Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Talks Offensive Line At Owners\’ Meeting

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media on Tuesday at the annual owners\’ meetings and was asked about the possible use of more zone blocking in 2013.

“Something we\’re going to explore, said Tomlin,” via a report by Bob Labriola on Twitter. “Not going to move too far from what guys are capable of doing.”

It\’s not like the Steelers didn\’t use some zone blocking last year, but now that Jack Bicknell Jr. had been the hired, the thought is that we will see much more of it 2013. Bicknell said when he was hired that he was looking for athletic offensive linemen that can bend and move. The Steelers 2013 offensive line is shaping up to be able to do just that, especially if tackle Marcus Gilbert and guard Ramon Foster can lose a few pounds in the off-season. Both can move OK, but Bicknell would probably like them to be able to move a little bit better.

So will the Steelers abandon their power running game with man blocking that they have used predominantly for as long as we can all remember? No, it doesn\’t sound like it. It sounds like we will have a nice mixture of the two and this makes me happy as I love the pulling guard traps. We have yet to really see the damage that David DeCastro can move on the counter pike, but you can bet that we will in 2013.

Tomlin says that they aren\’t going to move too far from what the guys are capable of doing, but the way that the offensive line is shaping up for next season, they ought to be capable of quite a bit.

  • redneckmuslim

    I just hope we’re done with all the injuries. If we are, then the emergence of the line should be the big story this season. We obviously have a lot of talent up there now, and we were just starting to see the possibilities at the end of last year.

    I think Adams is going to turn out to be a great pick and I think Gilbert is going to come into his own on the left. The middle could be the best in the league. I’m pretty optimistic.

    Whatever it takes to get the run game going. I still think that, more than any of the other things we are freaking out about, is the key to success.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Agreed but I think we need and every Down back that has speed to to get out. around the edge and enough power to hit the hole up the middle and by the way your name is hilarious really all we need is a speedy rb that can catch cuz we all ready have power backs

  • steeltown

    Really happy we re-signed Foster..he’s the ultimate security blanket in case Gilbert or Adams go down with injury again, Foster can kick out and play Tackle if needed…. also Beachum seems to be following his foot steps as a utility man

    Will be interesting to see if either Beachum or Malecki are used at (backup) Center in training camp. Both guy are intelligent and should be capable.

  • Superdriller316

    First off, I don’t think Gilbert is going to be moved to the left.
    First reason, in his second year in the league he still couldn’t hold the point of attack. He was getting pushed back into other OL and taking them out for long periods of time. With the exception of Suggs taking Willie out, no other OL got hurt after Gilbert took himself out. I forgot Adams twisted his ankle, my bad.
    Second reason, Adams is a far better run blocker than Gilbert. One of the reasons of getting DeCastro was he’s a RG who can pull left. Now that Adams knows what to expect I think he will be a very different player this year and will be on the left. Adams has the drive and Gilbert doesn’t. Adams will become a better pass blocker because he wants to prove people wrong. He said it at the end of the year. Gilbert has showmen no improvement from year one to year two, and I don’t expect anything different this year.

  • steeltown

    I happen to agree with you.. Adams seems to be the guy with more upside and more athleticism. If there is a battle to play LT in camp, I see Adams winning

  • Superdriller316

    I see a fire in Adams and nothing in Gilbert. I think Gilbert thinks since he’s been there the longest, that spot is his. If he wins it in camp, that’s one thing, but he better start putting forth some effort.

  • steeltown

    In addition to his greater athleticism, Adams also played primarily at LT in college, where as Gilbert played both spots (more at RT) and believe it or not Gilbert also played some OG as well

  • Still would like to see them be able to both keep Sanders and draft Cooper the Guard in the first round. Foster is ok and stays healthy (not the most mobile though) but I would like to see him as the back up to both Guard spots and Right tackle in a pinch. Running traps and sweeps from right and left would be optimum.

  • steeltown

    I somewhat agree with you.. the 1st Rd is up in the air for me.. I’d take Cooper, Eifert, Vaccaro, Moore or whoever is there (best player) and I say this because of all the available talent from the 2nd-4th Rds and the fact that we need WR, RB, TE, SS, LB etc… alot of option this year

  • Here is a quick poll among just us: If you only had 2 choices for who you had to play Right Tackle and they were Gilbert and Foster, who would you go with? I pick Foster.

  • Exactly and picking a Tweener at 17 does not make much sense to me. We need a plug and play at 17.

  • CrRe

    Yeah, hope so too. I mean, we can’t even get into the regular season without lineman getting hurt. I huge part of a lines success is staying healthy and building rapport as a unit.

  • redneckmuslim

    You could end up proven right. The run game did improve dramatically when Adams got in there and the video of Gilbert’s butt destroying our first round pick’s knee is not fun to watch.

    But I guess I just have a good opinion of Gilbert based on how he saved us in 2011 when Colon went down. Plus he played ball in the SEC and won a championship there. I don’t want to judge him on 2012 since he got hurt pretty early. I need to rewatch some games this summer and compare them.

    It will be an interesting decision for Bicknell. So do you think he will let them battle in camp or just set a lineup from the beginning?

  • redneckmuslim

    I’m with you. I don’t think “running back by committee” is the way to go. I would like to draft someone to be the man.

  • Superdriller316

    I hope both of them can be solid Tackles at either side. I just question the motivation on Gilbert’s part. Ben’s life is in both of their hands, so these boys need to get up to speed real quick. It’s not that I don’t like Gilbert, it’s just that I think Adams is more athletic.