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flippy
08-09-2012, 08:35 PM
These guys are in complete disarray.

Good to see Haley helping with the play calling unlike BA. But we just look like a mess on the OLine.

Guess it's gonna take time to gel.

Maybe Philly is really good on D.

hawaiiansteel
08-10-2012, 12:47 AM
Rookie linemen share struggles

By Mark Kaboly
Published: Thursday, August 9, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=vwvR5 nwSo0eGqOFB$t5K38$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYt006LlIg6QFxz 8cIB5M3AtWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams recovers a Byron Leftwich fumble in the first quarter against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Aug. 9, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Just as much as anybody else, Mike Tomlin was curious to see how rookie offensive linemen David DeCastro and Mike Adams would fare in their first game action.

“We’ll see more about them, and we’ll get to know more about them Thursday night,” Tomlin said this week.

Oh, did he ever, especially Adams.

The left tackle struggled during his professional debut Thursday night in the Steelers’ 24-23 preseason loss to the Eagles, allowing 21⁄2 sacks in a span of nine plays during the first quarter.

Adams allowed Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked twice during the quarterback’s 15 first-quarter plays before leaving at the end of the stanza with a knee injury he suffered when he tried to pick up a fumble after a sack. The injury isn’t expected to be long-term concern.

“I thought (Adams and DeCastro) represented themselves well, at times, at least from an assignment standpoint,” Tomlin said. “They were beat physically some, but that’s life in the National Football League. I am sure they will take the lessons learned in that stadium tonight and build upon it.”

It was an all-too-familiar sight for Roethlisberger, who was sacked eight times the last time he played at Lincoln Financial Field in 2008.

Veteran Trai Essex replaced Adams, but Essex isn’t expected to be the long-term solution at left tackle.

The Steelers signed veteran Max Starks a week before training camp as insurance. Starks still is recovering from January knee surgery and was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the beginning of camp. He is expected to resume practicing within a week.

Adams was the Steelers’ second-round pick in April’s draft out of Ohio State. He was forced to miss most of the offseason practices because of Ohio State’s quarter system — he had to finish school — and was noticeably behind for the start of camp.

Adams was running mostly with the second team during the first two weeks of training camp before moving to the first team earlier this week. The lack of reps against the first team showed against the Eagles.

“He made a couple of rookie mistakes; everybody gets beat,” left guard Ramon Foster said. “But he bounced back, and he wasn’t showing that it was affecting him too much.”

Adams allowed a sack on the seventh play of the game when Phillip Hunt got the edge and beat him off the corner to bring down Roethlisberger.

Four plays later, miscommunication between Adams and Foster allowed Darryl Tapp to split them and share a sack of Roethlisberger with Brian Rolle.

“It’s just miscommunication,” Foster said. “We have to stay on our angles. It wasn’t anything more than staying on our angles.”

On the first play of the Steelers’ second offensive series, Adams allowed Hunt to race around him again and slap the ball out of Byron Leftwich’s hand.

First-round pick DeCastro fared better but struggled at times.

“It’s football, like I have been saying all along,” DeCastro. “I did some good, did some bad. I am going to try to clean it up and learn from the bad things and don’t look too much into the good things.”

DeCastro got plenty of help from center Maurkice Pouncey early and was left free on other occasions.

DeCastro made a mental error when he was late helping Essex, which resulted in a sack by Brandon Graham. Later, DeCastro was pushed a couple of yards into the backfield by Kendricks during a second-and-goal that resulted in a short gain by Baron Batch.

Roethlisberger was encouraged by the rookie offensive linemen.

“It’s hard for me because I am not watching them, but by the look in their eyes, it looked like they were doing well,” Roethlisberger said.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2381344-85/adams-decastro-roethlisberger-steelers-allowed-camp-rookie-sack-week-quarter

RuthlessBurgher
08-10-2012, 10:12 AM
Regarding Adams looking solid in camp practices but crap in the game...keep in mind that our usual weakside OLB, James Harrison is on PUP. His primary backup, Jason Worilds, is also on PUP. That made Chris Carter the starter there by default, but Adams wasn't even facing him for the first two weeks of camp, since he started out as the second string LT at first before being promoted earlier this week. So much of his camp performance was against the 4th string weakside OLB (I'm not even sure who that is...last night Adrian Robinson appeared to be lining up as the strongside OLB in Woodley's spot more often than not). Adams needs a dose of Deebo to indoctrinate him into what the NFL is all about.

