PITTSBURGH – Kelvin Beachum beat the odds to make the Pittsburgh Steelers a year ago, going from seventh-round draft pick to starting right tackle by the end of the season.
Beachum finds himself facing an even more daunting task this fall: replacing Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey. Beachum will start in place of Pouncey on Monday night when the Steelers travel to Cincinnati. Pouncey will have surgery on Thursday to repair torn ligaments in his right knee.
The 24-year-old Beachum says he hadn't played center in an actual game since "Pee Wee" football as a kid. He spent a little time at center during minicamp, but nothing compared to the workload he faces now.
Beachum says he can handle the job thanks in part to input from Pouncey, whom Beachum called a "big brother."