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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.

YEAR LT A LG A C A RG A RT A TOT AVG
1970 M.Haggerty 24 S.Davis 26 R.Mansfield 29 B.Van Dyke 26 J.Brown 31 136 27.2
1971 J.Kolb 24 S.Davis 27 R.Mansfield 30 B.Van Dyke 27 J.Brown 32 140 28
1972 J.Kolb 25 S.Davis 28 R.Mansfield 31 B.Van Dyke 28 G.Mullins 23 135 27
1973 J.Kolb 26 S.Davis 29 R.Mansfield 32 B.Van Dyke 29 G.Hines 29 145 29
1974 J.Kolb 27 S.Davis 30 R.Mansfield 33 G.Mullins 25 G.Gravelle 25 140 28
1975 J.Kolb 28 J.Clack 27 R.Mansfield 34 G.Mullins 26 G.Gravelle 26 141 28.2
1976 J.Kolb 29 J.Clack 28 R.Mansfield 35 G.Mullins 27 G.Gravelle 27 146 29.2
1977 R.Pinney 23 J.Clack 29 M.Webster 25 G.Mullins 28 L.Brown 28 133 26.6
1978 J.Kolb 31 S.Davis 34 M.Webster 26 G.Mullins 29 L.Brown 29 149 29.8
1979 J.Kolb 32 S.Davis 35 M.Webster 27 G.Mullins 30 T.Petersen 24 148 29.6
1980 J.Kolb 33 R.Pinney 26 M.Webster 28 S.Courson 24 L.Brown 31 142 28.4
1981 J.Kolb 34 C.Wolfley 23 M.Webster 29 S.Courson 25 L.Brown 32 143 28.6
1982 R.Pinney 28 C.Wolfley 24 M.Webster 30 S.Courson 26 L.Brown 33 141 28.2
1983 T.Petersen 28 C.Wolfley 25 M.Webster 31 S.Courson 27 L.Brown 34 145 29
1984 T.Ilkin 26 C.Wolfley 26 M.Webster 32 B.Wingle 24 L.Brown 35 143 28.6
1985 P.Rostosky 24 C.Wolfley 27 M.Webster 33 T.Long 26 T.Ilkin 27 137 27.4
1986 R.Pinney 32 R.Rasmussen 25 D.Turk 24 T.Long 27 M.Behning 24 132 26.4
1987 C.Wolfley 29 J.Rienstra 24 M.Webster 35 B.Aydelette 31 T.Long 28 147 29.4
1988 C.Wolfley 30 J.Rienstra 25 M.Webster 36 T.Long 29 T.Ilkin 30 150 30
1989 C.Wolfley 31 T.Ricketts 23 D.Dawson 24 B.Blankenship 26 T.Ilkin 31 135 27
1990 J.Jackson 25 J.Rienstra 27 D.Dawson 25 T.Long 31 T.Ilkin 32 140 28
1991 J.Jackson 26 B.Blankenship 28 D.Dawson 26 C.Haselrig 25 T.Ilkin 33 138 27.6
1992 J.Jackson 27 D.Love 29 D.Dawson 27 C.Haselrig 26 T.Ilkin 34 143 28.6
1993 J.Jackson 28 D.Love 30 D.Dawson 28 C.Haselrig 27 L.Searcy 23 136 27.2
1994 J.Jackson 29 D.Love 31 D.Dawson 29 T.Kalis 29 L.Searcy 24 142 28.4
1995 J.Jackson 30 T.Newberry 32 D.Dawson 30 J.Strzelczyk 27 L.Searcy 25 144 28.8
1996 J.Jackson 31 W.Wolford 32 D.Dawson 31 J.Strzelczyk 28 B.Dafney 27 149 29.8
1997 J.Jackson 32 W.Wolford 33 D.Dawson 32 B.Stai 25 J.Strzelczyk 29 151 30.2
1998 W.Wolford 34 R.Duffy 31 D.Dawson 33 B.Stai 26 J.Strzelczyk 30 154 30.8
1999 W.Gandy 28 A.Faneca 22 D.Dawson 34 B.Stai 27 C.Conrad 24 135 27
2000 W.Gandy 29 A.Faneca 23 D.Dawson 35 R.Tylski 29 M.Smith 22 138 27.6
2001 W.Gandy 30 A.Faneca 24 J.Hartings 29 R.Tylski 30 M.Smith 23 136 27.2
2002 W.Gandy 31 A.Faneca 25 J.Hartings 30 O.Ross 27 M.Smith 24 137 27.4
2003 M.Smith 25 A.Faneca 26 J.Hartings 31 K.Simmons 24 T.Fordham 29 135 27
2004 M.Smith 26 A.Faneca 27 J.Hartings 32 K.Vincent 26 O.Ross 29 140 28
2005 M.Smith 27 A.Faneca 28 J.Hartings 33 K.Simmons 26 M.Starks 23 137 27.4
2006 M.Smith 28 A.Faneca 29 J.Hartings 34 K.Simmons 27 M.Starks 24 142 28.4
2007 M.Smith 29 A.Faneca 30 S.Mahan 27 K.Simmons 28 W.Colon 24 138 27.6
2008 M.Smith 30 C.Kemoeatu 25 J.Hartwig 29 K.Simmons 29 W.Colon 25 138 27.6
2009 M.Starks 27 C.Kemoeatu 26 J.Hartwig 30 T.Essex 26 W.Colon 26 135 27
2010 M.Starks 28 C.Kemoeatu 27 M.Pouncey 21 T.Essex 27 F.Adams 35 138 27.6
2011 J.Scott 28 C.Kemoeatu 28 M.Pouncey 22 D.Legursky 25 W.Colon 28 131 26.2
2012 M.Starks 30 W.Colon 29 M.Pouncey 23 R.Foster 26 M.Gilbert 24 132 26.4
2013 M.Gilbert 25 R.Foster 27 M.Pouncey 24 D.DeCastro 23 M.Adams 23 122 24.4

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About Dave Bryan

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.

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