Post Draft State Of The Steelers Offensive Line

The 2012 NFL draft is now complete and the Pittsburgh Steelers added three offensive linemen in the form of Stanford guard David DeCastro, Ohio State tackle Mike Adams and guard Kelvin Beachum as part of their nine selections. With the draft and free agency now behind us, it is time to take the yearly look at the state of the Steelers offensive line moving forward into the offseason workouts.

Maurkice Pouncey – Pouncey is entering his third season now and is already a two time Pro Bowl center. The left ankle that caused him to miss Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Backers and the Wild Card game last year against Denver Broncos has been surgically repaired this offseason and all signs point to him being ready to go full speed when training camp gets underway. Pouncey is the rock and leader of the offensive line and he should have no problems picking up the offense and gap schemes that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley institutes. Pouncey is great with his line calls and only the injury bug can prevent him from having his best year yet. He will have no problems adjusting to whoever lines up on either side of him at guard.

Willie Colon – Colon was the picture of health his first four seasons in the league, but the injury bug has cost him all but one game the last two seasons. Colon tore his Achilles prior to the start of the 2010 training camp and that cost him that entire the season. Last year he suffered a torn triceps in the first game against the Baltimore Ravens and he was placed on injured reserve yet again. He is reportedly 100% recovered now and ready to start the season at right tackle. The only way that doesn\’t happen is if the rookie Adams is somehow deemed ready by the end of training camp to start at left or right tackle. Should that be the case, the mythical move inside to right guard could take place. It would be pretty shocking for Adams to be ready to start by then, so look for Colon to be the week one right tackle, a position he excelled at prior to being plagued by injuries.

Marcus Gilbert – Gilbert took over at right tackle in week two of his rookie year after Colon went down for season and that is where he stayed. He needed shoulder surgery this past offseason and was told to be prepared to be the left tackle this upcoming season. All signs point to him opening up on the left side unless the aforementioned rookie Adams is ready to play left tackle week one and that is a long shot to happen. At worst Gilbert starts the season at right tackle if Adams pulls off a miracle. The long term future for Gilbert is likely at right tackle assuming Adams develops, but he will need to hold down the left side until Adams is ready.

David DeCastro – It is hard to imagine the rookie not being a week one starter at one of the guard positions. With all likelihood it will be at the right guard spot and only changes if Colon is forced to kick inside because of an emergence of Adams. Like I said, that is a very unlikely scenario to unfold out of training camp, but I am not willing to rule it completely. The only other way DeCastro starts on the left side and not the right is if the Steelers determine that Ramon Foster is best suited to play right guard, where he started at most of last season. DeCastro of course would have to be playing left guard for that to happen. It is not out of the question for him to be the week one starting left guard, but I have a feeling they want him on the right side at least initially. I hate to use the cliché “plug and play rookie”, but that is what he is. He\’s that good.

Ramon Foster – Foster is most likely going to be a week one starter at one of the two guard positions and the best guess coming out of the draft is that it will be on the left side with DeCastro taking over the position that he played more than adequately last year. Foster is certainly not as an accomplished move guard as DeCastro, but when asked to trap in 2011, he was more than adequate. He started at left guard against the Seattle Seahawks in week two last year when Chris Kemoeatu was sidelined with a balky knee and he played very well. The only way Foster is not a week one starter hinges on the development of Adams. If you are placing bets, bet Foster starts week one at left guard.

Doug Legursky – With the addition of DeCastro, it now seems that Legursky is likely to return to his role as the swing interior lineman, and more importantly the backup center. He can play all three interior positions in a pinch and that versatility can not be understated. Legursky also still possesses great short area quickness and has been known to get a snap or two every now and again at fullback in short yardage and goal line situations. He will dress for every game, but likely will not start or play unless an injury occurs. He is an asset to the team in more ways than one.

Mike Adams – I discussed Adams so much above I forget to post his own bit. You know the story with him. He has all of the tools that need to be organized inside the tool box. He lacks core strength and needs to dedicate himself more to his profession now. He has great feet and a nice kick. He is agile enough to go second level when needed. While he could initially get looks at right tackle, he has played left the most and the Steelers hope he is the long term solution there. Speed rushers will be his nemesis like most tackles in the league. He presented great enough value in the second round for the Steelers to stick their neck out for him after he showed them he wanted to be back on their draft board. He has a high ceiling, but it is up to him whether or not he wants to achieve it. I doubt he is ready by week one and he would figure to be inactive for the first few weeks. He could surprise though and the upside would be that he could start week one at left tackle. Pre season will tell us a lot about where he and his head is at.

