Steelers Could Have Youngest Starting Offensive Line Since 1957

As long as the 2013 projected starting five offensive linemen for the Pittsburgh Steelers can remain healthy over the course of training camp and the preseason, they will be the youngest group to start the season for the team since 1957.

Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams will all combine to have an average age of just over 24 come Week 1.

The last time the starting five had an average age anywhere close to that number was in 2011, when Pouncey, Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Doug Legursky and Willie Colon averaged just over 26 years of age collectively.

The good news is that all five players that are scheduled to start in 2013 all have starting experience underneath their belt, as even DeCastro was able to start three games late last season after working his way back from a serious knee injury suffered in the preseason. According to my research, DeCastro will be the youngest right guard the Steelers have had start a season at that position since at least 1970.

Collectively, Gilbert, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams have started 88 regular season games during their careers with Pouncey contributing 45 of those starts.

To help you reminisce some on this Saturday, I have tabled up the Steelers starters for the first game of every season dating back to 1970 and these are of course sortable. I am looking to fill in as far back as 1966, so feel free to help me out with those missing years if you can.

YEARLTALGACARGARTATOTAVG
1970M.Haggerty24S.Davis26R.Mansfield29B.Van Dyke26J.Brown3113627.2
1971J.Kolb24S.Davis27R.Mansfield30B.Van Dyke27J.Brown3214028
1972J.Kolb25S.Davis28R.Mansfield31B.Van Dyke28G.Mullins2313527
1973J.Kolb26S.Davis29R.Mansfield32B.Van Dyke29G.Hines2914529
1974J.Kolb27S.Davis30R.Mansfield33G.Mullins25G.Gravelle2514028
1975J.Kolb28J.Clack27R.Mansfield34G.Mullins26G.Gravelle2614128.2
1976J.Kolb29J.Clack28R.Mansfield35G.Mullins27G.Gravelle2714629.2
1977R.Pinney23J.Clack29M.Webster25G.Mullins28L.Brown2813326.6
1978J.Kolb31S.Davis34M.Webster26G.Mullins29L.Brown2914929.8
1979J.Kolb32S.Davis35M.Webster27G.Mullins30T.Petersen2414829.6
1980J.Kolb33R.Pinney26M.Webster28S.Courson24L.Brown3114228.4
1981J.Kolb34C.Wolfley23M.Webster29S.Courson25L.Brown3214328.6
1982R.Pinney28C.Wolfley24M.Webster30S.Courson26L.Brown3314128.2
1983T.Petersen28C.Wolfley25M.Webster31S.Courson27L.Brown3414529
1984T.Ilkin26C.Wolfley26M.Webster32B.Wingle24L.Brown3514328.6
1985P.Rostosky24C.Wolfley27M.Webster33T.Long26T.Ilkin2713727.4
1986R.Pinney32R.Rasmussen25D.Turk24T.Long27M.Behning2413226.4
1987C.Wolfley29J.Rienstra24M.Webster35B.Aydelette31T.Long2814729.4
1988C.Wolfley30J.Rienstra25M.Webster36T.Long29T.Ilkin3015030
1989C.Wolfley31T.Ricketts23D.Dawson24B.Blankenship26T.Ilkin3113527
1990J.Jackson25J.Rienstra27D.Dawson25T.Long31T.Ilkin3214028
1991J.Jackson26B.Blankenship28D.Dawson26C.Haselrig25T.Ilkin3313827.6
1992J.Jackson27D.Love29D.Dawson27C.Haselrig26T.Ilkin3414328.6
1993J.Jackson28D.Love30D.Dawson28C.Haselrig27L.Searcy2313627.2
1994J.Jackson29D.Love31D.Dawson29T.Kalis29L.Searcy2414228.4
1995J.Jackson30T.Newberry32D.Dawson30J.Strzelczyk27L.Searcy2514428.8
1996J.Jackson31W.Wolford32D.Dawson31J.Strzelczyk28B.Dafney2714929.8
1997J.Jackson32W.Wolford33D.Dawson32B.Stai25J.Strzelczyk2915130.2
1998W.Wolford34R.Duffy31D.Dawson33B.Stai26J.Strzelczyk3015430.8
1999W.Gandy28A.Faneca22D.Dawson34B.Stai27C.Conrad2413527
2000W.Gandy29A.Faneca23D.Dawson35R.Tylski29M.Smith2213827.6
2001W.Gandy30A.Faneca24J.Hartings29R.Tylski30M.Smith2313627.2
2002W.Gandy31A.Faneca25J.Hartings30O.Ross27M.Smith2413727.4
2003M.Smith25A.Faneca26J.Hartings31K.Simmons24T.Fordham2913527
2004M.Smith26A.Faneca27J.Hartings32K.Vincent26O.Ross2914028
2005M.Smith27A.Faneca28J.Hartings33K.Simmons26M.Starks2313727.4
2006M.Smith28A.Faneca29J.Hartings34K.Simmons27M.Starks2414228.4
2007M.Smith29A.Faneca30S.Mahan27K.Simmons28W.Colon2413827.6
2008M.Smith30C.Kemoeatu25J.Hartwig29K.Simmons29W.Colon2513827.6
2009M.Starks27C.Kemoeatu26J.Hartwig30T.Essex26W.Colon2613527
2010M.Starks28C.Kemoeatu27M.Pouncey21T.Essex27F.Adams3513827.6
2011J.Scott28C.Kemoeatu28M.Pouncey22D.Legursky25W.Colon2813126.2
2012M.Starks30W.Colon29M.Pouncey23R.Foster26M.Gilbert2413226.4
2013M.Gilbert25R.Foster27M.Pouncey24D.DeCastro23M.Adams2312224.4

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • dgh57

    Youth is where you want to start, now if we can only get the durability and the talent thing down(especially on the outside) I think we’ll be in great shape!

  • Douglas Andrews

    O Line continuity has been hard for us over the past 2-3 yrs, so hopefully with our youth movement along the O line we get an drastic improvement. With all the line shuffling combinations especially last yr it would have been hard for A Peterson to run behind

  • SteelerFanInMD

    THere is potential for the Steelers to have a coherent O-line for many years to come, and I am hoping that is the case. I am worried what the salary cap will do. How long can we expect these guys to stay together? Pouncey is due to get a big, new contract. What would happen if one of the other guys becomes a pro-bowl player?

  • dgh57

    I have a feeling that moving to this new ZBS may reduce injuries(thus increase durability) because our o-linmen will be more on the move instead of engaging D- linmen in a certain area. Time will tell us that.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Right now, I’m not sure age-wise if it would matter if someone gets hurt. Almost all of the backups are as young or younger than the starters.

    Whimper is 30
    Foster is 27
    Everyone else is 25 years of age or younger.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I hope to see great improvement in our running game. Could you imagine what the outcome would have been in some of those tight games we losts had we had any pulse of a running game?

  • ATL96STEELER

    Somebody said it below and I agree…continuity is the key to quality OL play not so much age.Many people rave about the 49er OL as if they have 5 ProBowlers. I look at the fact their starting 5 played nearly every game.

    Give these guys that many reps as a unit and I’m confident the OL will be solid.