This spring, on every NFL team, there are players being asked to learn new skills — and quickly.
We come to the case of Kelvin Beachum.
As a rookie in 2012, Beachum started the last five games at right tackle for the Steelers.
However, a starting spot doesn’t seem to be in the mix for Beachum in 2013. The Steelers figure to go with Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert at tackle and David DeCastro and Ramon Foster at guard. At center, the Steelers have Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey.
That said, Beachum can still earn an important role on the Pittsburgh line — that of a swing backup who can play multiple positions. He now has experience at tackle, and the Steelers list him as a guard.
To top things off, he’s now getting some work at center, the team’s website said Thursday.
“I understand that it’s something that the team wants me to do, so I’ve got to get it right,” Beachum said Thursday about center, according to the club. “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.”
Including the postseason, Pouncey has missed time with injury in each of his first three NFL campaigns, so having a capable backup center is a must for Pittsburgh. Doug Legursky held that job a season ago, but he’s an unrestricted free agent.
Beachum said he’s worked with Pouncey on learning this new position. Now, Beachum needs to work on his snapping — the biggest hurdle for him.
“Blocking and working in space and communicating, that’s not a problem. It’s really the basic fundamentals, snapping the ball and being consistent snapping the ball,” Beachum said.
Now is the time for teams to experiment, to see what they have. If Kelvin Beachum proves capable of going in at center in a pinch, team and player will benefit.