The Pittsburgh Steelers watched their offensive line wrestle final 12 months and knew that they needed to spend time this offseason making it higher. To that finish, they utilized free company to offer a right away improve, bolstering each the beginning lineup and the depth chart.
James Daniels got here in as the brand new proper guard, and Mason Cole replaces 2021 rookie Kendrick Green at middle, the latter now competing for the left guard job with Kevin Dotson. Chukwuma Okorafor stays at proper deal with, the place he has this 12 months had the chance to observe all offseason, and second-year Dan Moore Jr. is got down to present development after being thrown into the hearth final season.
So far, the outcomes have been underwhelming, however not insignificant, on the similar time. yesterday marked maybe the road’s greatest day up to now, the second day in pads, and particularly within the run sport. Pass safety is sluggish, however that’s tougher to place collectively by way of communication–and it’s a must to play towards T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Alex Highsmith once you’re right here.
Asked if he was seeing something to be inspired by or optimistic about from the progress of the offensive line, head coach Mike Tomlin stated after yesterday’s observe, “I don’t know that I’m looking to be optimistic. I’m just gonna keep snapping the ball and allow the growth to happen, and it has. But it’s a reasonable expectation for it to continue”.
The Steelers had one of many worst offensive traces within the NFL final season, for varied causes, expertise stage definitely being amongst them. Okorafor was thrown into proper deal with on the final second after getting ready to play left deal with; Moore was getting ready to be a backup; Trai Turner was signed as a stopgap after David DeCastro was let go attributable to damage; Dotson missed half the season attributable to damage; and Green was clearly not ready to play at middle.
One can simply give you an inventory of causes to be optimistic concerning the line being higher this 12 months than final 12 months, however that could be a low bar to clear. Also of be aware is, in fact, a brand new offensive line coach in Pat Meyer, a storyline that has been largely ignored all through the offseason.
The excellent news is that the Steelers’ beginning 5 linemen have up to now been in a position to stay on the sphere persistently, which was removed from the case right now final 12 months. 2021 supposed proper deal with Zach Banner hardly performed in any respect, whereas Dotson started coaching camp injured, as just a few examples.
The greatest means for a unit to get higher is to take reps collectively, and they’re getting the chance to try this. We ought to see a gradual development trajectory all through the course of coaching camp and the preseason. Let’s simply up that the completed product is enough by the point the common season begins.