Report: New Steelers C Fernando Velasco To Start Monday Night

It’s looking more and more like new Pittsburgh Steelers center Fernando Velasco might just start Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals as the former Tennessee Titan is reportedly picking up the playbook quick.

According to Scott Brown of ESPN.com, several Steelers players have said they have never seen anyone pick up a playbook so fast as Velasco is.

“I haven’t seen him mess up one time. I’ve just never seen a guy come in and pick up an offense that fast,” running back Isaac Redman said Friday, according to a tweet by Brown.

The biggest obstacle for Velasco isn’t necessarily so much the blocking scheme the Steelers run, but the verbiage used to communicate the line calls. The Titans ran a similar blocking scheme when Velasco was with them, so that certainly plays in his favor. In addition, guard Ramon Foster can make the line calls initially as long as the new center can understand what they mean.

The Steelers still have a few more days to work on this with the game being Monday night and it would be a huge plus if Velasco can ultimately start as that would allow Kelvin Beachum to play the second tight end role in the offense.

The Steelers also figure to get fullback Will Johnson back this week as well so that could result in more 21 and 22 personnel groupings Monday night in effort to get the running game kick started.

UPDATE: Gerry Dulac is now reporting that Velasco will indeed start Monday night.