Reloading: How The Pittsburgh Steelers Can Further Upgrade The O-Line

Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Chris Kemoeatu #68, Maurkice Pouncey #53, Ramon Foster #73 and Flozell Adams #71 of the Pittsburgh Steelers look on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Pittsburgh won 13-10.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has been seen as an area of weakness on the team for the past few years.

Drafting Maurkice Pouncey in the first round of last year’s draft was imperative and he made the offensive line better from the day he signed his contract.

It was about time the Steelers started to address this problem so that we can stop going into games knowing Ben is going to have to run for his life and make big plays happen on the run.

Not that I mind when Ben throws three defensive players on the ground and then bombs a 50 yard pass down field, however maybe we would have a more sustained offense if he did not have to do that as often.

Both starting tackles, Max Starks and Willie Colon, are coming off-season ending injuries, and Colon is set to become a free agent, depending on the status of the new C.B.A.

Other would be O-line free agents are:

Doug Legursky C/G

Jonathan Scott T

Tony Hills T

Trai Essex G/T

If the Steelers do not resign any of the above, very unlikely, the starting lineup would look like this in 2011.

LT Max Starks LG Chris Kemoeatu C Maurkice Pouncey RG Ramon Foster RT Flozell Adams

What should happen is the Steelers resigning Colon, Legursky, and Scott, while cutting Flozell Adams.

Flozell did a good job in Colon’s stead last season, however he is just owed too much money in 2011 to keep.

With these changes the starting lineup now looks like this:

LT Max Starks LG Chris Kemoeatu C Maurkice Pouncey RG Ramon Foster RT Willie Colon

In the draft, I expect the Steelers to select an offensive tackle in the first round who can step in and start at right tackle as a rookie.

This would push Willie Colon down to guard, finally giving the Steelers a starting caliber guy at the position.

Eventually, I would expect the rookie tackle to develop into a left tackle, at least that would be the plan, which would let the Steelers move Max Starks to the right side.

The Steelers have been reluctant to move Willie Colon so I would not be surprised to see them take a guard who can step into that right guard spot in the draft. I’m not saying I disagree with that move, I just feel like we would be better suited with the scenario that I have outlined.

LT Max Starks   LG Kris Kemautu  C Maurkice Pouncey  RG Willie Colon   RT Rookie

Jonathan Scott                               Doug Legursky          Ramon Foster      Chris Scott

Acquiring another starting caliber tackle would give the Steelers great depth and make the offensive line better.

As far as backups we would have:

Jonathan Scott – Who showed he can step in at either tackle spot.

Doug Legursky – Who can play both guard and center.

Ramon Foster – Who can play guard and tackle.

Chris Scott – Was injured for most of his rookie season. He was drafted as a tackle however will probably be moved to guard.

Further upgrading the offensive line should be one of the top priorities for the Steelers this offseason.

This is just one scenario that I thought they should try, however they don’t really listen to me and never answer my calls. 


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