Trai Essex – Essex was brought back on a one year deal and looks as trim and fit as he ever has. Like Legursky he has position flexibility and can play all five positions on the offensive line in a pinch. The Steelers no longer consider him a starter, but he is pretty good odds to make the 53 man roster at this point with the experience and versatility that he brings to the table. He will of course have to earn his roster spot in training camp and I am willing to bet he does just that. It will be interesting to see how all of his conditioning has helped him this year at training camp.

Jonathan Scott – Scott really appears to be on the outside of the bubble looking in right now after the draft and his $2.2 million base salary in 2012 is a huge thing that the Steelers can\’t overlook. He is not starter material and is a huge liability at left tackle. He is a backup right tackle at best, and baring an injury, will be a long shot to make the 53 man roster. There is an outside chance that he could get released prior to training camp starting.

Chris Scott – Scott will likely make it to training camp, but that will likely be the end of the road for the Steelers 2010 fifth round draft pick. He was given every opportunity last year in training camp and the preseason to win the right guard spot and disappointed. He is not right tackle material either and his best shot at sticking with the Steelers would be by making the practice squad. I am not holding my breath for that to happen.

Trevis Turner -Turner is a big boy and it is hard to deliver a solid analysis of him based on the limited preseason tape we have on him from last year. Based on what I did see, he is at best a swing tackle and he could be a surprise at training camp with a year under his belt on the practice squad. If Jonathan Scott is not in the Steelers plans as a backup in 2012, there figures to be a swing tackle spot that could be up for grabs depending on how many linemen will be retained. He could also be an option for another year on the practice squad as well.

John Malecki – I like to call Malecki, “Legursky light”. He is now considered a guard/center type after learning the center position last year. He will be a huge long shot to make the 53 man roster and will need to show his versatility in the preseason to have a shot to return to the practice squad again. Like Turner, we just do not have a lot of preseason tape on him, especially against good competition to properly break down his play. He is regarded as a hard worker and I look forward to watching him play again in the preseason.

Kelvin Beachum – The undersized left tackle will move inside after being drafted by the Steelers. He is unique in that he has long legs and a short torso and that allowed him to play tackle at SMU. He is not a strong trap blocker or agile in open space. He does use the lower half of his body well for leverage and that will help him when moving inside. He can long snap reportedly so that is a plus, but it is hard to see him beating out Greg Warren. When you don\’t hear the name of Warren talked about a lot it is usually a good thing. Beachum is a project, and based on the numbers, his best bet is to spend a year on the practice squad. Stranger things have happened, but it will take one hell of a training camp to beat out a guy like Essex.

Desmond Stapleton – He is the younger brother of Darnell Stapleton and was signed as an undrafted free agent. He has a thin frame and is short on core power and strength. He was one of the last linemen in and that usually ends with them being the first linemen out. I do not believe he is even practice squad material based on the little tape I have seen of him at Rutgers.

Ryan Lee – Lee is a left guard from Furman and the only tape I saw on him was his game against Florida. I must admit he moves good and appeared to hold his own against top notch competition. That being said, his best shot would be to make the practice squad.

Post Draft Prediction 53 Man Roster Offensive Linemen

C Maurkice Pouncey
LT Marcus Gilbert
RT Willie Colon
RG David DeCastro
LG Ramon Foster
G/C Doug Legursky
T Mike Adams
G/T Trai Essex
T Travis Turner

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Kenneth Wilt

    I agree with everything you have above as a depth situation on the roster except for 1 thing. J. Scott I think will beat Turner out. Kugler knows him and I think that works in his favor. He knows how he will react in the locker room to sitting on the bench and not getting a shirt every week.

  • Brian

    Excellent analysis!

  • SteelersDepot

    Paying Scott 2 plus million to be a bad swing tackle is money needed for Wallace perhaps. That last tackle spot is perhaps the biggest question mark and could be saved for Max Starks if healthy by the time training camp starts.

