The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason continues on and we will continue today with our breakdown of the free agents as we inch closer towards the start of free agency. Next up on the list of unrestricted free agents is center/guard Doug Legursky.
Player: Doug Legursky
Experience: 4 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2012 Salary Cap Hit: $1,260,000
2012 Season Breakdown: Legursky was a restricted free agent last offseason and easily retained with a right of first refusal tender of $1.26 million. The season got off to a rocky start for the Marshall product in the season opener against the Denver Broncos as he gave up 2 sacks, 2 hits and 4 pressures at right guard in relief of Ramon Foster, who was forced from the game with an eye injury.
Legursky would not see action again until Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans. In that game he replaced the injured Maurkice Pouncey at center after the first play from scrimmage. He pass protected much better in that game, but his run blocking was below average. With Pouncey still sidelined Legursky received his first start of the season the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals and played his best game of the season.
When Pouncey returned Legursky was back on the sideline until Week 12 when he started at left guard against the Cleveland Browns in place of the injured Willie Colon. In that game he allowed a sack of quarterback Charlie Batch which resulted in right tackle Mike Adams suffering an ankle injury that would ultimately sideline him for the rest of the season. The following week against the Baltimore Ravens Legursky started again at center as Pouncey was forced to start at left guard with Colon still sidelined. It was the second best game of the season for the Steelers utility interior lineman.
Legursky was forced into action again against the San Diego Chargers in Week 14 after Colon suffered his season ending knee injury early in the game. He played center as Pouncey was again shifted over to left guard. The Steelers interior line had a poor game recognizing the Chargers looks and Legursky allowed several pressures in the blowout loss.
In the season finale against the Browns Legursky was forced into action yet again as he replaced Foster at left guard after he was forced to switch sides and play right tackle after Kelvin Beachum left the game with a concussion. Outside of being flagged for holding in the game it was a so-so performance.
Legursky is an average backup center in the league and a liability at both guard positions. He struggles with the swim move while at guard and his short arms allows defenders to get inside his chest too often. While he is still mobile with his short area quickness he struggles to get off blocks in close quarters. He does, however, understand the offense and is great at making his line calls when playing center.
Free Agency Outlook: Now that new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. is on board Legursky will have his game film from last season heavily scrutinized. His game experience and ability to play center will not go unnoticed, but is ineffectiveness at the guard positions might be too big of a liability to overlook.
Legursky will be allowed to test the free agent waters and it is hard to tell how he will be received. Once again, his ability to play center is his only redeeming quality so it is hard seeing him getting offered much more than a minimum contract by another team. The Steelers might be ready to go in another direction and that will be dictated by what happens in the draft first and foremost. There has been some talk about Beachum possibly learning the center position and John Malecki, a younger version of Legursky, is also currently under contract for 2013.
At this point in the offseason I would say that Legursky has about a 35% chance of returning in 2013 on a one-year contract for the minimum.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis Charlie Batch – Unrestricted Free Agent Casey Hampton – Unrestricted Free Agent Plaxico Burress – Unrestricted Free Agent Larry Foote – Unrestricted Free Agent Byron Leftwich – Unrestricted Free Agent Will Allen – Unrestricted Free Agent Max Starks – Unrestricted Free Agent Greg Warren – Unrestricted Free Agent Leonard Pope – Unrestricted Free Agent Brandon Johnson – Unrestricted Free Agent Rashard Mendenhall – Unrestricted Free Agent Ramon Foster – Unrestricted Free Agent
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Would be great to keep this guy, but I don’t think we can. I think he’ll get an opportunity in Phoenix, or maybe Indy. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he stays w/ the Steelers though. He’s one of us!
Legursky is valuable if for nothing more than backing up Pouncey who has had some minor injury issues over the years. I dont think Legs plays all that well at the Guard position, he can play OG in a pinch, but he’s pretty mediocre. However he is a damn good backup Center.
OR they could just go with John Malecki, basically a poorer mans Legursky.. Malecki can play backup Center and Guard, the guy is no slouch, First Team all Big East honors his senior year and most improved OLineman his junior year, also played DT I think.
I guess it depends on one thing.. how much is a backup Center really worth??……I think Beachum or Malecki or both can be groomed to be the backup Center when needed.
Steelers are backed into the salary cap corner. We can’t even think about resigning players like this. We need to go younger, inexperienced and cheaper with just about every free agent we have. We could sign 2 players for the price we’d pay for Legursky.
Agreed. Malecki and Beachum are both already on roster and under contract… either one could play backup or emergency Center
I agree, as a fan I’d love to see them hang onto Legursky. The guy was undrafted, worked hard and squeaked his way onto the roster. He quietly prepares every week, and he’s ready to do his job at a moment’s notice when called upon at any one of three positions. I wouldn’t call him an “average backup center” either, I’d call him a pretty good one, as backups go. He started and played well for us in the last superbowl victory. I realize his guard play wasn’t the best in 2012, but he has held his own there at times in the past – he started several games at guard in 2011 I believe. I realize the cap situation and the fact that Malecki and Beachum could both play similar roles in the future. There are a lot of variables here such as what happens with Colon and Foster, but assuming only one of them is on the roster in 2013, and if Doug could be retained for the minimum for a 5th year player, I think it would be well worth it.
with our cap situation we’d be lucky to keep K Lewis and R Foster…the rest dont have much of a chance…which, unfortunately means another major exit for veterans…this leaves us with a big HOLE in our locker leadership situation again…
really hard to stay positive with such transition…
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