View Full Version : Coach Zierlein can finally coach?

08-03-2008, 12:50 AM
I found this article surprising


With Faneca gone, Zierlein takes charge

It's not that Larry Zierlein received a promotion this offseason. His job title remains offensive line coach of the Steelers.

But with a year under his belt in that capacity and with Alan Faneca having sold his services to the New York Jets, Zierlein can actually coach the unit he oversees this season.

That's gotta help a team that surrendered 47 sacks a season ago.

"Alan's gone ... Coach Zierlein is the boss now," offensive tackle Willie Colon said upon reporting to St. Vincent College this week.

The obvious inference was that Coach Zierlein was not the boss a year ago, a chain-of-command interpretation shared by offensive tackle Max Starks and, apparently, many among the rest of those responsible for Ben Roethlisberger's protection.

"Alan was the most tenured guy in our organization, so naturally you looked to him," Starks said. "Larry even looked to him. It was one of those things where Coach Zierlein came in and he was more like a moderator and kind of an intermediary guy. Alan was the one that kind of guided everybody.

"Now, he's gone, and it's Larry's entire offensive line."

Colon said he wasn't attempting to portray Faneca as some sort of "pirate captain."

And Starks insisted Zierlein "automatically had our respect because he was our position coach."

But in terms of actual coaching as it related to terminology and technique, Faneca, Starks said, was "kind of adamant" about still doing things the way he'd been doing them.

The veterans, thus, spoke Faneca-ese. The younger linemen listened to Zierlein's lingo. Lost in the translations at times was clarity regarding who should be blocked and how.

Now, the O-line is finally speaking what Starks defined as a "universal language," one that has "unified" and "simplified" the approach up front.

"It has nothing to do with any individual," Zierlein said. "It has to do with continuity and time.

"Alan Faneca is 100 percent pro. He did nothing but play his butt off and study. He did everything right. I think the world of the guy. I've known him for years. I recruited him (to LSU).

"Alan was the leader of the offensive line. We had a transition. There's always a transition. All I know is we were third in the league in rushing last year, and we gave up less sacks than they did the year before (49), so it's not like everything just went (downhill)."

Perhaps not, but with Faneca gone, there's reason to believe that's an inevitability this season.

Zierlein believes otherwise, and was confident enough on Wednesday to declare his starting unit "pretty well set," other than the competition at center, which will be decided between Sean Mahan and Justin Hartwig during preseason games.

Colon's a believer, too. And now that the terminology has been solved, there's no fear of a car passing by five Steelers offensive linemen and being identified as "red" by three of them and as "blue" by the other two.

"We're all gonna say it's the same color," Colon said. "Hopefully, it doesn't hit us."

Galax Steeler
08-03-2008, 05:57 AM
I guess we will see what Zierlein can do now with Faneca gone we will see if that was the problem so it was Fanecas fault that our line gave up all the sacks last year.

08-03-2008, 10:25 AM
Colon said. "Hopefully, it doesn't hit us."

Ah, hopefully it doesn't hit Ben.

08-03-2008, 10:31 AM
hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............................. could explain alot.

Or not . :hunch:

08-03-2008, 03:25 PM
Ah, hopefully it doesn't hit Ben.