Kevin Colbert Says Young Offensive Line Is A Double-Edged Unit That Must Protect The QB

If the Pittsburgh Steelers can manage to keep their starting five offensive linemen healthy between now and the start of the regular season, the group figures to be the youngest starting unit in the league this year. With youth, however, comes inexperience and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert talked about the pros and cons Thursday during an interview on 93.7 The Fan.

“It’s really double-edged,” Colbert said, when asked if he has great expectations for his young offensive line this season. “They\’re exciting because they are young, they are athletic, but it’s also concerning because they\’re young. They have to gel. They have to come together. The offensive line, like no other unit, has to play five-as-one, and that takes a while. But if this group can come together, the exciting thing is, is that they can stay together for a while, and we haven\’t had that recently. Ramon Foster is the oldest of the group and he\’s 27.

“So the youth is exciting, but it\’s also concerning, because obviously if they don\’t go, we don\’t go, and we have to protect Ben. Because without Ben, our chances are limited. So we have to be a better running team, and we have to protect the quarterback, and it starts up front.”

Between the Steelers current five starting linemen, they have started a total of 88 regular-season games. It should be noted, however, that center Maurkice Pouncey has 45 of those starts which leaves 43 combined starts that the other four have made.

This line is indeed young and athletic enough to execute more of the outside zone that we should see in 2013, but that youthfulness has also already led to some poor pass protection as well. That should improve this season. At least we hope it will.

The group has already gelled together off the field as all five linemen spent a lot of time together during the offseason training at the team facility. How quick they can gel together on the field is yet to be determined, but if it happens quickly, there\’s a good chance that they can become the most dominant unit not only in the division, but the entire league.

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

    I don’t think you can leave out Beachum any longer, to me he is an extension of the starting 5, he is part of this unit now.. and im sure he’ll get some more playing time this season at some point.

    Stay healthy boys

  • woundedvet

    Exactly, & here’s another way if saying it. Based on high number of injuries to o-line starters last year, now call it a 6-man line because Beachum will play more snaps total this season than 1 of the 5 starters who starts opening day. It’s bound to happen.

  • sgtrobo

    one of the best things that can happen to the Steelers is if Beachum never sees the field, for the same reason I’d prefer not to see Gradkowski or Shamarko Thomas or Robert Golden

  • steeltown

    Ha, I get your point, but my point was Beachum is just as much a part of this unit as Adams or DeCastro is, atleast at this point

  • woundedvet

    The starters ahead of Gradkowski & Shark & Golden are proBowl caliber, our starters Gilbert & Adams are not exactly pro bowlers:) so thats not a fair comparisin at all. Though I want our starters to all be healthy.

  • Matt Searls

    I still think he could potentially take fosters job. But I know they like that he could fill in anywhere. Which could prevent him from starting

  • charles

    “….they can become the most dominant unit not only in the division but the entire league”
    That is what we like to hear. A few mistakes early but by game 12 they have the kinks worked out and here we go…

  • cencalsteeler

    Matt, your at camp. From everything I’ve been reading, Foster is kicking tail at camp. Didn’t someone report he’s undefeated in one on one drills?

  • Matt Searls

    he looks really solid, not as athletic as decastro but hes been looking good and is unbeaten in 1 on 1. ive heard that he came into camp heavy but it doesnt look that way. if beachum did take over it would be because he was superb, not because foster is slacking.

  • ATL96STEELER

    sgtrobo…agree on all points…I can see some jumbo goalline pkgs with Beachum as a 6th OL.