For a team with some of the NFL’s most explosive playmakers on both sides of the ball, the Pittsburgh Steelers are leaving a lot up to chance with the offensive line.
After two weeks of leaving Steelers fans (and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) in excruciating pain, management seems to finally have come to grips with the situation.
The team brought back veteran guard/tackle Trai Essex on Monday night. Essex was the Steelers’ starting right guard in 2009 and opened 2010 there before losing the job due to an ankle injury in Week 2. Ramon Foster started the majority of the season from there.
Pittsburgh has huge question marks at right guard and left tackle, so it is unclear at this point where the team sees Essex playing.
For the record, it was left tackle Jonathan Scott’s knee injury that triggered the signing of Essex.
The re-signing of Essex, a borderline starter, is not going to be enough to fix a Steelers offensive line that has seen Roethlisberger get hit eight times in 17 pass plays and sacked twice in two preseason games. Neither the Redskins nor the Eagles are noted in their ability to get to the quarterback.
Mercifully, the team seems ready to explore the notion of bringing back 36-year-old tackle Flozell Adams, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The team took a flyer on Adams in the preseason last summer, and he performed admirably at right tackle all the way through the Super Bowl.
With Willie Colon, noted as the team’s best linemen, set to return after a ruptured Achilles ended his 2010 campaign before it started, the Steelers could depend on Adams to move over and protect Roethlisberger’s blind side.
“The Hotel” played left tackle his entire career in Dallas before joining the Steelers. He has played all 16 games in every regular season but one.
The team also released last season's starting left tackle, Max Starks, but there has been no evidence as of yet to support any idea of the team bringing him back.
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