With His Future Uncertain, Steelers C Fernando Velasco Is Just Enjoying The Process

The Pittsburgh Steelers were real lucky that center Fernando Velasco was unemployed after losing starter Maurkice Pouncey for the year in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans as the Georgia product has filled in admirable ever since he was signed. Because of his level play, a lot of the fan base, with good reason, is hoping that Velasco will be re-signed during the offseason. Velasco talked a little about the uncertainty that he faces in a recent interview on 93.7 The Fan.

“I understand the business, I understand the situation, this is his (Pouncey’s) team, this is his offense and it’s definitely his offensive line so I respect that and understand the nature of the business,” Velasco said. “Honestly, for me right now, I’m just enjoying the process, I’m just enjoying my role right now being the starting center and I’m just trying to get better each week.  We’ll see what happens in March. I know one thing, I love it here.”

Should Velasco stay healthy for the rest of the season, he will have 15 more regular-season games as a starter on tape and that won’t go unnoticed by the time free agency rolls around. The Steelers won’t have a lot of cap space to dedicate to their offensive line, so they would likely lose out in a bidding war with another team that might possibly want him as their starter.

If Velasco is re-signed, it would likely be as a backup interior swing lineman, as I just can’t see the team moving Pouncey to left guard. A move such as that, if it were to happen, would also likely result in Ramon Foster being released. Also, while Velasco can play guard, center is easily his best position.

Instead of worrying about Velasco’s future right now with six games remaining in the season, just be grateful that the Steelers were able to get him into the fold this year to fill in for Pouncey. Like Velasco, we should be enjoying the process as it’s way too early to predict what will happen with him following the season.

  • Matt Manzo

    I AM SOOOO GRATEFUL WE GOT HIM! A lot of front office bashing this year but he is a bright spot! Our Oline could’ve been worse! Imagine that!

  • Jim McCarley

    I would love if the Steelers could keep all the linemen they have for security reasons and dress them all each game and just swap them out, keeping them fresh……Defenses seem to do that , so why not the offense?

  • dgh57

    Considering how the history of our OL staying healthy the resigning of Velasko has to be a priority. It would also help in that we won’t need to draft a interior O-Lineman in the draft(therefore freeing that pick for other needs)since we have Embernate coming back next year. They’ll be some cap space freed up because we have players who may not be back such as Clark, Hood, and C. Brown. I would feel a whole lot better going into next season if he was resigned something I couldn’t say at the beginning of this season.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Please note the lack of sacks this past week against Detroit. The line did not play phenomenal but Ben got rid of the ball quickly most of the time. The result was more positive plays, less sacks and no injuries on the line. Something to keep in mind going forward. I have been calling for Ben to do this for ages.

    And yes, it would be great to retain him, as then there would be a few capable back-ups in the fold. Excellent. Sometimes I think of Pouncey, who is very athletic and moves well. Here’s a thought — is there any way in hell that Pouncey could play LT!????? Usually the LB would be a smaller faster guy than the DT or NT that he usually lines up against. I know it sounds insane! Oh, well, then obviously they would need to find a LT.

    Bottom line is Ben needs to get rid of the ball quickly, as evidenced by his play at the beginning of 2012 and last week also.

  • HopalongCassidy

    I would keep Velasco if at all possible and I’d move Pouncey to LG because he is much quicker than Foster and pulls better.

  • charles

    We already do that, its just that we call them tight ends. On a more serious note given the injury bugs that our Oline has, that is a suggestion that is worth consideration.

  • sean mcmartin

    The Steelers need to sign Velasco. They would have three good o-linemen.

  • AndyR34

    Dave – Thank you for this reminder: “we should be enjoying the process as it’s way too early to predict what will happen with him following the season.” Too many armchair FO’s forget that they are fans…not pro’s. Few have the experience or knowledge to be telling anybody what to do, IMHO.

  • agree 100%..I have told this to my friends and said this on posts MANY times. Thank GOD coaches coach because some of the perpetual complainers are harder to stomach than that Patriots game

  • alex

    i agree, enjoy the process, which the current win streak has allowed…were all praying for a 9-7 wildcard spot…

    but, the question is, can we afford Pouncey when we know Velasco can come cheap and we still have Embernate and Beachum?