The depth and versatility of the offensive line could be a plus for the Steelers


It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line was well below average in 2021. Kendrick Green, a guard for most of his college career, struggled as a rookie as a Pittsburgh starting center G Kevin Dotson got hurt and didn’t come back the same as G Trai Turner wasn’t that impressive. The same can be said for OTs Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor, although Moore improved throughout the year and Okorafor was kicked out of his natural right tackle position just before the start of the game. season.

The Pittsburgh front office organized this offseason to improve the offensive line and did so by bringing in Mason Cole and James Daniels. Cole and Daniels are expected to start for Pittsburgh, and both bring a wealth of starting experience to the offensive line. Daniels started three-position for Chicago while Cole can also move inside the line.

Overall, the versatility of Pittsburgh’s offensive line could be a major factor for them this year. In addition to Cole and Daniels, reserve John Leglue showed his ability to move around the line, while JC Hassenauer started at both center and guard in his tenure in Pittsburgh. Green, while struggling last year, could see improvement if he returns to his natural guard position and he is expected to compete with Kevin Dotson for a starting guard position. That’s not even counting undrafted free agent Chris Owens, who can play any position on the line.

There’s no guarantee Owens cracks the opening roster of 53 players, but overall versatility is important. While the ideal scenario is the quick start of o-line freezes under new offensive line coach Pat Meyer, the reality in the NFL is that someone is tied to the fight or injuries will occur. When that happens, Pittsburgh won’t necessarily have to resort to unproven practice squad calls to fill on short notice. Pittsburgh has the relief tackle position determined with veterans Trent Scott and Joe Haeg on the roster (although the two are unlikely to take the team out of preseason), and they now have a slew of players. options to guard or center if someone goes down or struggles.

While it’s not so sexy, having quality offensive line depth is important to building a winning team. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where an injury can ruin your season, and Pittsburgh has done a good job of identifying players who have the versatility to move around and play in different positions down the line.

On paper, the 2022 offensive line should be much better than it was in 2021, and if the Steelers’ season goes as planned, Hassenauer and Leglue probably won’t have as big of an impact on the season. As we’ve seen over the past few years, the odds of them playing and having some sort of role are pretty solid. I’m interested to see how and if the added depth and versatility will help the Steelers in 2022.


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