Part of a semi-regular series of short interviews with Steelers players. Today: Steelers rookie right tackle, Kelvin Beachum.
It's not often that a football player enters the NFL being lauded for his academic success, but having been chosen 248th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft -- just five spots from being Mr. Irrelevent -- the most notable thing about tackle Kelvin Beachum seemed to be that he left SMU with two degrees and gave the commencement address for his graduating glass.
After all, its not often that a seventh round pick contributes during a rookie season, certainly not one that the Steelers passed on three times in that round alone and not in a draft in which their picks in rounds one and two were used on a highly touted guard and tackle.
But after Marcus Gilbert went down with an injury, and Mike Adams after that, there was Beachum, the team's only option at right tackle. Beachum has now started three games and his fourth will likely come Sunday against Cincinnati and he's acquitted himself well thus far, drawing praise from head coach Mike Tomlin.
1. Coming in as a seventh round pick with quite a few guys ahead of you, did you expect that you’d see any playing time this season, let alone on multiple starts?
BEACHUM: You’ve just got to come in and work hard and whenever you get a chance to go in there and help out the team just be ready so, that was my approach coming into the season – I didn’t know how much or how little time I would get so I needed to be ready whenever my number was called – you can only control the things that you can control like how hard you work and things of that sort.
2. Have you had any welcome to the NFL moments?
BEACHUM: Your chest might get rocked sometimes, you might get your chest caved in here and there – that’s part of the NFL. Those guys get paid too. You’ve got the best athletes in the world on the field so its one of those things – you get some and you give some – its part of football.
3. When you first came to Pittsburgh, you had an unorthadox living arrangement ...
BEACHUM: I stayed with a family out in Greentree until about three weeks ago. I was with them from July, until I moved into my apartment the week of the Baltimore game. [Also Beachum’s first start – quite a busy week] Getting’ the win was the biggest but being able to go home and sleep in my own bed for the first time was good too.
How did you get hooked up with them?
BEACHUM: From the church. I attend Pentocostal Temple Church of God and Christ in East Liberty. Loren Mann, he used to be a news anchor for Channel 11 is the pastor there. My pastor in Dallas told me about him and I came to the church and was introduced to the family and it just kind of worked out and God’s favor has been in my life ever since.
& OUT: Are you getting to know your adopted hometown at all?
BEACHUM: With the team I get to go to different events and see different places. I took my girlfriend to the Nutcracker – other than that it’s all football – that’s really all the time I got right now.