Wednesday, the Steelers sent a conditional pick in next year’s draft to Arizona to acquire the veteran left tackle. The trade is pending Brown passing a physical Thursday in Pittsburgh.
“We’re going to wait and see,” said coach Mike Tomlin of Brown’s availability for the team’s next game, Oct. 13 at New
York against the Jets. “His ability to take in and learn
information is going to be an element of it.
“We’re excited about potentially acquiring a veteran offensive
Brown, 29, was the fifth selection by the Cardinals in the
2007 draft. The former Penn State star had not missed a start
in the past four seasons until suffering a triceps injury in
training camp in 2012, an injury that forced him to miss the
season. He has made all four starts this season and has
appeared in 81 career regular season game, 79 of them starts.
Brown is scheduled to earn $3.6 million for the remainder of
this season, the final year of his contract. The Steelers are just $1.9 million under the salary cap and will have to make a
corresponding move to free up the cap space. Already they have released cornerback Isaiah Green to make room for Brown on the roster.
The move to acquire Brown was deemed necessary after a game in
which Adams allowed three sacks, two quarterback hits and
three hurries against the Vikings, working primarily against
defensive end Jared Allen, one of the best pass rushers in the
“We’ve gotten below-the-line work, and that’s the reality of
it,” said Tomlin, whose team is off to its first 0-4 start
since 1968. “It needs to be above the line, and we’ll turn
over any stone in order for that to take place.”
That includes moving forward with either Brown or Kelvin Beachum at left tackle.
The Steelers had planned to rotate Beachum at left tackle
against the Vikings, something that was scrapped when Beachum
was forced into the game at left guard when Ramon Foster
suffered a pectoral injury.
What the Steelers won’t do is shift right tackle Marcus Gilbert to the left side.
“Marcus is playing at a fairly good level at the right and you
don’t want to mess with other guys too much,” offensive
coordinator Todd Haley said.
The Steelers knew they would have some issues at offensive
tackle early in the season after allowing veteran left tackle
Max Starks to leave in free agency, but had spent second-round
draft picks on both Adams and Gilbert and wanted to see what
they had in those two players. Starks has been signed and
released by both San Diego and St. Louis in the past six
“We knew when you’re playing with young players, it’s going to
be a work in progress of sorts,” Haley said. “I still have
great confidence in Mike going forward that he has the skill
set, if he continues to work and hone his trade, that he’ll be
able to help us.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Adams is responsible for four
sacks, 13 hurries and six quarterback hits in Pittsburgh’s
first four games. Brown, meanwhile, also allowed four sacks in
Arizona’s first four games, but just eight hurries to go along
with six quarterback hits.
But Brown’s play came with statuesque Carson Palmer at
quarterback, not Ben Roethlisberger, who has better ability to
Brown, however, never lived up to the hype of being the fifth
selection in the draft, especially when many fans wanted
running back Adrian Peterson, whom Minnesota selected two
picks after Brown was taken by Arizona.
A fresh start for Brown and the Steelers at left tackle could
be what both need. Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times,
and the pressure he’s been under has attributed to five
interceptions and four lost fumbles by the quarterback.
“It’s not been good enough,” said Haley. “There’s been too
many pressures, too many hits. But it’s not just left tackle,
it’s across the board. We’ve got to be better everywhere.
We’ve got to be better getting rid of the football. We’ve got
to be better blocking. When you start getting pressure, it
takes everybody. Everybody has got to do a better job.”
(Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.)