  • zbluez1

    I believe that D.D. extra extra light (Ryan Lee) actually makes the roster in place of Travis Turner (See my previous posts after UDFA signings) and at some point in the next two years becomes the Starting Left Guard. I know a very BOLD prediction. My reasoning is that new OC Haley doesn’t let his coaches play favorites, ART II and Coach T. have had enough of seeing Ben in the tub, and the kid has the measurables that if he had played for a large school instead of an ultra small one ( Furman ) and had the exposure nationally he quite probably would have been a RD 3-5 prospect, as it was he was still ranked #43 in the nation. He is smart, studies film well, takes coaching well according to one newspaper article from way back, is a grinder that doesn’t give up until after the whistle and he reportedly has a ton of heart. he’ll need all that and more to make the team, but, given an opportunity he will surprise a ton of people, coaches, and players. Obviously at this time I am looking through a very cracked crystal ball and making predictions, never the less, I have a gut feeling about this one and sometimes they pay off.

  • SteelersDepot

    I talked so much about Adams I forget to do his own little recap and now have added it.

  • Delilah

    I wholeheartly agree with this great analysis of the predicted nine O-linemen on the 53-man roster. Just one wrinkle to consider. While Trevis Turner may initially make the 53-man roster, I don’t believe they will activate him for the first several weeks. In that time, Max Starks will have had enough time to get healthy, and maybe the Steelers re-sign him to a bargain deal. I think most of us would be begging for Max to be the next man up if, God forbid, some kind of injury were to happen to either Marcus or Willie. At that point, Trevis could be sent back down to the practice squad, his eligibility still intact, having not been activated while on the 53. Another year of him seasoning on the PS is probably what’s best for him anyway.

  • BoiseSteeler

    your predicted list at the end of the article is music to my ears… i remember last year post-draft, there were several of us scratching our head at the offensive line depth, hoping gilbert (rookie) and colon (returning) could be enough to keep BB upright. Um… that worked out well.

    Feeling much better that we are bringing a lot of competition to camp, and may the best 9 men get helmets.

  • dgh57

    Agree with most of the above!

    Long term here’s my O-Line: Adams/DeCastro/Pouncey/Colon/Gilbert

    To many variables to figure out short term.

    Decastro moves to LG with the emergence of the 2 Tackles and they won’t move Colon clear across the line.

    Backups: Legursky/Foster/Essex/Starks if resigned

    Rest of above either practice squad or a pink slip!!

  • Achange4thebetter

    I’m with the early poster, Ryan Lee will make the 53 man roster. to be honest i like this oline lineup for opening day…Adams-Lee-Pouncy-Decastro-Gilbert. Strong and they all can pull….my backups are Essex all five positions, Foster both guards and right tackle in a pinch, Legursky, both guards nd center, Colon, tackle, Starks if he’s back tackle. Or starting line could look like this…Gilbert-Lee-Pouncey-Decastro-Colon

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Completely agree.
    Scott has no place.
    If healthy and willing to work for close to the minimum, Starks may be needed until Adams or Gilbert is ready to take over the LT for the next 12 years.

  • Intropy

    You mention that if Colon were to move to guard you think he plays RG with DeCastro playing LG. It seems to me that if Colon is already being asked to change positions it makes sense to put him at LG that way DeCastro sticks with his familiar RG spot and you get fewer moving pieces. What was your reasoning?

  • SteelersDepot

    Could go either way really and I am not ruling that out SHOULD Colon even kick inside. Just been a fantasy of mine for a LONG while. Thinking more of the aspect that in pass protection I think I would rather have DeCastro protecting the blind side in pass pro. I agree that Kugler is not a big fan of moving parts and Colon could just as easy flip over to the left. I just love that right handed power, but that is not to say they cant be balanced and start running more power to the left.

  • SteelersDepot
  • SteelersDepot

    So you have Lee, an undrafted free agent, not only making the team, but starting at left guard?????? WOW!!!

