Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: The O-Line Must Be Blown Up in the Offseason

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #17 of the Pittsburgh  Steelers is pressured by Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers have two really good young players on the offensive line in C Maurkice Pouncey and RT Marcus Gilbert.

It’s just too bad that apparently everyone else on the line couldn’t block a piece of paper, let alone the opposing defense.

The Steelers offensive line has been seen as a liability for the past few years, and I was especially worried going into this season if only because Jonathan Scott would be starting LT for the entire year.

After the draft, I was actually excited about the idea of getting both starting tackles, Max Starks and Willie Colon, back from injury, having Flozell Adams either start or for depth, and then having rookie Marcus Gilbert who I saw as a LT for the future.

Jonathan Scott had done an admirable job for the Steelers filling in for Max Starks at LT in 2010, however, I did not think there was any way he would hold up for the entire season as the starter.

I understand that there was concern about Starks because of the neck injury that ended his 2010 season and the fact that he came into camp at approximately 400 pounds, yet there should have been a better plan other than to just start Scott in his place and hope for the best.

Then the team also cut RT Flozell Adams because apparently he did not want to restructure his contract to be a backup with the team to Willie Colon.

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Then the Steelers basically had a tryout for the starting RG spot in the preseason and when no one wanted it, they just gave it to Doug Legursky, another guy who played well as a backup in 2010 although should probably not be starting.

So the Steelers' starting offensive line going into 2011 was Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Pouncey, Legursky and Colon.

Four games into 2011, the team has already lost Colon for the season and against the Texans was without both Scott and Legursky as well.

Now, even though Marcus Gilbert has had his own struggles this season, he looks to have a future on the Steelers offensive line as the future at LT, or at worst, at RT.

Every other guy the Steelers have put out there on the line has been awful and then the team wants to wonder why the offense looks terrible so far in 2011.

Ben Roethlisberger can’t even walk into the stadium without getting hit by a defender and will not finish the season at this rate.

I still have the Steelers making the playoffs, however, the blame goes solely to the front office for allowing the offensive line to become this much of a travesty.

In the offseason, the Steelers need to make changes to LT, LG and RG on this line and have guys like Scott and Legursky as solid backups like they should be.

I have also been a fan of Kemoeatu to this point, although after seeing him play this season I think it is probably time to part ways him as the starter.  

Pouncey is still a beast at center, and I don’t have a problem with them bringing back Colon when he is healthy because they just gave him a new contract and I think he would make a good RT or RG for the team.

Gilbert will go through his struggles in his rookie season, yet the experience he is receiving this year will be great for him going forward, and I can see him being the future at LT for the team.

Whether it is in free agency or through the draft, the Steelers need to get at least two or three starters for this offensive line in the offseason.

The Steelers offense should be one of the most complete and explosive in the league with Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace and others, and watching this kind of output is embarrassing.

This is not just an overreaction to one bad start to a season because most fans have been calling for an upgrade on the offensive line for years and it all just seems to have fallen apart now.

Regardless of the outcome of this season, because the Steelers are still a dangerous team and will make the playoffs, big changes need to be made to this line.

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