Credit where it’s due – for once, Mike Tomlin didn’t issue a hollow threat.
After the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 0-4, Coach T issued a fiery proclamation that guys would start doing their jobs or he’d find people that would. That’s all well and good but in football there isn’t a lot of wiggle room in terms of line-up changes. Your 53 man is your 53 man and other than adding a veteran free agent or promoting a guy off the practice squad, there’s not much tinkering you can do. Well, yesterday the Steelers found one other way: phone a friend.
The Arizona Cardinals traded left tackle Levi Brown to the Steelers in exchange for a conditional late round draft pick. Is this Bruce Arians‘ way of taking pity on his old buddy Ben Roethlisberger? Judging by comments out of the Cardinals camp where their GM described Brown as not “living up to expectations,” I’m not sure if we this is Arians doing his old QB a solid or a team getting what they could for a guy they intended to dump anyway. Most likely the latter.
We’ll certainly learn what Brown brings to the table soon enough as Tomlin has already announced current LT Mike Adams has been demoted to second string. The cheerleader local media is already trying to blame Adams’ off-season stabbing for his horrendous play. That excuse would hold more water if Adams were an All-Pro prior to the incident but anybody who remembers last season will recall both Adams and Marcus Gilbert came into preseason battling to start at LT and played so poorly the team had to bring back Max Starks to prevent Ben from getting killed. Adams has never proven to be any better than an okay right tackle.
Brown has started all four games at LT this season. I’m not a fan of advanced metrics when discussing football – that crap has already ruined baseball and football is even more of a team game – but according to the stats, Arizona has the worst offensive line in football. Yes, even worse than ours. They’ve allowed 10 sacks and 23 QB hits (vs 17 and 21 for us) so it’s no surprise they’re looking to make some changes. Evidently second year pro Bradley Sowell was a more enticing option than a former first round pick who was famously taken one spot ahead of Adrian Peterson back in 2007.
In an ideal world, the change of scenery rejuvenates Brown’s career. In a more realistic one, Brown plays the same as he has in Arizona, which sadly couldn’t possibly be any worse than what Adams was doing. Whatever the case, I suppose the Steelers should be applauded for at least attempting to fix some of their problems. If only it didn’t come under the heading of “Too Little, Too Late.”