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Steelers position review - Offensive line

April 14, 2011 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency

This is Part 8 of our Steelers position review series.  If you haven’t read Part 1 - 7, please click the links below.

Steelers position review - Cornerbacks

Steelers position review - Safeties

Steelers position review - Linebackers

Steelers position review - Defensive Line

Steelers position review - Quarterbacks

Steelers position review - Running Backs

Steelers position review - Tight Ends

The next position that we’re going to look at is the offensive line.

Offensive line is the position that I most often see the “experts” list as the Steeler’s greatest need.  I don’t agree with that assessment.  Frankly, I don’t think the Steelers are very far from having an exceptionally good offensive line.

Let’s take a look at what the Steelers have to work with.

Max Starks was the Steelers’ starting left tackle until he went down with a season-ending injury.  Every indication is that Starks will be ready to take back his starting position next year.  So the left tackle position gets an immediate upgrade due to Starks’ return.  And no draft pick was necessary for the upgrade.

Starks is a good, but not great left tackle.  He is big and strong enough to withstand anyone’s bull rush.  However, he doesn’t have the swiftest feet in the NFL.  So speed rushers like the Cowboys’  DeMarcus Ware tend to beat him routinely.

Anytime a team can get a great left tackle, they should do so.  But with the 31st pick in the draft, the Steelers aren’t likely to get anyone better than Starks.  So I think that Starks will suffice for now.

Jonathan Scott came over from Buffalo expecting to be a backup with the Steelers.  Little did he know that he would be thrust into a starting role when Starks got injured.  Scott is never going to be confused with the Cleveland Browns’ LT Joe Thomas, but he did an adequate job as a replacement.  The experience that he got starting in 2010, along with the 4 years of experience and 14 starts that he already had under his belt, will make him an even better backup in 2011.

Tony Hills is officially listed as the 3rd string left tackle.  Hills was drafted by the Steelers in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and he’s been AWOL ever since.  Even with all of the injuries that the Steelers had on their offensive line in 2010, Hills only saw action in 4 games.  Moreover, he wasn’t even on the active roster for the majority of the games, while undrafted free agents like Ramon Foster saw plenty of action.  That fact alone says just about all that needs to be said about Hills.  He’s likely seen his final days in a Steelers uniform.

Chris Kemoeatu is the Steelers’ left guard.  Kemoeatu is a bit of an enigma.  “Kemo” is a massive player who seems to have been born to play guard in the NFL.  Physically, Kemoeatu is a stud.  Mentally………..well that’s another story.  Kemoeatu is prone to making stupid mistakes at the most inopportune times.  He can be counted on to get an off-sides penalty or to get flagged for a late hit after the whistle.  We can never be sure WHEN he’s going to do it, but when know that at some point during the game, it’s gonna happen.

Physically, Kemoeatu is bigger and stronger than Alan Faneca ever was.  But mentally, he’s not even in the same league.

Trai Essex is officially the backup at left guard (and right guard).  But each time he’s called into active duty, he seems to play badly.  Then he’s replaced by an undrafted free agent (e.g. Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky, etc.).

Essex is valued by the Steelers’ coaching staff because of his “position versatility” (i.e. he can play all of the offensive line positions except center).  Unfortunately, he seems to play all of the positions badly.  Do you really want to see Essex playing left tackle (even if only for a few plays)?  I didn’t think so.

Essex, a former 3rd round draft pick, has spent 6 years with the Steelers, and hasn’t been able to win a starting position in all that time.  He’s a free agent this year, and I strongly believe that the Steelers should allow him to continue his career with another team.

Maurkice Pouncey is the Steelers’ starting center.  He was All-Pro at his position…….as a rookie.  Need I say more?  He’s a keeper.

Doug Legursky replaced Pouncey at center during the Super Bowl, and played reasonably well.  He’s no Pouncey, but he did a good job on short notice.  Moreover, Legursky has also filled in at guard.  Legursky is a guy that I trust to come in and fill in when needed.

