Sean Kugler Talks Offensive Line Post Minicamp

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler joined 93.7 The Fan Monday morning to talk about the offensive line as the team heads next towards training camp after finishing up mini-camp last week. Below are some of the better talking points from the interview if you do not have the time to listen to it.

Re: The intelligence of David DeCastro coming into the NFL?

Kugler: Well he is an extremely intelligent kid. He just graduated yesterday in four years from Stanford with management in science engineering degree, which is really amazing in itself. And you can tell just even being in here for the mini-camp, rarely made mistakes, was on point in the meetings and those types things, so I think the learning aspect for him is going to come pretty easily, of course there\’s always the physical aspect, which is a shock for any player coming out of college.

Re: The toughest position on the offensive line from college to pros?

Kugler: Probably the two toughest would be left tackle, just because of the athletes you\’ll be facing as pass rushers, but mentally it has to be center and Maurkice made that transition two years ago, and just because of the fact that they have to set all of the line blocking schemes, make all of the calls and the defensive identification. So I would say center is the hardest probably mentally and physically would be left tackle.

Re: Health of Maurkice Pouncey this year?

Kugler: Well Maurkice is the one that attacked that. This off-season, and I told him the other day before we left camp, was his best off-season since he\’s been here. He looks outstanding. He\’s moving around great. He\’s healthy. I can\’t wait to watch Maurkice Pouncey play this year, because I know he\’s healthy and I know what he is capable of when he is healthy and he\’s excited as well. So he did have two major injuries, he\’s had surgery to correct it. I think last year really hurt him because he wasn\’t around to be able to rehab with our doctors and training staff, and it\’s different when you do it on your own. And this year he was, he was here every day and I\’m excited for Maurkice Pouncey.

Re: Mike Adams, his good feet and who he is?

Kugler: Yeah, Mike does have really good feet and he moves well. Again it\’s going to be Mike transitioning to the physical aspect of the NFL. Personally I can\’t make an evaluation on him until I see him against a James Harrison or a LaMarr Woodley, because those are the top guys that he\’s going to be going against, and if he can block those cats, he\’ll have a good chance. So we\’ll get a quick evaluation on Mike Adams from probably day one to the second we put on pads, but he did an outstanding job as well with the mental aspect, communicating long distance and he came in and you can tell he put the time and effort in to learn the offense.

Re: How quickly he wants the starting five set on the line.

Kugler: As soon as their ready. Those guys are going to have to earn their jobs and I have all the respect in the world for the Ramon Fosters\’ and the Doug Legursky\’s and those type guys. I know those guys aren\’t going to willingly give up their job. It\’s not in their make-up and all that makes for is better competition. So whoever the starting five are that are out there, of course you want to do that as early as possible and get those guys gelling together and ideally have them play through the entire season. Is that a reality? Maybe not, but that\’s something that we\’re striving to do.

  • Cols714

    Sounds encouraging. The big question is whether or not Adams will start at LT in Denver. We won’t find this out for a while. I’m assuming that Gilbert will play LT if Adams doesn’t with Essex at RT?

  • Steeltyke

    Since the draft was concluded, Adams has always been the biggest question mark on the Oline. Good to read that he is putting in the effort to pick up the offense. Long distance learning is tough as it takes a lot of self discipline to do the work so the signs are encouraging that Adams is buckling down to the task in hand.

  • Jb

    The o-line talent/depth does appear encouraging. Often, (all NFL) teams put a good spin on the different aspects of their teams… especially if a particular part/position of the team has been struggling… the Steelers are no different. Sometimes, it’s fairly obvious when a team is giving the fans a bunch of BS. The Steelers telling everyone that Colon was a real good fit at right tackle, would be an example. Most Pittsburgh fans realized Colon was decent at times at RT, but he had some real deficiencies at the position. Moving him to guard was always the best move for the team. But, the talk about the offensive line this year feels like it rings true.

    All teams have to consider/worry about injuries, that’s a given. Excluding that, I think the largest obstacle will be the length of time it takes the final chosen starting group to season. The group has only been in shorts and the starting unit has not been picked, so, I guess, we should all not get overly excited… as yet.

  • Aiden

    Mike Adams appears at least 3″ taller/ bigger than Decastro and if he has good balance, lite on his feet then he could be a main stay.

