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Steelers putting their tackles on the spot

Todd Haley, Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, talks with offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. The Bears won 40-23. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


The Steelers weren’t getting what they hoped from a pair of second-round picks, so they sent a strong message last week.

And for starting tackles Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert, being rotated for backup Kelvin Beachum against the Bears last week was a clear challenge from coach Mike Tomlin.

“Obviously, [Tomlin] is sending out a message to us,” Gilbert said, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I know for me, I am not going to allow that to happen again.”

Of course, the Steelers have every intention to continue until someone makes a job their own.

“Let’s face it, that’s what this business is all about — competition,” offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. said. “To me, it is positive — let’s find out who is playing the best out of you three, and everybody is motivated in the process.”

The Steelers let veteran Max Starks go because they wanted to allow Gilbert and Adams to grow into the roles on their own. But after a sluggish start, the Steelers decided to get their attention, and may continue to.