Ramon Foster manned the right guard position after Trai Essex proved to be incapable of doing so.  Foster was an undrafted free agent from Tennessee that the Steelers picked up in 2009.  Since he’s been with the team, he’s stepped in for Chris Kemoeatu in 2009 and played well (for an undrafted rookie), then he beat out Trai Essex for the starting right guard position in 2010.  Not bad for an undrafted guy.  He still has to prove that he has the potential to be a long-term starter, but I definitely like him as a proven backup.

Flozell Adams started at right tackle in 2010.  The former All-Pro left tackle from the Dallas Cowboys had to learn a completely new position with the Steelers, and he did it.  He made a lot of mental errors early in the season (which was to be expected), but by mid-season, he seemed to have settled in at right tackle.  Some might even argue that after Maurkice Pouncey, Adams was the second best offensive lineman for the Steelers in 2010.

Adams is 93 years old, and his career is coming to an end.  But he has one more year left on his Steelers contract, and I believe he’s earned the right to stay for that additional year.

Willie Colon is the final (meaningful) offensive lineman for the Steelers.  Colon got hurt before the season missed the entire year.  Reports say that he is on track to return to the field in 2011.

Before being injured, the Steelers coaches seemed to think that Colon was their best offensive lineman.  Unfortunately, Colon is a free agent this year.  This will probably be his last opportunity to get a big payday, and so he’ll probably be quite open to the idea of leaving the Steelers.  After all, the Steelers are not known for breaking the bank to keep their free agents.

It’s unknown what Colon will do.  But if he stays, then I believe that the Steelers offensive line has the potential to be a strength in 2011 (despite what all of the “experts” are saying).  In my opinion, the Steelers should move Willie Colon  to right guard.  Then they’d have a starting lineup of Starks, Kemoeatu, Pouncey, Colon, and Adams.  Their primary backups would then be Ramon Foster, Jonathan Scott, and Doug Legursky.

I could definitely live with that group.  Moreover, there’s no way that an offensive line made up of those individuals could be considered to be a weakness for the team.

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Super Bowl XLV Preview: The Offensive Lines

January 29, 2011 By: Admin Category: Pre-Game Analyses

This is Part 3 of our 9-part Super Bowl XLV Preview series.  In this installment, we’re going to take a look at the offensive lines of the two teams.

To read the other parts of this series, click the appropriate link below:

Part 1:  Super Bowl XLV Preview -  Team overviews

Part 2:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The quarterbacks

Part 3:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Offensive Lines

Part 4:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Receivers

Part 5:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Running Backs

Part 6:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Defensive Lines

Part 7:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Linebackers

Part 8:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - The Defensive Backs

Part 9:  Super Bowl XLV Preview - Putting it all together

The offensive line isn’t a tremendous strength for either team.  Green Bay’s offensive line gave up 51  sacks in 2009 and had nowhere to go but up.  They decreased that number to 31 in 2010, so they seem to be moving in the right direction.

The Packers best offensive lineman is probably veteran left tackle Chad Clifton.  Clifton is 34 years old, but he’s still a very effective blocker.  His feet aren’t quite as quick as they once were, and he’s battled knee problems for the last few years.  I anticipate that he’s going to have problems blocking James Harrison.  But of course that puts him in good company, since no other tackle in the NFL seems to be able to block Harrison without holding him.

Daryn Colledge is their left guard, and he’s definitely the weak link on their offensive line (picture Trai Essex or Sean Mahan playing for the Packers).  He struggles against strong rushers.

Their center is Scott Wells.  Wells is not the most fearsome looking center in the NFL.  His short arms make him look like he’s going to be easy to get by.  But looks can be deceptive.  He’s not going to get a great push, but he can hold his ground quite effectively, even against larger nose tackles.

Josh Sitton plays right guard for the Packers.  He’s probably the Packers’ most physical blocker.  Despite the injury problems that have plagued the Packers offensive line over the past few years, Sitton can always be depended on to suit up and play.  He has solid technique and is very dependable at his position.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s name should be very familiar to Steelers fans.  Most mock drafts projected that the Steelers were going to select him in the 1st round of last year’s draft.  Bulaga is a big, physical blocker.  Steelers fans should watch him battling LaMarr Woodley, and think about how close he came to being a Steeler.