  • Dan

    I think Max Starks was worth at least a mention here. I recall a game or two last year where he played poorly, i.e. San Fran, but also I felt our line was greatly improved after his return last year (I think it was at Houston?) I may be bashed for saying this but I think he was a quality player and if he is healthy and in shape in time for camp or the season he is worth consideration. Especially if he would be willing to play for back up money. Although if he doesn’t sign with another team, but I suppose the ultimate salary cap move would be to just let him sit by the phone on standby.

  • zbluez1

    Dave, over the last two years that I have been a super avid reader of the Depot and the O-line breakdowns you have done and being a former O-line (left guard) player myself I have come to respect your opinions about O-line play, players, and player placement, but I find myself questioning if kicking Colon inside is the best answer with the following rationale: In drafting lineman in over the last three years the following seems to be apparent. 1.) The F.O. is determined to protect Ben as best they can on the field. 2.) Running the football effectively is a must tactically they feel. 3.) Getting younger is not only a trend, but a must, talent wise and cap wise. 4.) Keeping players in their natural or most experienced position allows the coaching staff to get the most out of the talent available. (i.e. Moving 1 player to a new position is much easier and better than moving 2 or 3.) Given that criteria long term it is perhaps predictable to see R to L Gilbert, DeCastro, Pouncey, Foster/Lee/future draft choice, Adams with the younger experienced players behind them, Colon (T) , Legursky (C/G), Foster/Lee/draft choice (G) as the eight dressed on game day ( yes I included Lee who’s “natural” position is Left Guard ) while Foster can play both G spots, Lee can play center in an emergency, Colon both tackles in necessary. To me, IMHO, this would have an O-line that barring major injury could play at a high level with an average age under 24 for 7 years with both guards that are movement capable and not declare to be a single sided running team (right side only), but one who could, would, and can run to both sides with pretty much equal ease. Pass protection that is movement capable (slide laterally) with out major concerns. I was taught that having all these capabilities makes it harder for D-coordinators to game plan against an offense and means that your O-line is balanced with no major weak spots, your back ups are position flexible, and your depth is more than adequate. Have I got any of it wrong? I realize that it means some long time favorites are passed on ( Starks & Essex), some weaker backups are eliminated (Scott & Scott ) and from an experience stand point it could be risky but from a physical talent level it would be a major upgrade and isn’t that what the F.O. and Steelers fans everywhere have been clamoring for? Please point out any major flaws in my thinking as I am eager to learn and discuss. Thank you.

  • Intropy

    You make some reasonable points. The biggest counter to this, in my opinion, is that the last year he played Colon was the Steelers’ best lineman. If everyone plays as I expect them to (Pouncey stays Pouncey, DeCastro is immediately good, Gilbert improves a little, Foster and Legursky show no change) and Colon returns to form, then Colon would be their third best lineman. It would be a shame to sideline your third best lineman, especially given how much money he’s being paid.

  • Robhenderson

    My money is on Ryan Lee.

  • Robhenderson

    I agree he makes the team and wouldnt be surprised if he is the starting LG after the bye week.

  • guest

    As of right now is it fair to say Malecki and Beachum would both probably be on the practice squad? I like Malecki, I thought he had a pretty good preseason last year.

  • LucasY59

    I’m really hoping that Lee’s measurables are more than just measurables and he’s not just a workout warrior, but we will have to see if the measuables transfer onto the field, it wouldnt be the worst thing if 3 of the lineman that make the 53 roster are udfa’s it would be easier on the salary cap than J. Scotts 2.2 mil

  • LucasY59

    also this starting lineup only has 3 years of NFL experience between the 5 of them

  • LucasY59

    One thought that I havent seen out there yet is moving Gilbert into LG instead of moving Colon to RG and Decastro to LG, one of the upsides to drafting Gilbert last year was position flexibility, I think I remember seeing that he had played every position on the line except center, He may be more willing to move inside than Colon as well. just a thought?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    I’ve couldn’t agree more. But I’ve been on the cut Scott train from his first game.

  • Sonny

    Adams is too good to not dress, he will play by week 3. Colon is terrible

  • burghball

    Zbluez1,

    thumbs up to Ryan Lee – very nice UDFA pickup.. Kid finishes his blocks – plays to the whistle, pulls well – finds defenders to block in the second level.. Is long shot to make the 53.. PS at the minimum. There is some tape out there also of him playing OC in a post season bowl game that I found. Position flexible kid – other film he plays both OG spots and RT… I have the same gut felling about Ryan Lee and There is going to be a spot for this kid somewhere with the Steelers.. I think the Scott Twins can start packing.. Chris and Jonathan..

