Last October, left tackle Kelvin Beachum, then a Steeler, tore his ACL in a win over Arizona, thus ending his season. It was a huge setback, no question, but it was one that the former seventh-round pick out of SMU attacked head-on.
Five months later, Beachum was rewarded with a contract from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Even though ACLs are not what they used to be 10 or 15 years ago, it’s still a substantial injury, especially for an offensive lineman, no matter how you look at it,” Beachum said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “And you also know that the healing has to take place. Healing does take time, and you don’t want to rush yourself back. So there were a lot of questions that were asked (by teams during free agency). There were a lot of tests that were done. I passed those tests. I’ve done everything that any organization has asked me to do as far as the physicals, the tests that were needed, and have passed those things. Everybody knows I can play football. That’s not a question. They just want to make sure that I’m taking care of it, that I’m not going out and doing something too rash that can jeopardize my career.
“So all teams were very smart and cautious with how they were going to take me through this particular injury, and since I’ve been in Jacksonville, they’ve done a great job of making sure I’m able to be with the right folks to rehab and go through the proper processes to make sure that I’m doing everything the right way,” Beachum continued. “But it is what it is. I understand the opportunity that’s set forth for me. It’s another challenge. I love challenges. It’s another opportunity to let God do his work and work through me and be another vessel to let his light shine on the field and go out and play football and go out and play the game that I love. So I’m looking forward to the challenge, I’m looking forward to the opportunity, I’m looking forward to having fun and I’m looking forward to winning.”
Jacksonville, which averaged three wins per season from 2012-14, went 5-11 last year. It may seem like a subtle increase, but the Jaguars were competitive in many of their losses. They’ve also added several quality players this offseason, including defensive tackle Malik Jackson, cornerback Prince Amukamara and running back Chris Ivory. They also have the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft.
It seems that the time to win is now, no?
“It is,” Beachum said. “If you talk to anybody in the organization right now, I think everybody believes the time is now and we have to get it accomplished right now. I think we’re very capable of doing so and now we have to put our foot to the pedal and get it done. That’s really all it boils down to. We got to win games, we got to take care of the ball, we got to score a lot of points and we got to stop people. It’s not a complicated ordeal. We got to put solid games together in all three phases of the game, and I think the GM (David Caldwell), and Coach (Gus) Bradley and (owner) Shahid Khan trust each other and trust the plan that they’ve put together for this squad. I’m looking forward to being a part of it, and I’m just ready to get the ball rolling.”