Right after it was reported that Adrian Klemm would be promoted as the Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach, I wrote about the connection he has with Arizona Cardinals tackle Kelvin Beachum and how that link could plausibly result in the team’s former seventh-round draft pick out of SMU signing back with the team that he started his NFL career with in the coming months. As fate would have it, Beachum took to Twitter on Wednesday to show his support for Klemm’s recent promotion with the Steelers, which the team made official on Tuesday.
“Words cannot describe how elated I am for AK!!! Dude has been in my corner since the day we met,” Beachum tweeted on Wednesday. “Excited to see him thrive. One of the most important people in my journey as a player and a man. I owe him a lot.”
That’s quite an endorsement my Beachum and one that should make Steelers fans rest a little easier overall that Klemm might just be the right person to help solve the team’s offensive line play woes that have been ongoing for a few years now.
Mind you, Beachum isn’t the only person to show recent support for Klemm as a few former Steelers offensive linemen, Trai Essex and Ramon Foster, along with a few current offensive linemen Chukwuma Okorafor and Zach Banner, have done the same in recent days. We’ll now wait and see if Klemm can live up to the praise he’s received.
Beachum, as a wrote a few days ago, knows quite a bit about Klemm as the two were together at SMU from 2008-2011. In 2008, Beachum started all 12 games at left tackle at SMU and that same year was Klemm’s first year at the school as a graduate assistant. in 2009, Klemm became the SMU offensive line coach.
In Klemm’s old SMU bio, Beachum is even mentioned a few times.
On the field, Klemm tutored a young SMU line and guided tackle Kelvin Beachum to first-team All-Conference honors. He also led J.T. Brooks and Blake McJunkin to honorable mention All-C-USA accolades. His line paved the way for an SMU offense which set school records in total offense, passing yards, passing TDs and first downs among others. Running back Zach Line finished the season with 1,494 yards rushing, the second-best single-season total in school history, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s 1982 effort. Line was just the second 1,000-yard collegiate rusher under June Jones.
In his first season at SMU, Klemm led Beachum to All-Conference honors, and Brooks and Josh LeRibeus to honorable mention All-Conference accolades.
Obviously, Beachum went on to become a steal for the Steelers in the seventh-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He wound up starting 39 games for the Steelers in his four seasons in Pittsburgh and would have started more had he not suffered a serious knee injury midway through the 2015 season. Beachum went on to sign a lucrative free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 and has since started 76 more NFL games of which 16 came in 2020 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
So, what does all this mean right now? Other than Beachum just being in full support of Klemm as the Steelers new offensive line coach, not much. That said, and as I pointed out a few days ago, Beachum is poised to become an unrestricted free agent once again in March.
Should he not re-sign with the Cardinals within the next six weeks, there’s a decent chance the Steelers might want to re-sign Beachum and especially if the team losses some or all of soon to be unrestricted free agent offensive linemen Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, Jerald Hawkins, and Banner. After all, it’s quite obvious from Beachum’s Wednesday tweet that he would have no issue with potentially reuniting with his former college offensive line coach in 2021 should an opportunity present itself.