Kelvin Beachum will continue getting looks as tight end

Rob Carr

The Steelers elected to go with five tight ends on the roster. Matt Spaeth was placed on the IR-designated to return list Tuesday, but his spot was filled with OLB Terence Garvin. Some of the reason may be because Kelvin Beachum will continue to get looks as a situational tight end.

In the end, the Steelers stuck with Michael Palmer.

You know, the back-up tight end among a group of active back-ups. While the Steelers did not rule out Heath Miller from getting a helmet in Week 1, it seems more likely they'll go into their regular season opener against the Titans with a rotation of David Johnson, David Paulson and Palmer.

Sounds more like an accounting firm than a position group, and while Miller's name would add to the serious sound of the group, it would be a massive upgrade talent-wise, if he's close to 100 percent.

A big part of the reason the Steelers stuck with Palmer - choosing instead to activate the quick-but-diminutive Terence Garvin from the Practice Squad - is due to the position flexibility of Kelvin Beachum.

Tomlin confirmed Beachum will continue to be utilized in some positions as the team's second tight end, like he was against the Chiefs in the Steelers' third preseason game.

Fortunately for Beachum, Cody Wallace was signed to back up Maurkice Pouncey at center, otherwise he might be serving as the primary back-up for each offensive line spot, as well as seeing time at tight end.

As it is, the indication Beachum could serve as a tight end is another way of saying the Steelers aren't confident in their 2-TE package with either Paulson or Palmer in there. Johnson, the best blocker of the group, will most likely serve as the team's strongside tight end if they're putting he and Paulson on the field.

The only issue is Paulson is not a strong blocker, and teams are going to know that. Although it hasn't been seen often - if ever - it's fair to assume part of the reason Beachum is on the offensive line is because he's not seen as a dominating receiving threat.

There's also the possibility of Will Johnson's hamstring injury holding him out in Week 1. That could move Paulson to fullback in certain situations - or at the very least, an H-back role, in which Paulson looks most comfortable.

His being lined up at tight end might tip their hand a little. Still, with the absence of Miller (presumably, although he has not been ruled out), putting Beachum on the edge with either Paulson or Johnson on the other side could simply be the team's best option.

It's not like they have many of them at the position anyway.

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