Ever since Mike Munchak was hired to be the Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach, he’s been careful not to talk specifically about which players will man the two starting tackle spots in the 2014 season opener. However, during a Tuesday afternoon interview on NEPA Sports Radio, Munchak confirmed the obvious.
[Kelvin] Beachum and [Marcus] Gilbert are our two tackles,” proclaimed Munchak. Beachum, this will be his first year as a starter. [He's] a very athletic, a very tough, physical, hard working football player that wants to be the best at his job. He’s a guy that everyone’s going to get to know real quickly here as he goes into this season. And then Gilbert at the right tackle is doing a really nice job.”
Once again, this isn’t breaking news outside of the words finally coming out of Munchak’s mouth. While he would likely want us to believe that second-year tackle Mike Adams still has a shot at winning one of the two spots, we’ve known all along that wasn’t going to be the case.
Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert both ended the 2013 season as the starters and both deserve to remain in those roles to start the 2014 season.
As for the rest of the Steelers offensive line, Munchak believes that right guard David DeCastro is going to be “really special” this year. As for center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed all but eight plays last year after suffering a serious knee injury in the season-opener, Munchak believes he’s fully healthy once again.
“He looks really good in OTAs,” Munchak said of Pouncey. “The injury is definitely behind him. He’s one of the leaders of the football team. It’s fun to have him.”