The Steelers are the very model of stability, a team that prides itself on building through the draft and being solid across both lines.
Those two pieces of conventional wisdom aren’t holding up well, so the 0-4 Steelers are making some changes.
Coach Mike Tomlin told reporters he was benching left tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Ziggy Hood for this week’s game against the Jets.
That’s a 2012 second-rounder and a 2009 first-rounder to the bench.
Either Kelvin Beachum or trade acquisition Levi Brown will play left tackle, while Cameron Heyward (their 2011 first-rounder) will replace Hood.
“[Heyward] will play more and deservedly so,” Tomlin said, via By Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think he’s been really solid. Both guys will continue to play. We just want Cam to play more than he’s been playing and to assure that we’re going to put him in the starting lineup.”
As to the offensive line shuffle, Tomlin has been fiddling with that for weeks. He has rotated Beachum in for Adams and right tackle Marcus Gilbert during games, effectively trying to shame them into playing better.
“Absolutely I do,” Tomlin said when asked if Adams would have a role in the future. “The most important thing is not what happened to him. It’s how he responds and moves forward. I think it will define his career. It’s time for Mike to roll the sleeves up and go to work.”
The same could be said of their drafters, who haven’t lived up to the team’s traditional standards in recent years.