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mesaSteeler
06-15-2009, 09:44 PM
How Offensive Is the Pittsburgh Steelers' Offensive Line?
by Nick Signorelli (Columnist)
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/199622-how-offensive-is-the-steelers-offensive-line/show_full#

The Pittsburgh Steelers return every member of the offensive line that started, and won, Super Bowl XLIII. Normally, returning a unit that was successful at that feat, would be considered a great start.

Not in Pittsburgh.

There is no question that the line needs to improve dramatically this season, especially if dreams of a seventh Super Bowl are to be met.

But, even though every starter is returning this year, there is a big difference between this years unit, and last.

In the week one match up against the Houston Texans last season, our starting line looked like this;

LT - Marvell Smith, Round Two - 2000

LG - Chris Kemoteau, Round Six - 2005

C - Justin Hartwig, Free Agent.

RG - Kendall Simmons, Round One - 2002

RT - Willie Colon, Round Four - 2006

In the set, you have two early first round picks, a free agent from another team, and two project players that have been brought along.

In addition, Chris Kemoteau replaced former All-Pro Alan Faneca, who signed with the New York Jets last offseason.

In their week one game against the Texans, the Steelers allowed two sacks, both by Mario Williams. Pittsburgh also rushed for 183 yards, with 138 from Willie Parker.

In a rain soaked week two matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh allowed three sacks, while rushing for 117 yards.

In week three against the Philadelphia Eagles, the wheels came off, as the offensive line suffered it's first injury. Marvel Smith was lost due to another back injury, helping the Eagles record nine sacks against Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich.

Replacing Smith was franchised player Max Starks.

In week four, Pittsburgh lost their second starter for the season due to injury, when Kendall Simmons was lost for the year with a leg injury.

Against the Ravens, the Steelers allowed only (only?) three sacks. But what the Steelers really lost was the base of the offensive line.

The Line now looks like this.

LT - Max Starks, Round Three - 2004

LG - Chris Kemoteau, Round Six - 2005

C - Justin Hartwig, Free Agent.

RG - Darnell Stapleton, Undrafted - 2007

RT - Willie Colon, Round Four - 2006

Now, some people may not believe that it is a big deal to lose two offensive linemen, but when they are the anchors, it hurts worse than most teams can overcome.

Losing second round pick Marvel Smith, with his eight years of experience blocking the blind side to a person that could not beat out Wilie Colon for the starting job on the right side was bad enough.

Pittsburgh then had to replace former first round pick Kendal Simmons with an undrafted free agent.

In addition to that, Chris Kemoteau was in his fifth game replacing former All-Pro, Alan Faneca, and Justin Hartwig was in only his fifth game with the team.

Right tackle Willie Colon was the only player on the line that was held over from the prior year. And the team suffered for it.

The teams that the Steelers struggled the most against were the teams from the NFC East.

Here is how the Steelers offensive line did against the NFC East.

Philadelphia Eagles - Nine, 2.5 by Juqua Parker.

New York Giants - Five, three by DE Mathias Kiwanuka.

Washington Redskins - Four, 2.5 by Demetric Evans.

Dallas Cowboys - Five, by five different players

This totals 23 sacks in these four games, three of them after the line lost both Smith and Simmons.

In the AFC, only Tennessee produced five sacks against the Steelers. And only Baltimore and Jacksonville recorded three each.

In an interesting note, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns recorded zero sacks in their final three games against the Steelers.

When you look at the teams that recorded three sacks or more against the Steelers, four of them are from the NFC, Tennessee and Baltimore who were both in the top-five defenses, and three to the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville on Sunday night.

Even though there are no excuses for giving up the kind of sacks to those teams, Pittsburgh does see the importance of the line coming together as a unit.

The Steelers used their third round pick on Guard Kraig Urbik, acknowledging that there needs to be improvement on the line. If a team isn't getting better, they are getting worse.

As Pittsburgh prepares for the 2009 season, the line has been addressed as the Steelers see fit. Hopefully, they are right, and all of those skeptics are wrong. We will find out as the season unfolds.

Steelers & I
06-15-2009, 10:50 PM
I don't see any logic in this article. What's he referring to when he mentions that it will be a difficult task to replace both Marvel Smith and Kendall Simmons???? Hell, the Steelers have been consistently replacing those two injury plagued players for how long now? 2 or 3 years running? The Steelers have grown accustomed to playing without one, the other, and sometimes BOTH of those guys. Absolutely no logic to the article in my opinion. The Steelers did what they had to do with Smith and Simmons this off-season and I say it's about time.

MasterOfPuppets
06-15-2009, 11:14 PM
In the set, you have two early first round picks, a free agent from another team, and two project players that have been brought along.smith was a 2nd rd pick....where do they get these morons from?

There is no question that the line needs to improve dramatically this season, especially if dreams of a seventh Super Bowl are to be met.

ok they won with crappy oline play this seaon...but its not possable to repeat unless the drastically improve ?

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-16-2009, 12:41 AM
That article bounces all over the place more than a 2 page post from Billybob.

If Urbik pans out as he should, there will be a stability on the right side of the line. I just am disappointed of how they are accepting mediocre play.....and paying $8mil a season for it.

Preacher
06-16-2009, 01:55 AM
So let's get this straight.

