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AZ_Steeler
08-16-2006, 05:06 PM
The o-line is feeling like this is the year when they finally are able to show they are the best. Their main reasonings are because they have been together now for a year and for the first time everyone is healthy.

I've always thought the line was good regardless of who was playing, except a couple times last year it seemed like the ??left side?? was getting eatin alive at times. Any how, it's good knowing everyone is healthy and ready to prove something.

I had forgot about some of the linemen that had left, Gandy was left off the list but I forget how long ago it was that he left. Could you imagine the line if all these guys had stuck around? It's not a big deal because the Steelers still made it to the Super Bowl without them, but it all goes back to the Steelers doing their homework and finding the right guys, so it doesn't really matter who they lose they will find someone to fill in nicely!

Link to story (http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/sports/15288927.htm)

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has been part of a rushing offense ranked in the NFL's top five in the past two seasons, with two players that have combined for eight Pro Bowl berths.

But right guard Kendall Simmons says the line is still not properly recognized as one of pro football's top units.

"We don't get credit for it, but I feel like we already are one of the best in the league," Simmons said.

The franchise long has prided itself on a dominating running game, a philosophy that paid off in February with a Super Bowl victory.

The 2005 unit featured two different starters from the one that helped Pittsburgh to a 15-1 record in 2004. One of them, right tackle Max Starks, became a starter in only his second season in the league.

Two starters (Keydrick Vincent and Oliver Ross) were lost to free agency before last season. Two years earlier, center Jeff Hartings thought his ailing knees might end his career sooner rather than later. Simmons tore a knee ligament in August 2004 to end his season before it started.

This season, the entire unit is healthy and has been playing together for a year, raising hopes that the line might be the Steelers' best yet in the new century.

"We are just picking up where we left off last year," Hartings said. "I think we are all very comfortable."

Left guard Faneca has been to the last five Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro last season. Hartings joined him in Honolulu in February for the third time. Smith is entering his seventh season as a starter and Simmons is finally completely healthy - he was diagnosed with diabetes before the 2003 season - and played at a level that justified his status as a first-round draft pick in 2002.

"Late in the season into the playoffs, we played a lot better as a unit," Simmons said. "I tried to pick up my game and just help everyone around me, too."

Behind the starting five, the Steelers can boast depth as well. Second-year tackle Trai Essex started four games last season when Smith had an injured ankle. Sixth-year man Chukky Okobi - who had neck surgery last week - said Wednesday that he plans on being able to return early in the regular season as Hartings' backup. Second-year player Chris Kemoeatu and rookie Willie Colon have impressed in practice.

"I feel like we have guys at every position that one day will end up starting for this team or start for another team in this league and possibly be Pro Bowlers," Hartings said.

But the Steelers are hoping that time comes later rather than sooner - meaning their five starters will remain healthy and playing at the level they have recently. For now, the younger guys are content to learn from the combined 34 years of NFL experience of the starters.

"Some of the stuff Alan can do, I couldn't do if I was in the league 10 years," Colon said. "Alan's just... the guy's just amazing. I watch him every day and shake my head. It's a blessing just looking at him for me as a young offensive lineman."

Stlrs4Life
08-16-2006, 05:21 PM
Nice read, and glad they feel that way. I just hope they prove it on the field.

Hawk Believer
08-16-2006, 05:50 PM
Gutsy statement. Things like that can insprire your own unit to achieve more but it also gives each defense that faces them more inspiration to try to rub it in their face. It will be fun to see if they can back it up. Course determining which O-line is the best is an inexact science to say the least... But we all know bad o-lines when we see them.

clevestinks
08-17-2006, 01:51 PM
Gutsy statement. Things like that can insprire your own unit to achieve more but it also gives each defense that faces them more inspiration to try to rub it in their face. It will be fun to see if they can back it up. Course determining which O-line is the best is an inexact science to say the least... But we all know bad o-lines when we see them.
I would think that everyone feels that way about thier own abilities! I would much rather them feel that they can get the job done. Are they the best, I don`t know, but year after year they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the best. Steelers are always none for thier defense, and running game, but the oline being part of the running game goes un-noticed.

Haiku_Dirtt
08-17-2006, 03:25 PM
[QUOTE=AZ_Steeler]
I've always thought the line was good regardless of who was playing, except a couple times last year it seemed like the ??left side?? was getting eatin alive at times. Any how, it's good knowing everyone is healthy and ready to prove something.

Link to story (http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/sports/15288927.htm)


"We don't get credit for it, but I feel like we already are one of the best in the league," Simmons said.


It was the right side that was at times shaky. Kinda funny line from Simmons when it's his play that needs the most improvement from last season. If he and Starks step up their play then it would be easy to say they are at the top.

Elvis
08-17-2006, 04:37 PM
First of all... I dont like Max Starks at LT... and I think that Simmons could be replaced... I am looking so forward to seeing Colon take Starks place next season and maybe Keomateau or whatever his name is the can push Simmons or replace him..
god Bless
Elvis

clevestinks
08-17-2006, 06:27 PM
First of all... I dont like Max Starks at LT... and I think that Simmons could be replaced... I am looking so forward to seeing Colon take Starks place next season and maybe Keomateau or whatever his name is the can push Simmons or replace him..
god Bless
Elvis
Okobi healthy should wouldnt hurt for depth either