Overall, the Packers’ offensive line is not going to instill fear in their opponents.  They’re competent, but not outstanding.  They’re not in the same class as the New York Jets offensive line that the Steelers just faced.  That’s part of the reason why they have so much difficulty running the ball.  But Aaron Rodgers’ mobility help to offset some of the shortcomings in the Packers’  offensive line.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Steelers’ offensive line is no better than the Packers.  They’ve been a M.A.S.H. unit all season long.  Injuries on the Steelers’ offensive line seem to be the norm, rather than the exception.

Starting left tackle Max Starks was placed on the injured reserve (IR) list due to a neck injury.  Jonathan Scott has been filling in for him since then.  Scott is a veteran player who is competent, but not outstanding.  He won’t be the Steelers’ starting left tackle next season.

Left guard Chris Kemoeatu is the only Steelers’ starting offensive lineman from 2009 who maintained his position in 2010.  It would be great if all of the changes came because younger players beat out the incumbents.  But instead, it has been injuries that have pushed most of them out of the line-up.

“Kemo” is a big, physical blocker who can also make blocks at the second level.  He can be a bit emotional, and he is prone to getting silly penalties at the most inopportune times.  But if he can play a smart mental game, he is a very good left guard.

Center Doug Legursky was thrust into the line-up in the AFC Championship game when All-Pro rookie center Maurkice Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain.  Legursky is a 2nd year veteran who has been shuffled in and out of the Steelers’ offensive line as multiple players have gotten hurt this year.  So while it will be tough to replace Pouncey, Legursky has shown that he can fill in well when called upon.

Right guard Ramon Foster is a big (6’6″, 325 lbs.) second year man out of Tennessee.  I liked him last year when I first saw him at Steelers Training Camp.  He filled in well for Chris Kemoeatu at left guard last year, and he beat out Trai Essex for the right guard position this year.

Right guard has been a position that’s been in flux for the Steelers for the last 3 years.  Since Kendall Simmons left, nobody has been able to grab the position and hold onto it long-term.  Foster, Essex, Legursky, and Darnell Stapleton have all filled in at the position, but many believe that the Steelers will draft a guard in the upcoming draft in hopes of finding a permanent solution for the position.

Finally, right tackle Flozell Adams was also a last minute replacement.  The Steelers signed the long-time Cowboys’ tackle to replace Willie Colon when he was placed on IR.  Adams had a hard time adjusting to the right tackle position after playing left tackle for most of his career.  He struggled at first, but he has been pretty consistent lately.  He isn’t as quick-footed as he once was.  I fear that he will struggle against Clay Matthews in pass protection.  But in run blocking, he is still a brute of a blocker.

Neither unit would have been expected to take their team to the Super Bowl, yet here they both are.  And the unit that plays the best may well be responsible for their team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

The Steelers’ offensive line that played in Super Bowl XLIII may have been one of the worst offensive lines to ever win a Super Bowl.  Perhaps history will repeat itself, and one of these mediocre units will prove that you don’t need Pro Bowl players on the offensive line to win an NFL Championship.  All you need is a bunch of guys who are willing to give it their all for 60 minutes.

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Steelers offensive line update

August 12, 2010 By: Admin Category: Players, training camp

Steelers Training Camp continues to move forward, and not a lot is happening.  I’m still waiting for one of the rookies to get a little testy and get into a fight with a veteran.  But it hasn’t happened so far.

The biggest news out of camp over the last couple of days has been the weather.  It’s HOT.  Very hot.  Temperatures have been hovering around 90 degrees, and there is very little shade at St. Vincent College.  So both players and fans have to suffer through the heat.

After watching a week and a half of training camp, I thought it would be a good time to start reporting on a few of the positions of interest.  Probably the most difficult position to evaluate is offensive line.  So I thought I’d start there first.

Everyone knows that the offensive line has been a problem for the Steelers since the last 2 years of the Bill Cowher regime.  The Steelers never seemed to believe that the position was important enough to invest high draft picks on.  That is, until this year, when they used their 1st round draft pick to select Maurkice Pouncey.

Most fans probably believe that the offensive line is going to be a weakness for the Steelers this season.  I don’t agree with that assessment.  I believe that we actually have the potential to have a very solid offensive line.

