Steelers offensive tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams should consider themselves on notice.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley has Kelvin Beachum just sitting there, collecting dust. And Haley won't be afraid to use him should either Adams or Gilbert falter in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears.
Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette hinted at the possibility of an in-game replacement of either one of them with Beachum in his notebook column Friday.
Haley isn't sugarcoating anything, probably because it'd be impossible to do so.
"When you hand it off 14 times in the first half for a 3-yard average, I don't care what you call it, it has to be better," Haley said, as quoted by Bouchette. "Those guys know it, our guys up front know it, our receivers know it. To have an efficient run game, we need to do a better job across the board. Because one breakdown will cause you to get 3 yards a carry instead of 4, 4.5, 5 or more. It wasn't just one area, it was one or the other every time the ball was handed off."
Gilbert was the more solid of the two against Cincinnati upon our review, but that's really more of an indictment against Adams, who had, possibly, the worst performance of his pro career. In helping Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson look like Michael Strahan, the Bengals dominated the Steelers' rushing attack - the second game this year in which the Steelers failed miserably to run the football.
Perhaps the threat of replacement on national television (the game is on NBC's Sunday Night Football, the most-watched primetime TV show in the United States) is enough to spark a bit better consistency during games, and a more focused approach to details in practice.
Or maybe it's just simply the act of an offensive coordinator who needs to find players who can get the job done.
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