While the Steelers did not perform well as a team Friday night against the Redskins, the offensive line was not awful as a whole. There were some bright spots in the blocking game. Below is the offensive line breakdown and blocking report of the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.
The big concern heading in was the play of left tackle Jonathan Scott and the return of Willie Colon. Both only saw 12 plays worth of action and both were pretty much flawless in both the running game and the passing game. Colon was damn near dominate and shows no ill effects of his Achilles injury.
Chris Scott got the start at right guard and did not fair so well in his first NFL start as he allowed 1 sack and 1 pressure by my count. He seemed to struggle mostly in pass protection and handling both the blitz and twist. He looked confused as to who he was supposed to block at times in these situations. The Steelers let him get plenty of playing time as he was in on 29 of the snaps. Doug Legursky started at left guard for a series and moved to center for two more. He allowed a pressure on the second play of the game, but was fine in pass protection after that. His other 3 misfires came on running plays.
Maurkice Pouncey did not look comfortable with Scott next to him and his two pressures allowed might have been because of miscommunication with Scott. He looked like he moved fine on that ankle though and I have no worries about him.
Ramon Foster received 21 snaps at left guard after Legursky moved to center and played very well there. He only allowed a pressure on his 3rd series and looked like he was fighting for a job. Tony Hills was a pleasant surprise Friday night as he played both left tackle and right guard. He did however give up a pressure at each spot. We will see if this improvement continues against better competition. Rookie Marcus Gilbert fared alright at left tackle, but the level of talent he was going against might be the reason why. I have him down for 1 pressure and the Steelers only ran 4 times when he was in the game.
3rd string center John Malecki played well against the level of competition he faced and rookie Keith Williams looked confused at times on a few twist and blitz. He allowed 2 deep pressures and 1 quarterback hit on the night.
Tight end wise I thought John Gilmore played well in his first game in black and gold while David Johnson seemed to be off tonight. Rookie Weslye Saunders has a long way to go, especially when he is lined up as an h-back.
The wide receivers blocked well when asked to. Antonio Brown and Tyler Grisham both had good blocks on the touchdown run of Isaac Redman. As far as the running backs go, I thought they chipped and helped with pickup when needed. Even Jonathan Dwyer looked like he had a better grasp of his assignments and I saw more effort out of him than I ever have. He still is a little timid, but the effort and recognition was there tonight.