He prefers Marvel Smith over Max Starks... The same Marvel Smith that was severely hampered two years ago by back problems and missed most of last year, ALREADY after having surgery, for the SAME thing? So we do what? Let Starks go, hang on the Marvel Smith, and then half way through this year, plug in whom? Least Starks can play ok there. If Smith is healthy, he is much better than starks. But as he is now, Starks is better than Smith.

And the other problem is what? The lost of Kendall Simmons, the human turnstyle? Funny thing happened on the way to the infirmery, the line started jelling when Simmons was injured. Don't know if that was because of his inconsistancy, an attitude issue we never heard about, or just bad timing. But it seems that it did gel.

Furthermore, isn't it just AMAZING how everyone forgets that last year, we played great defenses... (Yard per play, passing and rushing, pts is points allowed)

The Ravens, 2nd in total 5th in rushing YPP 3rd pts
The Eagles, 3rd in total, 4th in rushingYPP 4th pts
The Titalns, 4th in total6th in rushing YPP 2nd pts
The Cowboys, 5th in total 16th innrushing YPP 20 pts
The Giants, 7 in total, 11th in rushing YPP 5th pts
The Redskings, 8th in total, 8th in rushing YPP 6th pts
The Colts, 9th in total, 17th in rushing YPP 7th pts.

Maybe the quality of opponents we played had something to do with the numbers? :noidea:

Galax Steeler
06-16-2009, 03:35 AM
Why couldn't we win again the line is almost the same as last year. Urbik could crack into he lineup and help us out some But for the most part it will be the same.

DACEB
06-16-2009, 06:09 AM
That article bounces all over the place more than a 2 page post from Billybob.

MACH 5 :tt03:

GBMelBlount
06-16-2009, 06:14 AM
If Urbik pans out as he should, there will be a stability on the right side of the line. I just am disappointed of how they are accepting mediocre play.....and paying $8mil a season for it

As far as grossly overpaying Starks, a friend recently told me that a happy employee is a good employee....and I bet Starks is happy as hell! :chuckle:

Besides, if we draft good lineman early, then aren't there's less available for the important positions? :tap:

X-Terminator
06-16-2009, 06:46 AM
Wow, this guy is an idiot AND his spell checker is broken.

Time to "Officer Barbrady" this article...nothing to see here, move along...

mulldog24
06-16-2009, 08:40 AM
I think with the addition of Urbik and a full offseason of OTA and training camp our line will be alot better than last year.Let them keep picking at us we'll just keep winning championships!!:tt03::drink::tt02:

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-16-2009, 08:49 AM
Besides, if we draft good lineman early, then aren't there's less available for the important positions? :tap:

Yeah, but I have already pointed out how we could have been paying our LT a lot less than what we are now and having improved play, which would leave us more $$ to get some other deals done like Miller and maybe Hampton. I pointed those out before the 2008 draft...........not after like some 20/20 hindsighters like to do.

A healthy Marvel Smith is much better than a healthy Max Starks. Problem was there is no guarantee Smith is healthy. Either way, the line is somewhat depleated of talent and at least there was an effort to improve it this year. (as opposed to starting 3 drafts ago which would have helped more)

HometownGal
06-16-2009, 08:53 AM
Geez Louise - dude is all over the place here and my head is spinning. :willy:

He's right about one thing - the Steelers addressed the line as they saw fit. Maybe, just maybe, they know a little more than those of us on the "outside looking in". Admittedly, I wasn't happy at all with the OL's performance overall last season, but I'd really like to see what they've got this season before I started stoning them in the public square.

Fire Haley
06-16-2009, 09:08 AM
He's a blogger, not a "columnist". His words mean nothing.

We're all bloggers.


Whoop de doo

revefsreleets
06-16-2009, 09:37 AM
These bleacher report blogs are generally pretty awful.

GBMelBlount
06-16-2009, 12:27 PM
Yeah, but I have already pointed out how we could have been paying our LT a lot less than what we are now and having improved play, which would leave us more $$ to get some other deals done like Miller and maybe Hampton. I pointed those out before the 2008 draft...........not after like some 20/20 hindsighters like to do.

A healthy Marvel Smith is much better than a healthy Max Starks. Problem was there is no guarantee Smith is healthy. Either way, the line is somewhat depleated of talent and at least there was an effort to improve it this year. (as opposed to starting 3 drafts ago which would have helped more)

I agree with you. I was just poking a little fun to help pass during this dreadfully slow off season......

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-16-2009, 04:22 PM
I agree with you. I was just poking a little fun to help pass during this dreadfully slow off season......

Yeah, but I think there are a lot of fans on the board that are OK with trying to skimp out on the O line in order to pay skill position players. I know you get it that you gotta invest in all positions, but some posters here think you just ignore the O line in the draft and can fix it with free agents easy...........but It dont work that way.

pancake
06-16-2009, 04:40 PM
I really hope our OL is better this year. I am glad the team drafted Urbik, but I would have like to seen a OT drafted on the first day.

MongoSteeler
06-20-2009, 05:49 AM
Four of the five linemen were playing their positions for their first season last year and it has been said by some pretty good football minds that most of the sacks last year were not the fault of the O line. I believe the Oline was only credited with 19 sacks on the season. I also thought that they started playing better in the later part of the season and the playoffs. A full training camp to gel as a unit should make them better this season.