  • zbluez1

    Agreed, but at the point when and if Adams overtakes Colon or Gilbert talent wise executable on the field, note I did not say getting Ben executed on the field, we already have that in J. Scott, then whomever is overtaken becomes the swing tackle backup and the line has only one or two changes and the interior stays intact. My same situational rationale goes at left guard where at this point Foster is the man to overtake and at that point he becomes the swing at guard, that is assuming he can be overtaken as you have pointed out he also has been very consistent over the last two seasons, but is that because he is that good, or because he was that much more healthy than his competition? This is the camp battle question(s) I expect to see answered when camp opens. If R. Lee can live up to his physical measurables, get with G.G. and develop his lower body just a smidgen, physically you would almost have a D.D. clone at the other guard spot, except for experience against stronger competition, and before you point it out, yes I know there is no substitute for experience, but this time of year is all about “picking and hoping” that players develop up to their upside. Which is why I have said that “in the long term it is predictable to see” , I agree all this is predicated on players reaching as close to their predicted upside as possible. The simple fact remains is we will see and my hope is they give R. Lee a fair chance to show what he can do because I honestly think it would scare the crap out of the Ravens to have 2 guards that not only are good on the move, but a running game where they couldn’t count on it going to the right 98.7% of the time, might just make their ends and linebackers have to play straight up instead of leaning/slanting that way or that 1/2 a step slower, and we have all seen what happens when you can gain that 1/2 a step advantage, it can be great!

  • JAMESH

    Gilbert played one game at LG while in college. Still, I agree with you and it minimizes moving players from their natural positions. When Adams is ready to start at LT, you then have Pouncey at C, DeCastro at RG, and Colon at RT. Gilbert at LG then seems like a minimal disruption and creates a very powerful OLine.

  • zbluez1

    True that, they would have to grow together with Pouncey being the clear leader, but, again looking at the “picking and hoping” upside of the equation, the Steelers could have a very strong and stable line for the next 7 seasons or so, something they have not had over the last 7 seasons.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESU2VFZHEUTQEPJ7AWSN7ODBPQ Emac2

    I can’t believe the Steelers are going to enter the season with plans for significant mid season position changes on the line. The crux of the issue is LT and when Adams is ready to play. I could see them signing Starks if they determine during the summer that Adams will not be ready to start the season. I don’t think they would start hiunm elsewhere on the line. I also don’t think they are going to spend the offseason training Gilbert for a half dozen games at LT. I find myself wondering if they might tolerate J Scott at LT for a few weeks so that they could set the rest of the line and still give Adams a few weeks.

    I’m totally opposed to entering the season with plans to move more then one or two linemen during the year.

    I think we’ll either see Adams play all year at LT or I think they’ll try to sit him all year. I’m not sure they have such good options that they will be significant better then Adams anyway.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    That may be true, but we have done it the last 2 years….so I don’t think it makes it completely unlikely.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Looking at Ryan Lee’s tape, I don’t see him making the team this year. He may make the PS, but I think he needs to get stronger. Mentally he knows the game. His pass blocking looks very good, rarely getting beat, but his run blocking has him neutral with most guys. These are college guys he is going against and the power he is facing there is much lower than he would face most weeks in the NFL. I saw him get stood up at one point on the tape by a strong safety.

    Let him work out with our lineman for a year, learn the offense, be around the team on the PS, and then see what he looks like for camp 2013.

  • zbluez1

    I could see that happening, please realize that I am prognosticating LONG TERM, up to 2 years down the line, where Ryan Lee needs strength work is in his lower body, G.G. will see to that , he already puts up 40 reps on the bench. D. DeCastro put up 34. Working on learning how to use his strength with leverage will be the key to his development. 20-yard shuffle, D.D. was timed at 4.56, R.L. was 5.07, however D.D. 40-time was 5.43, R.L.’s 40-time was 5.0. D.D.’s three-cone drill at 7.3 seconds ( the best there was ), R.L.’s three-cone drill was at 7.46 seconds. Looking at the measurables you can compare these two prospects and neither is a physical slouch. The difference is experience against upper level talent and football I.Q. We know D.D.’s football I.Q. is high, R.L.’s isn’t too far behind, he has played L. guard (natural position) center, R. guard, and R. tackle, was a team captain and has made the line calls even at guard. You can interpret the measurables as you see them, but to me they say he deserves a good long look and a chance to be coached into being the starting left guard.

