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Old 02-22-2013, 11:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Offensive Line is STILL a big problem

Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
I'll throw my two cents in because we usually agree with each other but I'm not sure I agree with you here.

Pouncey, DeCastro, Adams and Gilbert is a good offensive line at worst. At best, that line is the best in the NFL. Remember how high we all were on Gilbert two years ago? Or, at least, most fans were. The guy has the potential to be an All-Pro & Pro Bowl quality Left Tackle in the NFL. He has fantastic lateral movement but his technique could be improved. Fortunately, technique is something that can be coached. Adams is almost a mirror image of Gilbert, but on the right side. Great lateral movement, good strength and the potential of this kid is absolutely phenomenal. He too needs to work on his technique but again, coaching should fix this. They're both built to be Zone Block offensive linemen.

Moving onto our "crown jewel" offensive linemen - Pouncey and DeCastro. These two will probably be perennial All-Pro & Pro Bowl players on this line for a decade. There's been a lot of bullshit talk about how Pouncey is overrated and how Mike is a much better player. This kind of talk should be laughed at and overlooked because, well, it's written for headlines. He's a Pro Bowl Center for a reason. Period. Now, DeCastro flashed last year in the very limited amount he got snaps. The only player he struggled against was Geno Atkins and let's be honest here, show me a guard that doesn't struggle against Atkins, let alone a rookie that is being asked to take him one-on-one.

The biggest problem on our offensive line isn't lack of talent or depth, it's lack of health. When our guys are healthy, they're one of the top units in the league. They need better communication and time to built chemistry with one another, but that will come in time.

Our line is fine. We don't need to spend a first round pick on an offensive linemen when there's other, more glaring holes on our roster. I'm especially excited at the prospect of Beachum and his potential in a ZBS given his athleticism. He needs to work on his strength and technique (where have we heard that before?) but those will come in the weight room and coaching, respectively.

Give our guys some time. They'll come around for Ben.
Actually, I think we largely agree here as well, but you're just a tad more optimistic. Definitely we agree on Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams (and admittedly, Adams is a bet - but we're both betting the same way). Our points of divergence are: (1) Gilbert took a big step backward last year, one that I'm finding difficult to ignore; and (2) We don't have the fifth OL position filled. ( Why, oh why do we seem to have so many head-cases on this team? it would be so nice to see Gilbert get his mind straight.

Anyway, given that we only have 3.5 out of 5 slots clearly filled with real talent, and we have no depth, I'm just saying that we're not done yet. Even without injuries, we don't have an entire NFL starting OL - not yet. No NFL OL can be really great with only 3.5ish NFL starters. And obviously, we need that depth, because injuries will happen.

But if Glibert gets his head right, and if Beechum steps up bigtime at OG, and if we can somehow find some depth (or avoid injuries) - then yes, we could have a great OL. But those are a lot of ifs. To be conservative, I think we do need to recognize that Gilbert's development has trended the wrong way, and that NFL-caliber depth will be required.

In my humble opinion, it just shows how deep we let the hole become while we collected baubles (WRs and Mendy) and LBs (somewhat ineffectively), and other things (but kudos on improving the CB situation, which also looked dismal a few years ago).

Also, I wonder about what might have been with Kraig Ubrik. If we hadn't screwed up the coaching side there, we'd really be solid. Instead, we somehow kept the very soft Ramon Foster.
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