You may not expect it, but I’m here to praise the Steelers’ offensive line.
This year’s Steelers offensive line isn’t the most talented in team history–not even close. It’s unlikely that anyone on this year’s line will end up in the Pro Bowl. But this year’s line could end up being one of the deepest in recent memory.
The Steelers may not have any stars, but when it comes to the interior of the line, they also do have a lot of guys who are pretty equal in talent. Let’s map out a nightmare scenario–say that Justin Hartwig and Chris Kemoeatu suffered season-ending injuries during the preseason. If that happened, the Steelers would likely start first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey at center with Ramon Foster (who started at the end of last season) at one guard spot and Trai Essex (who started all of last year) at the other guard.
And they would still have backups who you wouldn’t worry about stepping in. That would leave Doug Legursky as the primary backup at guard and center.
The situation would be significantly more precarious if there was an injury at tackle, but Essex could slide outside (as could Ramon Foster). And the Steelers would still have the less-than-impressive Jonathan Scott to also back-up at tackle (or Tony Hills).
Beyond that last year’s third-round pick Kraig Urbik and apparently promising rookie Dorian Brooks would fill out the roster. That’s nine offensive linemen with (in this unlikely scenario) four more on injured reserve. And Pittsburgh could do that without resorting to
Admittedly, you’d rather have five excellent offensive linemen than 12 so-so ones–I’m not arguing that this is a great situation–but it is worth noting that Pittsburgh seems to have five or six guard/centers who are all capable of playing.