  • Bleebo77

    Great conversation. My overriding thought is “What a difference a year makes!” IF guys pan out as hoped and we eventually end up with a line of Adams-Foster/Lee/Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro- Gilbert, think of how this could free up the draft and free agency for us for the foreseeable future!

    Pittsburgh can always be looking for later round guys, UDFAs, and other teams’ cast-offs to create continual competition, and hopefully some of those guys will bubble up as quality back-ups. But – knock on wood – the team has 4 of the 5 OL spots locked down with young, highly-drafted guys, freeing up the team to use high picks on other need areas. Imagine Ben and the offense operating behind a quality O-line!!

  • SteelSpine

    Thanks Dave Bryan for for that thorough breakdown. 3 different things I’d like to add:

    – Legursky will likely be more freed-up to return to blocking fullback on goal lines & that will be a blast if get to see Legursky blocking for Redman on goal line plays – THAT”s a high odds of TD!
    – To help our OL, should introduce 3-step drop more than the dabble in the past, hopefully the new OCoordinator can fix the reason(s) we rarely accomplished 3-step drop. The problem mighta been couldnt train QB or mighta been our WRs couldnt get open immediately, or some other reason. If we don’t fix the problem of not-being able to do 3-step drop, we’re still gonna run out of QBs.
    – I disagree with “Foster more-than-adequate when pulling”. Replays of pulls/traps showed Ramon does not have the feet for it, looked like a clod trying to get out on linebackers. In that regard he is the opposite of Pouncy & DeCastro who downfield target LBs. But Foster was valuable for being able to put him at multiple positions for stand-still blocking, & to be able to get that as an undrafted free agent was a steal.

  • SteelersDepot

    Disagree about Foster as I graded every play last year in my oline reports and while he did not pull often, he was usually on his mark when he did.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Definately. You don’t rule anyone out or take things in a vacuum. I love the fact that his bench was high, but I don’t think that number matters that much. I wish they would cut the bench out honestly. All it means is there chest and triceps are strong…Yeah for them. For Olineman though, the number that matters is their squat. It is about leg power. You drive from your legs. It is really easy to get into a gym and work the chest and arms….harder to stay focused on those legs.

  • Frankthebuc

    J Scott is not as bad as people make him out to be and both Colon’s and Stark’s bodies are breaking down. Offensive linemen who have consecutive injuries involving ligaments and muscle tears are usually at the end of the road. This run heavy offense will utilize the RB’s more in the passing game and make the entire offensive line look better. Keep pounding on J Scott but wait until Colon goes down and Adams has a relapse (they always do) and then you will have Essex starting for you.

  • zbluez1

    That is where G.G. comes in, he will work this kid the right way, the kid is a gym rat already, so if G.G. says do squats until the sun rises, this kid will do them. the sucky thing is there isn’t a ton of tape on this kid that I have been able to find, however what I have seen is that he squares up nicely when making contact, keeps his pads low, moves his feet well, and moves either direction with good speed. I have also seen him whiff a couple of times against a good swim move, that being said, he hasn’t had top notch coaching, Furman is not being known as a football powerhouse that produces NFL type players consistently, I am just saying that he has the measurables, he has the football I.Q., with top notch coaching from Coach K, and conditioning from G.G., he could turn out to be one of the best UDFA gems the Steelers have found in the last 5 years. Only time will tell, but, I have a gut feeling about this kid, we’ll see if I am right.

  • Pete

    Nice ideas here. However, as Gilbert played a lot in his 1st year, I expect the same for Adams. Adams will be in the mix somehow but I agree, we’ll know a lot more come pre-season and how they perform. Thanks for the bit on Pouncey as some in Steeler Nation didn’t realize his wheels were messed up last season and that contributed to his less-than-Pouncey performance. When questioned last season by some reporters, his coaches looked at them like they had rocks in their heads. Pouncey is special, no doubt.

