Kelvin Beachum vs. Mike Adams in Week 15 vs. Bengals

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Steelers left tackle position will be a talking point this offseason, and those conversations may get a big jumpstart this weekend when the starting offense trots onto the field against Cincinnati.

The Steelers drafted three offensive linemen in 2012 - right guard David DeCastro, offensive tackle Mike Adams and multiple-positioned Kelvin Beachum.

The bluebloods vs. the long shot.

DeCastro would get injured and be forced to miss most of his rookie season, only to return with an outstanding 2013 campaign until injuries slowed him down the stretch.

Beachum started as a second tight end, replaced Maurkice Pouncey at center, then played some guard before settling at left tackle replacing Adams who was supposed to be replaced by Levi Brown (out for the year with a triceps injury suffered in warmups before Week 6).

But then Adams replaced Beachum in Week 14, and did well. He did so well, in fact, he's creating an pre-offseason subject that will feed the media for some time.

Is Adams the team's left tackle in the future, or is it Beachum?

Some would make the "pick your poison" argument, as both have shown flaws at different times that can be exploited. Adams has the build, Beachum, the brains.

Beachum practiced fully Wednesday, indicating he'll be healthy enough to suit up against Cincinnati in Week 15. But the confidence Adams had to have built during what was easily his best game at left tackle (his only good game) in his career. Clearly, he learned something while on the bench.

Maybe that's all he needed. But maybe the fact Beachum stepped into a position he wasn't supposed to play (they had him working along the interior during training camp) and generally did pretty not-bad earns him the chance to at least finish the year.

Whatever happens, the left tackle position will lead the offseason talkers in terms of positions of scrutiny. Maybe they'll get a jump start on that when discussing who started in Week 15.

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