    If the opposite happens then, he’s merely a paper weight and a collosial (sp) bust. Work on your weaknesses, big Mike.

  • RIP

    Steelers have a lot of question marks on that line, some will be answered some will not.

  • Jason White

    I do think Adams will start at left tackle barring any injuries (knock on wood) but with the new offense that is supposed to feature quicker passes, running the ball and playaction passing as well as check downs to the running backs, I believe that style will allow the O-line proper time to mesh together. I wouldn’t be surprised if the offense features alot more running than passing for the first 4-6 weeks until they come into their own.

  • kyle

    Colon’s last healthy year he was rated by the stat nerds as one of the top Right Tackles in football. I’m not upset that he has been moved to Guard but I think it has less to do with his play at Tackle and more to do with his capability at Guard compared to Gilbert, Foster, Legursky. He was a penalty machine at times but no moreso than Kemo. He’s an extremely powerful drive blocker. He has Tackle arm length. He had one solid year and one very good year at Right Tackle. If you’re going to criticize him, criticize him for getting hurt the last two years, I guess.

  • kevin

    Agreed. People seem to remember the Willie Colon from his first couple years rather than the improvements that the made. Although there is some disagreement among the stat nerds about Willie Colon, I believe that football outsiders had him as the top rated right tackle in 2009.

  • SteelSpine

    Your source(s) of info?
    – “Colon rated one fo the top right tackles in football”. Huh?
    – Justifying better than Kemo re penalities.. Based on Kemo’s been cut, anyone’s better than Kemo.
    – Colon “is an extremely powerful drive blocker”. Based on what of yours?
    – “Colon has Tackle arm length”. Based on he played tackle?

  • SteelSpine

    Totally agree. The 3″ that will make a difference is if Adams stays away from 3″ doobies.

  • SteelersDepot
  • kyle

    Thanks. They actually made me do some work at work so I didn’t get to see any of the responses until now.

  • kyle

    If Dave’s response isn’t enough, the mention of Colon being an extremely powerful drive blocker comes from watching him his entire career but if my opinion isn’t good enough for you, Kugler said almost that exact statement about Colon last week. It’s on I can’t be bothered to go find it. You might say “well of course, Kugler would say it about one of his players” but of the possible things to mention he brought up 2 or 3 points, one of which was how good a drive blocker Willie is.

  • Jb

    Sorry, I’m a little behind the times… didn’t think my earlier comment would draw much attention. Now, please stop it with the Colon was really good at RT… at least that’s what it seems your saying. He was adequate and not much more. Certainly didn’t see him as an “extremeIy” good drive blocker. He had good moments against some of the lesser league competition. Do any of us recall Colon dominating during a playoff game? During big games he would hold his own, or get beat. He certainly didn’t crush the better competition. Up until the last time Colon played I “consistently” saw him take badly-timed penalties and break down on pass plays. Geez! Did the guy make a pro bowl? No!

    Steelers fans would be kidding themselves if they didn’t feel a whole lot better about the RT position once F. Adams took over… and by the time Adams played for Pittsburgh he was a partially broken down shell of his former self. Oh yeah, and coaches never stretch/turn/manipulate their version of the truth. They would never do something like that… sure!

  • SteelersDepot

    You should REALLY go back and watch the games. Colon was one of the better right tackles in league prior to being injured. Did he have penalties? Sure, but his overall body of work was way above the line. I am sure you will not let facts get in the way of your agenda though.

  • Jb

    Dear sir… no agenda, I’m not even sure what your referring to when you say that. Actually, I’m at a point in my life were I enjoy watching the Steelers, but don’t normally get as caught-up with my emotions as many other fans do.

    I apologize if I offended you or others. I simply do not agree that Colon was any more than a decent player at RT. Again, I felt much better about the position when F. Adams took over, and he also had some bad penalties.

    I do appreciate your web-site and hope you all have a great day!

  • Lekraus

    i wish i could have the ear of MT for just one message. please give Brian Banks a walk on contract. this is a kid that was heading places then he got it snatched away. he lost everything and he would put it all on the line if he could just get one chance. so if anybody reads this that does have MT’s ear what do you say? wouldn’t You love to be that guy that gave the man that had his life ripped away with a lie. he may surprise all of us and become the great player he was destined to become. i know this isn’t the right place to post this request but i don’t care all i want for Christmas is to see this kid get a shot in the Black and Gold.