Nine Would Be Fine For Steelers New Offensive Line Coach

If new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak gets his way, the team will keep nine offensive linemen on their final 53 man roster this year as opposed to only eight.

“You want to have as many guys as you can,” Munchak said Tuesday, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s hard to find one. You always think you can find them on the street, but they’re hard to find, especially if you want them to come in and help right away and especially with the things we’re doing on offense. These guys have to be versatile. With the things we’re doing with the no huddle, three tight ends, two backs…you hope to have guys from within that will play the season.”

Did Munchak keep nine offensive linemen during his time as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans? He sure did and you have to all the way back to 2009 to find the last time that the Titans only had eight on their roster to start a regular season.

It’s easy to see that seven spots are already spoken for when it comes to the 2014 Steelers offensive line as Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, Cody Wallace and Mike Adams are all locks. That leaves quite a few players fighting for what could be two spots.

One would think that if nine does indeed wind up being the magic number that rookie fifth-round draft pick Wesley Johnson would get one of the two spots. That would leave Guy Whimper, Chris Hubbard, Bryant Browning and Chris Elkins as the obvious candidates fighting for the ninth and final spot.

Will Munchak get his way? If so, who is number nine?

  • steeltown

    Actually Bryan made a really good point on the podcast the other day regarding Bryant Browning maybe possibly making the Team (if we keep 9OL) With what we’ve seen from Wes Johnson thus far he’s being asked to play Center and Left Tackle but not much if any OG so let’s say he makes the 53man, he and Adams are both OT reserves leaving Wallace as the primary OG/C backup… so actually Browning possibly making the club makes sense over someone like Whimper who can barely play Tackle as it is. Elkins or Hubbard can go to the PS.

    OL: Beachum, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert
    Reserves: Wes Johnson, Browning, Wallace, Adams

  • Biggie

    We need to keep best 53, if that is an extra OL, RB, WR, LB or whatever at the cost of another position they need to do it and they have in the past. Right now unless Blanchflower or West step up at TE I am fine with 2 TEs and using Adams as blocking TE since they’ve been using W. Johnson at TE as well. Use 3rd TE for another position if they player is worthy of it. I think LB is going to be a tough cut. I’d like to see Elkin on the OL kept on PS, he is very technically sound, give him a year to strengthen and develop and he could become a solid guy. Some cuts will not likely make the PS. H. Jones, Zumwalt, Dangerfield, maybe Blanchflower or West.

  • James Kling

    Waiver wire?

  • srdan

    I agree on keeping the best 53. It will be tough to bump one of those backers off the squad. They offer versatility as ST players. I wonder if there are plans to use Adams as one of those big TEs like we planned last year. Then I could see 9.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Since Munchak is emphasizing versatility, I would think that the bubble OL guys will get a chance this week to show that. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do. I think Wes Johnson should be able to make the team, based on that.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    The Steelers would never start the year with just 2 TE’s on the 53-man roster. Never.

  • Mark_K

    I would think Chris Hubbard for the last spot……..seems to be the next man in when a guard is needed on first team….

  • joed32

    Out of that last group I think it’s Whimper, he’s a better guard than he is a tackle.

  • Steve

    Will Johnson has been working with the TE’s, he is defiantly a better blocker than Paulson.

  • DoctorNoah

    Figure that, of the 9, at least one and maybe two will be game day inactive. From a functional standpoint I don’t see how that’s different from being on the practice squad (as long as they clear waivers).

    Only Whimper lacks PS eligibility, so I figure he makes the 53 preferentially. I don’t think any of these others are a risk to be claimed off waivers.