Welcome Levi Brown to the Clown Car That Is the Steelers’ O-line

Who knows if the Steelers even inquired about Eugene Monroe, the young left tackle the Jags traded to Baltimore Tuesday night for a couple third-day picks, but whatever happened, the team decided Wednesday morning that Cards’ tackle Levi Brown would magically fix their own offensive line issues.

Never mind that Brown, a 2007 top-five pick, has been considered a bust for, oh, five-plus years now.  Or that Arizona — one of the few teams with a worse offensive line than the Steelers —  thought so little of Brown that they released him in March 2012 only to re-sign him three days later.

Brown missed 2012 with a biceps injury, but through four games this season, he ranked 60th out of 73 left tackles, according to ProFootballFocus.com (for what it’s worth, Monroe was 55th, Mike Adams was 70th).

The worst part isn’t the conditional late-round pick the Steelers gave up, it’s that Brown has zero upside. In 2011, he ranked 57th; was dead last in 2010 (78th); and 72nd in 2009. By comparison, Monroe was 15th in 2012, 6th in 2011, 64th in 2010, and 44th in 2009, his rookie year.

Even JJ, one of the most optimistc Steelers fans you’ll ever meet, is apoplectic.

It gets worse. Again, via JJ’s tweetin’ machine:

Downsides to the trade:

1) Have to create cap room to get him on roster, pushing more money into already terrible ’14 cap situation.
2) Levi Brown can’t play LT. He’s terrible at it. Awful.
3) He carries a $6.25 million base salary for 2014.
4) Steelers aren’t going anywhere in 2013. This move doesn’t change that. Stupid to spend ’14 cap space to try to improve ’13 club.

Yeah, but other than that, it’s an awesome move.

Despite the 0-4 start, the Steelers insist they’re not panicking. We’re going to go ahead and call bullshit on that.

In related news: Big Ben might want to think about doubling down on his life insurance policy.

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  • Cols714

    Horrible. Dumb. Un-Steelers like.

    I’ve been preaching patience (for the most part) with the team and hoping that they’d get better and then go back to being the Steelers next year or so.

    But for the first time, I’m wondering what the heck is going on? This is a Raiders level of dumb move. I’ve completely lost confidence now that Colbert knows what he’s doing.

  • Berdj Rassam

    It used to be that the Steelers personnel decisions would be among the top of the league – not anymore.

  • Randy Steele

    If I’m reading his blog correctly, Dale Lolley, whom I respect a lot, doesn’t seem to think the trade for Brown is completely crazy…

    “The Steelers made a deal with Arizona for offensive tackle Levi Brown for a conditional draft pick.The move would appear to spell the end of the Mike Adams at left tackle experiment for the Steelers.

    “Adams was not only abused in last week’s 34-27 loss to Minnesota, he looked lost in doing so.

    “Brown isn’t a great player, but he’s a solid run blocker.He’s due to earn $3.6 for the remainder of this season. The Steelers are $1.9 million under the cap. For the trade to be finalized – it won’t until a physicals is passed on Thursday – Pittsburgh will have to clear some cap space.”

    • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

      I like and respect Dale a lot, too, but the move is mystifying. Honestly, I’ve never seen JJ so fired up about a personnel decision, and the fact that the Steelers now have to restructure contracts is baffling. I’m also curious if they even tried to get Eugene Monroe.

      • Randy Steele


        Mystifying? I don’t understand the hue and cry. If it works out, great. If it doesn’t work, really what’s been lost? A second-day draft pick? A couple million in cap money? (Insert sound of snoring here.)

        If Colbert & Company hadn’t done anything they would have been tarred and feathered by fans and media. So instead, they choose to take a chance to get better. And they get tarred and feathered anyway. Too funny.

        Personally, I would have been fine if the Steelers had stood pat and kept playing the young guys to find out whether they had the right stuff to compete at this level, as I’ve noted on other threads. Obviously, the owners, front office, and coaches concluded that doing something is better than doing nothing.

        And I’m okay with that, too.

  • drobviousso