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Old 12-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #1
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Default Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

by Steel City Retro
Dec 19



Far be it from me to look ahead to 2013 for the Steelers, since they are still right in the thick of the playoff chase, but some things are coming into focus nonetheless. It’s funny how things work out sometimes in the NFL, but it’s also not exactly an odd ball occurrence either. Players get injured, underachieve, or the front office makes decisions mid season that carry over into future years.

For the Steelers, the Offensive Line started out with Max Starks, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and Marcus Gilbert. Over the weeks it’s transformed, mainly due to injuries, and might be giving us an indication of what’s to come later on.

David DeCastro is now the starting RG and will remain there since coming back from injury and Willie Colon being placed on IR, and former RG Ramon Foster now moved to LG. Marcus Gilbert went on Injured Reserve at the end of November and was replaced previously by Mike Adams, who is set to return possibly this weekend when the Bengals come to town. Max Starks is still his reliable self, holding down the fort at LT, but he is an unrestricted free agent again in 2013.

With Starks, the nine year veteran has been off and on the Steelers roster the last two seasons. The team brought him back after a rash of injuries early in 2011 in an effort to try and save what was left of Sean Kugler’s group and solidify the musical chairs ensemble that Pittsburgh was dealing with. It would seem that Starks would likely be available again should the Steelers need him next year, however his performance this season could make a target in free agency for teams looking for a veteran LT.

Speaking of free agents, Ramon Foster has nearly 40 starts in his young NFL career and is still making the league minimum of $1.26 million. His stock will rise significantly next season and if the Steelers want to keep him they would be wise to lock him up before free agency starts if possible. While he may not garner top dollar he will certainly be looking for a much bigger payday.

Willie Colon is in the middle of a 5 yr, $29 million dollar contract that he signed in June 2011, but is not on Injured Reserve again for the 3rd season in a row. The Steelers restructured his deal this past offseason to save cap room but it may be time to move on from the oft injured lineman and go with the youth movement.

The young talent invested in the line over the last 2 seasons in particular will need to start taking a prominent role for what’s left of 2012 and certainly in future years. That’s as it should be and we should expect the Steelers front office to give them a chance to take over their respective starting jobs and move forward with what could be an elite blocking line for years to come.

Even with Starks still at LT for this season yet, and doing a fine job at that, don’t be surprised if your 2013 line looks like:

LT – Marcus Gilbert
LG – Ramon Foster
C – Maurkice Pouncey
RG – David DeCastro
RT – Mike Adams


Perhaps Gilbert and Adams switch positions, as both have experience on either side of the line, but either way they look to be the bookends of the future. Combined with youth and toughness in the middle there is much to look forward to the remainder of this season and in the future.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...uture/12470677
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #2
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I would take starks over gilbert anyday
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

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I would take starks over gilbert anyday
Agreed.

In the past, Starks had been slammed by the fanbase, but neeedlessly so I think. Dude has been the most reliable Olineman we have, and has been holding down the tough job of protecting Ben's blind side for years now.

The Steelers have tried to passively part ways with him for two seasons now, but so far, no other guy has stepped into his role with as much success. Jonathan Scott was AWFUL. Essex was marginal at best.

Maybe if they move Gilbert over to LT, he can start falling on the opposing team's ROLB and RCB's ankles insteaad of his own guys....LT was his natural position.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

LT – Marcus Gilbert
LG – Ramon Foster
C – Maurkice Pouncey
RG – David DeCastro
RT – Mike Adams

That would be a pretty good lineup, but I am still holding out hope that The Colon can come back next year at 100% and fill the LG role. As long as he is healthy (and not lined up in the neutral zone), he is one of our best Olinemen.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

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Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
LT – Marcus Gilbert
LG – Ramon Foster
C – Maurkice Pouncey
RG – David DeCastro
RT – Mike Adams

That would be a pretty good lineup, but I am still holding out hope that The Colon can come back next year at 100% and fill the LG role. As long as he is healthy (and not lined up in the neutral zone), he is one of our best Olinemen.
I agree: The Colon is a monster... when he is not getting a false start and/or a holding penalty. Oh...

Starks should eb resigned, but, even if he does not come back, the options are looking good. Heck, even if The Colon is released AND Ramon Foster leaves for greener pastures, the options are still looking good.

LT - Adams or Gilbert (or even Beachum)
LG - Beachum (or Gilbert)
OC - Pouncey
RG - DD
RT - Adams or Gilbert (or Beachum)

If Starks comes back, the depth is amazing... and the youngin's would be afforded the TIME to develop.

And, if The Colon also returns, that makes the depth even more amazing.

And, if Foster returns, as well, then the Steelers would have their "game-day eight" for the next five years locked up.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

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I agree: The Colon is a monster... when he is not getting a false start and/or a holding penalty. Oh...
For reals.

While it is always easier for us fans to criticize and point fingers at players for making mistakes that any of us would make if roles were reversed, the ones I cannot get over, are NEUTRAL ZONE INFRACTIONS. Those are INEXCUSABLE.

