Wednesday, June 4, 2014
A different take on Steelers' offensive line
By Scott Brown
Not everyone is optimistic about an offensive line that returns four starters, gets Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey back from a torn ACL and added respected offensive line coach Mike Munchak during the offseason.
Football Outsiders' Scott Kacsmar identified offensive line as the position that is most lacking for the Steelers, and he said both tackle spots could be a problem this season.
"When it comes to a premium position like offensive tackle, the Steelers continue to field two turnstiles that provide opponents easy access to stuffing the run and pressuring Ben Roethlisberger," Kacsmar wrote.
That assessment is at odds with many projections that the Steelers' offensive line will be a strength in 2014. Kacsmar, as it turns out, is as unimpressed with Mike Adams as he is with starting tackles Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert.
According to Football Outsiders, Adams blew one block per 25.1 snaps last season. That was the worst rate among offensive linemen who played at least 400 snaps in 2013.
Kacsmar liked the signings of running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Lance Moore and what those additions will do to shore up their respective positions.
He listed tight end and defensive end as two of the Steelers' most precarious situations. A serious injury sustained by Heath Miller or Cameron Heyward will result in "death at those positions," Kacsmar wrote.