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Old 07-13-2005, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: USA Today Player Ratings

Offensive Linemen Article


A notch below

Marvel Smith of the Steelers has zoomed up this list and should stay around for a long time. Pittsburgh's offense is built around the run and doesn't place the tackles at risk too often in the passing game, but the 27-year-old Smith has developed into a capable all-around blocker.



With more stability around him, Pittsburgh's Alan Faneca returned to left guard last season and anchored a line that paved the way for the AFC's top rushing attack.

On the rebound

Pittsburgh's Kendall Simmons missed last season after tearing his ACL on Aug. 18. That followed a 2003 season in which he struggled after learning he had diabetes and dropped 35 pounds. But his knee is expected to be healthy, and he has the diabetes under control.


A notch below

Coming off his first Pro Bowl, Pittsburgh's Jeff Hartings is 33 with chronic bad knees and could be playing his final season.

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