By the time a lineman reaches college, that should have been eliminated from his game completely. It is a mental error-- not one made in the line of fire or when bodies start flying around.

False starts are STUPID. From high school, we were trained to keep the football in the corner of our vision once in our 3-point stance. As an Olineman, it is supposed to be second nature-- YOU DON'T MOVE UNTIL YOU SEE THE BALL START TO COME BACK!!! Doesn't matter what crowd noise there is, doesn't matter what the QB is saying, doesn't mater if the snap count was on 2 in the huddle-- until that ball starts to get hiked, you are supposed to be like stone.

Matter of factly, my last two years of high school ball (I played Center), we went with a silent count most of the time. That is only possible when your Oline is well disciplined enough thast you don't draw your own guys offsides.

Lining up in the neutral zone? Equally as moronic. It's really easy-- the Center breaks huddle a second before everyone else, because he is the reference point. he gets into his 3 point stance, and then from him, the guaards line up with their toes parallel to the Center's heels, and the tackles should be lined up parallel to the guard next to him.

Fundamentals, man, fundamentals.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

Wasn't Beachum struggling mightily at guard in the preseason? I don't know if he's built to be a guard, but I honestly think he'll compete with Adams for that starting RT spot and, at the very least, will force Adams to lose his marshmellow arms and improve quickly. If not, Beachum takes over that spot.

There's going to be some good competition for our line this year. When was the last time we had 4 strong, good tackles that we're all comfortable with when they start? Especially Gilbert and Starks at LT - that might be the battle of Latrobe to watch out for.

Looking to 2013, I hope our line looks something like:

LT - Gilbert
LG - Foster
C - Pouncey
RG - DeCastro
RT - Adams

We can have Starks and Beachum on reserve if one gets injured or struggles.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

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Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
For reals.

While it is always easier for us fans to criticize and point fingers at players for making mistakes that any of us would make if roles were reversed, the ones I cannot get over, are NEUTRAL ZONE INFRACTIONS. Those are INEXCUSABLE.

By the time a lineman reaches college, that should have been eliminated from his game completely. It is a mental error-- not one made in the line of fire or when bodies start flying around.

False starts are STUPID. From high school, we were trained to keep the football in the corner of our vision once in our 3-point stance. As an Olineman, it is supposed to be second nature-- YOU DON'T MOVE UNTIL YOU SEE THE BALL START TO COME BACK!!! Doesn't matter what crowd noise there is, doesn't matter what the QB is saying, doesn't mater if the snap count was on 2 in the huddle-- until that ball starts to get hiked, you are supposed to be like stone.

Matter of factly, my last two years of high school ball (I played Center), we went with a silent count most of the time. That is only possible when your Oline is well disciplined enough thast you don't draw your own guys offsides.

Lining up in the neutral zone? Equally as moronic. It's really easy-- the Center breaks huddle a second before everyone else, because he is the reference point. he gets into his 3 point stance, and then from him, the guaards line up with their toes parallel to the Center's heels, and the tackles should be lined up parallel to the guard next to him.

Fundamentals, man, fundamentals.
Exactly.
Pre-snap penalties are inexcusable.

Holds happen. I do not like it, but they happen. They are in the heat of the moment, and usually are a result of incorrect hand placement.

Hands on the inside/on the chest: non-call.
Hands on the shoulders: called every time.

The Colon just needs to learn "how" to hold.

Heck, I can even rationalize "some" holds, because if a DL gets a clean shot at my QB (espeically a $100 million franchise QB), well I would actually PREFER that the OG hold the DL (as opposed to seeing the QB get destoryed).

Ten yards is better than losing a QB for a game (or three).
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Current Steelers offensive line offers insight into the future

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Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
Wasn't Beachum struggling mightily at guard in the preseason? I don't know if he's built to be a guard, but I honestly think he'll compete with Adams for that starting RT spot and, at the very least, will force Adams to lose his marshmellow arms and improve quickly. If not, Beachum takes over that spot.

There's going to be some good competition for our line this year. When was the last time we had 4 strong, good tackles that we're all comfortable with when they start? Especially Gilbert and Starks at LT - that might be the battle of Latrobe to watch out for.

Looking to 2013, I hope our line looks something like:

LT - Gilbert
LG - Foster
C - Pouncey
RG - DeCastro
RT - Adams

We can have Starks and Beachum on reserve if one gets injured or struggles.
Beachum did struggle. I like him at RT. Assuming that Starks, The Colon, & Foster are gone, even this line would not be half-bad (it would actually be really good, in my opinion):

LT - Adams
LG - Gilbert
C - Pouncey
RG - DeCastro
RT - Beachum

If Starks, The Colon, or Foster returns, then this line has some really good competitions going.

LT: Adams vs. Gilbert vs. Starks
LG: The Colon vs. Foster vs. Gilbert
OC: set
RG: set
RT: Adams vs. Beachum vs. Foster
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