four times a game and is getting hit more than any other quarterback in the National Football League.
The Steelers took their left tackle situation to the trade block as they were able to acquire Levi Brown from the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional late round pick. Brown, a former fifth overall pick in 2008, was selected ahead of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and 49ers linebacker Patrick Peterson. Brown never lived up to expectations while with the Cardinals.
Brown now comes to a Pittsburgh team that has yet to win a game. He is competing with Kelvin Beachum for the starting job against the Jets. On Monday, both Brown and Beachum took snaps with the first team.
“It’s definitely a change of atmosphere as far as the team is concerned,” Brown said Monday afternoon, “but I’m excited and willing to go out here and help turn this thing around.”
Brown brings with him some experience and knowledge that the rest of the Steelers offensive line could soak in. Brown knows the feeling of being on a losing team from his days in Arizona, and hopes that the Steelers can turn their season around.
“I’m here to help out,” Brown said. “I’m a veteran and they have a lot of young guys at the tackle position so I’m going to go out there and teach them what I’ve learned over the years, what to expect, let them know that things don’t always go your way but you fight through it.”
Steelers Digest columnist Jim Wexell tweeted on Monday that players think Beachum will start at left tackle on Sunday. Wexell also tweeted that guard Ramon Foster is expected to be back at left guard. Foster has been limited in practice with a strained pectoral he suffered against the Vikings.
In other Steelers news, the Steelers have already made the decision to sit wide receiver Markus Wheaton in week six against the Jets. Wheaton broke his pinkie finger against the Vikings and had surgery over the bye week. The rookie is not expected to have the stitches in his finger removed for another week.
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