Let’s take a look at the Steelers’ offensive linemen.  I’ll give you my thoughts on each of them, and let you know if they’ve done anything significant in training camp so far.

Max Starks - Big Max looks great.  He still can’t block James Harrison without holding him, but then again, neither can anyone else.

Max is never going to be quick-footed, so he is always going to be susceptible to speed rushers.  But Max is big and strong enough to hold off anyone’s bull rush.

Chris Kemoeatu - “Kemo” is slowly becoming one of my favorite Steelers offensive linemen.  Kemo used to be a penalty waiting to happen.  He seemed to jump off-sides or hold on every other play.  But those days are behind him.  Kemo now plays with discipline.  Some fans still long to have Alan Faneca back, but I don’t understand why.  Kemoeatu is bigger and stronger than Alan Faneca ever was, and he can pull just as well as Faneca did.  Faneca made the Pro Bowl last year.  But anyone who has watched him realizes that he has been living off of reputation for the past 3 years.  I’d rather have Chris Kemoeatu over Alan Faneca any day.  And obviously, the Steelers would too.

Justin Hartwig - Most people were happy when the Steelers drafted Maurkice Pouncey.  They felt that the Steelers needed an upgrade at center.  That doesn’t say a lot about fans’ confidence in Justin Hartwig.

To be fair, Hartwig has been solid in his time with the Steelers.  However, Steelers fans are used to stellar play from the center position.  Other than the brief Sean Mahan experiment, Steelers fans have been spoiled by Mike Webster, Dermonti Dawson, and Jeff Hartings.  Justin Hartwig will never be in the same category as that bunch.  But I think he’ll man the position for one more season until Maurkice Pouncey takes over in 2011.

Trai Essex - Surprisingly, Essex has been taking most of the snaps with the first unit.  I can’t tell you how upset this makes me.

In his 6 years with the Steelers, Essex has only managed to get on the field due to injuries to others.  When are the Steelers going to accept that he’s a career backup who can’t win a starting position in a pure competition?  In my opinion, Essex is the 3rd best option that we have to start at right guard this season.  Hopefully, the Steelers will realize that before the season starts.

Flozell Adams - This is going to go down as one of the best signings the Steelers made this year.  Adams is a perennial Pro Bowler who has logged more snaps than all of the other Steelers offensive linemen combined.  Adams’ career was spent at the much more difficult left tackle position.  The move to right tackle appears to be exactly what Adams needed to revitalize his career.

Flozell Adams meets Aaron Smith

Adams is still learning the Steelers’ system.  But thus far, I am very happy with what I’ve seen from Flozell.

Maurkice Poucey - The Steelers 1st round draft pick has looked good thus far in training camp.  Most thought that he would likely start at right guard during his rookie season.  The coaches thought that the requirements of the center position would be too great for a rookie.  However, he is absorbing the system well.  There is a very real possibility that we might see Pouncey at center at some point during the season.

Jonathan Scott - Scott is a veteran player who is going into his 4th year in the NFL.  At 6’6″ and 318 pounds, he is a big, physical player.  He started 8 games last season with the Buffalo Bills.  More importantly, he played under new offensive line coach Sean Kugler in Buffalo.  Kugler brought him here because he thought that he could help the Steelers.  He didn’t bring him here to cut him.

Tony Hills - Hills has shown me nothing since he joined the Steelers 3 years ago.  Absolutely nothing.  He suffered an ankle injury yesterday that may limit his availability for the rest of training camp.  That means he is not going to have a chance to show us much before the Steelers have to decide on their final roster.  Depending on how bad the injury turns out to be, the Steelers might be able to carry Hills on the injured reserve list.  But I think it is much more likely that Hills’ time with the Steelers will come to an end following training camp.

Tony Hills gets instruction.

Kraig Urbick - For some reason, I feel like I’m writing Tony Hills’ review again.  Like Hills, Urbick was a highly touted draft pick.  And like Hills, he has shown us absolutely nothing since he joined the Steelers.  This is only his 2nd year with the team, so they probably aren’t willing to give up on him so soon.  But he had better start showing us something.  Quickly.

