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Rookies DeCastro & Adams Look To Buck Steelers History By Both Starting Week 1

The recent report by Ed Bouchette stating that second round tackle Mike Adams is in the plans of the Pittsburgh Steelers to get the first crack at the starting left tackle spot is not earth shattering news in nature, especially when you look at the potential candidates currently on the roster that could compete for the job. What is kind of mind blowing though is that if indeed that comes to fruition, and first round pick David DeCastro starts at right guard, it would mean that two rookies would be starting on the Steelers offensive line when they line up week one against the Denver Broncos.

This would be the first time that this feat has occurred since at least 1978, and there is a good chance that it dates even further back than that. I have only been able to pull the Steelers week one starting offensive lines dating back to 1979, so that covers the last 33 seasons. Dating back to 1979, only four rookie offensive linemen have cracked the week one starting lineup for the Steelers and they were: Tom Ricketts at left guard (1989), Marvel Smith at right tackle (2000) and Maurkice Pouncey at center (2010). That leaves two positions on the offensive line that the Steelers have not had rookies start at since at least at least 1978, and both of those positions are left tackle and right guard, the positions that Adams and DeCastro aim to start at respectively.

Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and Alan Faneca were all drafted by the Steelers, but none of the three started week one of their rookie year. Webster has long been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dawson will join him in that distinction later this summer and Faneca will not be too far behind in getting that honor as well.

I have stated since the Steelers drafted DeCastro that I believe he is a plug and play guard right from the get-go. I would be shocked if he is not the starting right guard in Denver. Really shocked. Adams, on the other hand, I have my reservations about. He has the tools and prototypical size, but I worry if he will be ready to protect the blind side of Ben Roethlisberger against the Broncos. While the Steelers might be claiming that starting two rookies on the offensive line is their plan in Denver, the odds are certainly against it happening. It might even make Super Bowl era history for the Steelers should it occur.

It sure is fun to go back and look at all of these names over the years and please feel free to pass along the week 1 starting offensive lines from 1966-1978 if you are absolutely positive about them.

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1 Starting Offensive Lines 1979-2011

YEAR LEFT TACKLE LEFT GUARD CENTER RIGHT GUARD RIGHT TACKLE
1970 Mike Haggerty Sam Davis Ray Mansfield Bruce Van Dyke John Brown
1971 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Ray Mansfield Bruce Van Dyke John Brown
1972 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Ray Mansfield Bruce Van Dyke Gerry Mullins
1973 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Ray Mansfield Bruce Van Dyke Glen Ray Hines
1974 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Ray Mansfield Gerry Mullins Gordon Gravelle
1975 Jon Kolb Jim Clack Ray Mansfield Gerry Mullins Gordon Gravelle
1976 Jon Kolb Jim Clack Ray Mansfield Gerry Mullins Gordon Gravelle
1977 Ray Pinney Jim Clack Mike Webster Gerry Mullins Larry Brown
1978 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Mike Webster Gerry Mullins Larry Brown
1979 Jon Kolb Sam Davis Mike Webster Gerry Mullins Ted Peterson
1980 Jon Kolb Ray Pinney Mike Webster Steve Courson Larry Brown
1981 Jon Kolb Craig Wolfley Mike Webster Steve Courson Larry Brown
1982 Ray Pinney Craig Wolfley Mike Webster Steve Courson Larry Brown
1983 Ted Petersen Craig Wolfley Mike Webster Steve Courson Larry Brown
1984 Tunch Ilkin Craig Wolfley Mike Webster Blake Wingle Larry Brown
1985 Pete Rostosky Craig Wolfley Mike Webster Terry Long Tunch Ilkin
1986 Ray Pinney Randy Rasmussen Dan Turk Terry Long Mark Behning
1987 Craig Wolfley John Rienstra Mike Webster Buddy Aydelette Terry Long
1988 Craig Wolfley John Rienstra Mike Webster Terry Long Tunch Ilkin
1989 Craig Wolfley Tom Ricketts Dermontti Dawson Brian Blankenship Tunch Ilkin
1990 John Jackson John Rienstra Dermontti Dawson Terry Long Tunch Ilkin
1991 John Jackson Brian Blankenship Dermontti Dawson Carlton Haselrig Tunch Ilkin
1992 John Jackson Duval Love Dermontti Dawson Carlton Haselrig Tunch Ilkin
1993 John Jackson Duval Love Dermontti Dawson Carlton Haselrig Leon Searcy
1994 John Jackson Duval Love Dermontti Dawson Todd Kalis Leon Searcy
1995 John Jackson Tom Newberry Dermontti Dawson Justin Strzelczyk Leon Searcy
1996 John Jackson Will Wolford Dermontti Dawson Justin Strzelczyk Bernard Dafney
1997 John Jackson Will Wolford Dermontti Dawson Brenden Stai Justin Strzelczyk
1998 Will Wolford Roger Duffy Dermontti Dawson Brenden Stai Justin Strzelczyk
1999 Wayne Gandy Alan Faneca Dermontti Dawson Brenden Stai Chris Conrad
2000 Wayne Gandy Alan Faneca Dermontti Dawson Rich Tylski Marvel Smith
2001 Wayne Gandy Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Rich Tylski Marvel Smith
2002 Wayne Gandy Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Oliver Ross Marvel Smith
2003 Marvel Smith Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Kendall Simmons Todd Fordham
2004 Marvel Smith Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Keydrick Vincent Oliver Ross
2005 Marvel Smith Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Kendall Simmons Max Starks
2006 Marvel Smith Alan Faneca Jeff Hartings Kendall Simmons Max Starks
2007 Marvel Smith Alan Faneca Sean Mahan Kendall Simmons Willie Colon
2008 Marvel Smith Chris Kemoeatu Justin Hartwig Kendall Simmons Willie Colon
2009 Max Starks Chris Kemoeatu Justin Hartwig Trai Essex Willie Colon
2010 Max Starks Chris Kemoeatu Maurkice Pouncey Trai Essex Flozell Adams
2011 Jonathan Scott Chris Kemoeatu Maurkice Pouncey Doug Legursky Willie Colon
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