The Steelers confirmed a longstanding theory: replacing high draft picks with low draft picks usually doesn't result in positive things.
The Steelers are getting Division III level play from players they selected in the top 50 of the 2011 and 2012 NFL Drafts. They cannot reasonably expect either Mike Adams or Marcus Gilbert to provide adequate protection, and while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs to protect the ball a bit better, it isn't as simple as that.
Roethlisberger was holding the ball in a cocked position, ready to throw, because he doesn't have a choice. If he tucked the ball each time pass rushers got close, he would break David Carr's record of times sacked in a season by Week 10. He's trying desperately to make plays down the field despite the pressure. That doesn't let him off the hook, but the root issue is the fact he's bordering on post-traumatic stress disorder with the obscene amount of pressure he's facing each game.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin left little to interpretation when talking about his tackles after the game.
"(Gilbert and Adams) hadn’t played well enough to justify (staying on the field instead of being rotated)," Tomlin said. "We’re going to look at viable guys. We’re going to turn the stones over in an effort to find a winning formula, and we’re not going to be bashful about that.
"Kelvin Beachum has earned an opportunity to play in the rotation. He did tonight because of it."
It's not as if Beachum is some kind of God send either. He didn't perform any better, but maybe not any worse either.
Frustrating, considering they waited until over 200 players were taken to select Beachum last year.
None of this necessarily suggests it's time to take Guy Whimper out of moth balls and get him on the field, but judging by the first three games this year, and the amount of money owed to Roethlisberger, it's not a bad idea to, as Tomlin said, "turn the stones over."
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Bears vs. Steelers Postgame News and Updates
- Dwyer earned a starting role in loss to Bears
- London Calling: Steelers leave for England Thursday
- Turnovers just not coming for Steelers defense
- Winners and Losers from Steelers loss to Chicago Bears
- Bears vs. Steelers final score: Chicago gets five Pittsburgh turnovers en route to 40-23 victory
- A look back on Heath Miller from 2012