Ramon Foster - After ending up as a starter last year, despite being an undrafted free agent, Foster earned a lot of respect from me.  I like this kid a lot.  He’s had a concussion for most of training camp, so he hasn’t gotten to show what he can do.  But frankly, I think he’s better than Trai Essex.

Doug Legursky - Legursky is a low-profile player who made the team last year by being scrappy.  Unfortunately, Legursky is a center.  And with Maurkice Pouncey learning the center position much faster than anyone expected, Legursky’s position is seriously in jeopardy.  It is doubtful that the Steelers will carry 3 centers on the roster.  So Legursky had better pray that the Steelers decide that they’d rather see Pouncey start off at guard rather than center.

Willie Colon and Chris Scott - On injured reserve.

Dorian Brooks and Kyle Jolly - Training camp fodder.  They won’t make the team.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it until the Steelers’ coaches start listening to me.  Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and Flozell Adams.  That is the best combination that the Steelers can put on the field.  Now if only the Steelers would start taking my advice.


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What’s wrong with the Steelers’ running game?

September 13, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

By now, we all know that the Steelers met with utter failure when trying to run the ball against the Tennessee Titans.  The Steelers not being able to run the ball is like Jeff Gordon not being able to drive, or Michael Phelps not being able to swim.  Running the ball is what the Steelers do.

The Steelers have historically subscribed to two key principles:

  1. Run the ball.
  2. Stop the run.

The Steelers’ defense seems to be having no problem in upholding their end of the deal.  They did a good job of stopping the run.  They held Tennessee’s talented tandem of Chris Johnson and LenDale White to a combined 85 rushing yards.

Contrarily, the Steelers’ offense didn’t quite get it done.  They delivered 36 total rushing yards.  Nope, you didn’t read that wrong.  I said 36 yards……total.  With a feeble offensive output like that, the Steelers may want to consider bringing back #36.  After all, it seems like the team has struggled in the running game since he retired.

So what’s wrong with the Steelers running game?  Why can’t they gain yards on the ground?

The easy answer is to point at the offensive line.  After all, they seem to be everybody’s whipping boys.  And to be honest, some of the blame does belong to the offensive line.  Their struggles are well-documented.

Following the game, Max Starks blamed the offensive line’s difficulties on the fact that the Titans play a 4-3 defense.  ”If we played a 3-4 team right now, we’d be great. We don’t play a 4-3 team that often, especially in training camp. All you see is virtually 3-4.”

Ummmmm Max, you’re kidding right?  You do realize that MOST teams in the NFL play a 4-3 defense, not a 3-4.  So if the Steelers can’t handle a 4-3 defense, then we are in for a loooong season.  Oh by the way, the Steelers happen to play the Chicago Bears next week.  They play a 4-3 defense.  Following the Bears, the Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals, another 4-3 team.

As I said earlier, the offensive line played a role in the Steelers struggles to run the ball, but they weren’t completely responsible.  Another important factor was the Tennessee Titans.  They happened to have the 6th ranked defense against the run last season.  They allowed only 93.9 yards/game during the 2008 regular season.  That’s pretty good.

The Titans clearly came in with the idea that the way to beat the Steelers was to stop their running game.  The Titans often brought 8 men to the line to stop the run.  They seemed to be daring Ben Roethlisberger to beat them through the air (which he ultimately did).

The final factor that contributed to the Steelers’ difficulties was Willie Parker.  Parker has been nursing a hamstring injury that kept him out of most of the preseason.  Parker got no carries against the Arizona Cardinals in the first preseason game.  He got 4 carries against the Washington Redskins in the second preseason game.  Then he sat out the final two preseason games.  So Parker entered the regular season with a grand total of 4 preseason rushing attempts.  That’s not enough to get anyone ready for the NFL season.


In addition to Parker’s lack of carries during the preseason, he was also struggling at the end of the 2008 season.  In the Super Bowl, Parker rushed 19 times for a total of 53 yards.  Moreover, he got 15 yards on one of those carries.  When you subtract that lone long run, he got 38 yards on 18 carries.  That’s an average of 2.1 yards/carry.  Not good.  Not good at all.

In the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens, Parker gained 47 yards on 24 carries.  That averages out to 1.96 yards/carry.