    Count me also among those who feel strongly that Max Starks should also be in the mix at the veteran minimum when his ACL has healed. He still has good value at LT should the rookies be too low on the learning curve.

  • zbluez1

    Got to agree with Dave on Foster, the Steelers could do a lot worse and sadly have done so then having a starting O-line that is R to L of Colon, DeCastro, Pouncey, Foster, Gilbert that would be an upgrade over what they have had over the past 4 seasons even with Starks coming in to save the day. Colon when healthy is solid, still like A. Smith, missing the last almost 2 whole seasons doesn’t bode well for the future, I hope I am wrong in that assessment. When looking at the depth of the players under contract and those UDFA and draft choices that are reported to be being signed or are in process of being signed I have to say I am much more optimistic about what the O-line could be and its future stability and talent level, Foster included. I have made some bold predictions ( see my other posts ) as to what the O-line could and probably will look like over the next 2 years and Foster is still in those predictions. Not every lineman is a pro-bowler, some are just grinders with heart and lunch pails like Foster that do the hard dirty work day in and day out consistently. “Nuff said.

  • Kenneth Wilt
  • zbluez1

    Same one I watched, also watched the Furman team season highlights where he threw some key blocks on longer runs, couldn’t find much else. Maybe Dave will and it will be a more definitive sample of a body of work. The thing is he was the first priority undrafted free agent signing which tells me someone in the scouting dept and front office saw something they really liked about this kid since who really goes and scouts Furman who has contributed only 17 players total to the NFL ever, and most of those transferred to larger schools after attending earlier in their college football careers including Cam Newton. Not like it’s a rough gem production facility compared to Yale, Marshall, Kent State, etc…..just food for thought

  • burghball

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFSOq0CoHwo&feature=relmfu

    That’s another link for Ryan Lee – #60 playing Center – look at the play at 1:02 – getting down field looking for someone to hit and 1:59 – Pancake… Like this kid alot and hope he gets a chance to show what he can do… He can play either OG spot, backup OC and some tape of him playing RT….

  • reg38

    If healthy I would sign Max Starks while cutting Scott. Why? This way we can leave Gilbert alone at RT, move Colon to RG and start DeCastro at LG. Starks would start the year at LT and when and if Adams deserves to start you don’t have to reshuffle the whole offensive line.

  • Robhenderson

    Yes I do. Leggs UDFA,Foster UDFA.. Lee UDFA will be the Starter if not at the start after the bye week.

  • Robhenderson

    He did 40 reps at 220 thats better than all of the lineman.

  • Jprankster2005

    I can’t complain with the line this yr…… We have a good O line and 2 good players in Foster and Adams and one of them won’t start…. That’s a great thing to have…….. Scott should of been released right after the draft…….For 1 to free up cap space of the 2.2 million and 2 give him a shot at making another team……I love all the youth all of the guys that will be in the picture to start will have 4 yrs. or less except for Colon…….So I see a strong line for 5 to 8 yrs. to come with these guys…… love it…..

  • SteelSpine

    It should be no surprise someone named “Colon” stinks.

    Seriously though, I too recall a year ago Stelers counting on return of Colon. Then so much for that idea, so I too feeling better now that we are bringing a bunch of young competetion to camp, not just bodies but prospects of which a couple of them are bound to turn out to eventually be good (just dunno which of them will though). Colon is guaranteed to make the roster this year because the restructuring the Steelers recently did guaranteed Colon about 4 mil this year.

  • Hiddenaway

    Do you really think Scott is much better than Essex? They are both horrible LTs. They are both adequate backup RTs. But Essex is more versatile and can play G and C too. I’d keep Essex over Scott (who costs at least $1M more) and hopefully bring back Starks, who should be starting at LT when the season starts. Say what you want about Starks last year, but I’d still rather have him at LT than Gilbert, who struggles with speed rushers. Ben’s going to have to run for his life if he’s got young Gilbert protecting his blind side against the likes of Suggs, etc

  • SteelersDepot

    Hope you didn’t place those bets on Foster now. My how quickly things can change.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    On him starting or making the roster?

  • SteelersDepot

    Starting at left guard.