Found January 23, 2013 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line is sure to make a couple of changes during the off-season and they could be a very young starting group in 2013. During the past three NFL Drafts the Steelers have focused heavily on the offensive line and it may finally be ready to pay off. The only question left to answer is whether or not the Steelers can keep their line healthy for an entire season. In 2013 the Steelers could start a line that includes two first round picks, two second round picks and one seventh round pick all of whom have been taken in the last three drafts. That line would have an average age of 23.6 years at the start of the 2013 season. They would also be the most athletic line the Steelers have fielded in many years. From left to right the line, as of now, would be Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and Mike Adams. The Steelers draft Adams in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft to be their left tackle, but Adams played very well at right tackle for the Steelers this season and may be a better option on the right side than the left. Gilbert has played both tackle positions and may be better on the left side of the line because of his footwork and agility. The left tackle position will be up for grabs, however, and Adams will have a chance to win the position in training camp if he looks better than Gilbert. Pouncey has made the Pro-Bowl in each of his NFL seasons and will continue to hold down the line and be the leader at center. Surrounding him at the guard positions will be DeCastro, the Steelers 2012 first round pick, and the other guard could be played by Beachum. Beachum was the sixth to last player taken in last year’s draft, but he played very well at right tackle after being thrown into the fire late in the season and the Steelers see him as more of a guard than a tackle. The other option at left guard is to bring back Ramon Foster who started all 16 games in 2012 and played three different positions on the line this past season. Foster is only 27 years old and was an undrafted rookie in 2009, but after a solid season in 2012 he may have priced himself out of Pittsburgh. Max Starks, the Steelers left tackle in 2012, has also likely priced himself out of Pittsburgh after another solid season. Many teams are in the market for a left tackle and Starks is sure to find a long-term deal elsewhere. Starks likely would have left in free agency a year ago, but he tore his ACL in the Steelers wild card loss to the Denver Broncos and teams were worried about signing a player coming off of injury so he returned to the Steelers on a one-year deal. If Foster and Starks leave in free agency the Steelers most likely option at guard is Beachum. Willie Colon held the position of left guard in 2012, but with the Steelers cap issues it seems likely that he will be cut during the off-season. That means three starters from the 2012 line could be gone in 2013 (Starks, Colon, and Foster), but it also means the line could be younger and more athletic. With a young and athletic line the Steelers may want to look at an offensive line coach that runs a zone blocking scheme. The last time Todd Haley, the Steelers offensive coordinator, had a good athletic offensive line he had the league’s top rushing attack in Kansas City. The Steelers can only hope that this line can turn out as good as the Chiefs line and that they can return to the days of having a top-tier rushing attack. As of now, however, the Steelers rushing attack isn’t scaring anybody and with Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, and Isaac Redman all hitting free agency a new starting running back may also be in the off-season plans for the Steelers. The post The Steelers Offensive Line Could be Really Young and Talented in 2013 appeared first on SteelBlitz.
1 Comment:
  • I could not agree more with your comments. Not only will Pouncey will continue being a Pro Bowler caliber player, but I think DeCastro has the potential. It is sad that DeCastro's rookie season was filled with injuries. DeCastro will be a beast for years to come. The Steelers running was generating success until Adams went down with an injury. The Steelers might have found a sleeper in Beachum. I liked how he handled himself when his name was called. I worry about Gilbert with his toughness and longevity. I would like to see Starks back because he had a strong performance to get an extension. I just think that is wishful thinking. This line is looking dangerous in the future. The Steelers need to get a productive runner. Like to see the Steelers grab Steven Jackson, but the Steelers do not go after guys heading into their 30's. I love Lacy from Alabama if they could grab him would be a step in the right direction.
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