So in the final 2 games of the 2008 season, Parker averaged approximately 2.0 yards per carry.  He then missed most of the 2009 preseason.

So as we can see, there are multiple factors contributing to the Steelers’ woes in the running game. 

While it is natural for fans to want to see drastic improvement by the Steelers, there really is no magic bullet.  We can’t make dramatic changes to the offensive line.  After all, they’re the only offensive line that we have. 

Willie Parker is also going to have to play better.  Fans are already starting to call for Isaac Redman to be called up from the practice squad.  However, with the limited number of carries that Parker got in the preseason, fans are just going to have to be patient as he plays himself back into mid-season form.

And of course, the opposition isn’t going to go easy on us despite our struggles.  Next week the Steelers face the Chicago Bears.  They were the #5 defense against the run last season.  That’s even better than the Titans’ defense.  I’ll bet the Bears have taken note of the Steelers’ difficulties running the ball, and will plan to exploit that weakness next week.

Steelers fans are a very knowledgeable bunch.  I’m sure that they’ve noticed that it was the passing game that won the Super Bowl for the Steelers.  Similarly, it was the passing game that won the game against the Tennessee Titans.

Until the Steelers figure out how to fix the problems in their running game, I recommend that they make a temporary  amendment to their key principles.  I suggest that the principles be altered to the following:

  1. Pass the ball.
  2. Stop the run.

All in favor say “aye”.


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The weak get weaker

September 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: training camp

September 1, 2009
By Donald Starver

Among the many things that you generally find along the sidelines of a typical NFL game, I think the Steelers are going to need to add another; surgeons.  I can’t see any other way to insure the health and safety of our $100 million franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Perhaps I’m being a pessimist.  I really don’t mean to see the glass as half empty.  But I just don’t see any other alternative.

The Steelers announced that guard/center Darnell Stapleton was being placed on the injured reserve list.  Stapleton had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in early August, but his knee has not responded as expected, so he was placed on IR and will miss the entire 2009 season.

Darnell Stapleton

Darnell Stapleton

So an offensive line that was already one of the most porous in the NFL is losing one of their starters.  That can’t possibly be a good thing.

Stapleton, an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, moved into the starting line-up last year when Kendall Simmons injured his Achilles.

Prior to injuring his Achilles tendon, Simmons was one of the most criticized of the Steelers’ offensive linemen.  In his last 1.5 years with the Steelers, Simmons looked more like a matador than an offensive lineman. Nevertheless, prior to Simmons’ injury, Stapleton had not been able to displace him.

When he finally did replace Simmons, Stapleton did a solid, but unspectacular, job.  He was part of an offensive line that gave up 6 billion sacks (at least it seemed like 6 billion).  That performance definitely didn’t inspire great confidence in Steelers fans.

Now, with Stapleton out for the year, he is going to be replaced in the starting line-up by Trai Essex.

Trai Essex

Trai Essex

Essex, a 5th year pro out of Northwestern University,  is a career backup who has never been able to break into the starting line-up despite high expectations when he was drafted.  In fact, the veteran Essex couldn’t beat out the undrafted Stapleton when a position finally did open up.  Now it appears that injury, rather than merit, will finally make Essex a starter.

So if I follow the progression properly, the Steelers will be starting a career backup who couldn’t beat out an undrafted free agent who couldn’t beat out a player who looked more like a matador than an offensive lineman.  Perhaps I misunderstood Darwin’s theory, but it appears that evolution seems to be working in reverse when it comes to the Steelers’ offensive line.  The weak are getting weaker.

As an indirect result of Stapleton’s injury, Doug Legursky will probably make the Steelers’ 53-man roster.   More reverse evolution.

I am always reminded by certain fans that the Steelers offensive line was good enough to win the Super Bowl.  However, for some reason that just doesn’t leave me with a great deal of comfort.  Heck, the Ravens won the Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer playing QB, but I still think they would have gladly replaced him with Dan Marino if they could have.

So now the Steelers will enter the 2009 season with Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Justin Harwig, Trai Essex, and Willie Colon protecting Big Ben.  The optimist in me hope that this group will finally prove to be a unit worthy of a Super Bowl champion.  But the pessimist in me thinks the Steelers had better start interviewing surgeons.


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