Steelers rookie tackle Beachum learning on the fly
The going was significantly rougher in last week's 34-24 whipping by San Diego, though Beachum was hardly alone as the Steelers struggled to get anything going offensively until the game was well out of reach.
He expects to bounce back this week. Having DeCastro line up next to him won't hurt. Beachum joked the two were "making history" though the Steelers will settle for the rookies creating running room for backs Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley just smiled when asked if he's ever been in a situation where the entire NFL careers of the right side of the line is a combined four games. It's not exactly the lineup Haley envisioned in August.
"We've been in some pretty sticky situations but that's kind of how this year has been for this group," Haley said. "We haven't always performed the way that we'd like or up to our abilities, but I do think that with some of the adversity we've had to face through some of these injuries, it's forced the guys to become extra cohesive and look out for our own."
DeCastro and Beachum will certainly be looking out for each other on Sunday as the Steelers try to build some momentum heading into a showdown with Cincinnati on Dec. 23 that will likely determine which team plays into January.
"We're great together," DeCastro said. "(Kelvin's) obviously a smart guy, and I think we'll work well together."
The Steelers need them to if they expect to play into January. All niceties aside, Beachum really is the last option. Gilbert is out for the season with an ankle injury, Adams — the team's second-round pick in April — is out indefinitely with his own ankle problem and Colon is down with a balky knee.
Suddenly, Pittsburgh's Mr. Irrelevant is very relevant. Though Beachum understands he's unlikely to be the starter when everyone gets healthy, even if that's not until next summer, he doesn't try to think about what each snap means in terms of his future.
"You've got to man up, that's pretty much it," Beachum said. "It's simple man. You take it by the horns and you roll with it. You don't have time to think about what can happen, you've just got to block the guy in front of you."
NOTES: LB LaMarr Woodley practiced again Thursday and appears ready to start in Dallas. Woodley has missed the last two weeks with a sprained ankle ... LB James Harrison missed his second straight practice with an illness ... S Troy Polamalu also skipped practice but it was deemed "not injury" related. ... The Cowboys (7-6) are a game behind the Giants in the NFC East.
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