flippy
08-10-2012, 11:34 AM
Regarding Adams looking solid in camp practices but crap in the game...keep in mind that our usual weakside OLB, James Harrison is on PUP. His primary backup, Jason Worilds, is also on PUP. That made Chris Carter the starter there by default, but Adams wasn't even facing him for the first two weeks of camp, since he started out as the second string LT at first before being promoted earlier this week. So much of his camp performance was against the 4th string weakside OLB (I'm not even sure who that is...last night Adrian Robinson appeared to be lining up as the strongside OLB in Woodley's spot more often than not). Adams needs a dose of Deebo to indoctrinate him into what the NFL is all about.

The one thing I like about Adams that surprised me a bit was he'd hustle after he screwed up. I've watched so many times where many of our current former linemen for Ben have stood and watched him take a hit.

I think Colon and Pouncey may be the only 2 other guys on our line that I haven't see give up after getting beat. Likely DD won't either.

But I like that about Adams make up.

RuthlessBurgher
08-10-2012, 12:24 PM
I've watched so many times where many of our current former linemen for Ben have stood and watched him take a hit.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.aolnews.com/media/2008/06/willie-colon-kendall-simmons-sacks.jpg

I wish I had the "I'm Thinking Arby's" Photoshop version of this pic.

steelfin
08-10-2012, 01:28 PM
I have to admit that the OL looked pretty bad in pass protection. However I am not ready to give up on the young guys just yet. It was their first preason game in the NFL.

I also have to wonder how much they have been practicing pass protection for intermediate and deep pass plays. It is my understanding that the offense has been focusing on the run gun and the short passing game. It seeme that everytime we took deep drops to let routes develop downfield we took a sack or had lots of pressure...

The OL will be ready before the season starts...but I dont think we can really expect an elite O-line early in the year based on all the youth we have learing the game in the NFL...As the year progresses they will get better.

The problem is that Adams was hurt and will probably miss a lot of preseason preparation that is much needed in his development...

The big question is what happens if Max is not ready to go?

SF

Shoe
08-10-2012, 01:39 PM
I can already tell you that this starting lineup is not the starting lineup we want in Week 1. I think it's actually fine to start one of the rookies (i.e. DeCastro), but having both will certainly create a sieve-like environment. Adams is what I've called him all along--fools good. I hope I'm wrong, but there is a reason why a guy with that much supposed "talent" (from a major college program) lasts til that point in the draft.

It's a dicey thing. On one hand, I'd like to leave Colon at Guard, where he is probably more suited. But he's probably one of our top two Tackles right now. Gilbert is one. But after that, I think Colon is better than Starks, a 350 lb. man coming off a knee reconstruction.

Even if Max is cleared, he's going to be slower than normal. For him, that's scary.

flippy
08-10-2012, 02:04 PM
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.aolnews.com/media/2008/06/willie-colon-kendall-simmons-sacks.jpg

I wish I had the "I'm Thinking Arby's" Photoshop version of this pic.

Well there goes Colon. I thought I remembered him as a fighter once he got beat. Maybe we're down to Adams and Pouncey as the 2 that won't give up. Again, I'd include DD, but I'm figuring once this season starts, he'll just never get beat.

flippy
08-10-2012, 02:08 PM
I can already tell you that this starting lineup is not the starting lineup we want in Week 1. I think it's actually fine to start one of the rookies (i.e. DeCastro), but having both will certainly create a sieve-like environment. Adams is what I've called him all along--fools good. I hope I'm wrong, but there is a reason why a guy with that much supposed "talent" (from a major college program) lasts til that point in the draft.

It's a dicey thing. On one hand, I'd like to leave Colon at Guard, where he is probably more suited. But he's probably one of our top two Tackles right now. Gilbert is one. But after that, I think Colon is better than Starks, a 350 lb. man coming off a knee reconstruction.

Even if Max is cleared, he's going to be slower than normal. For him, that's scary.

Max isn't the quickest or most powerful LT. But he's gone through stretches against really good pass rushers that he's stonewalled. He's generally effective unless he's going against Aldon Smith.

pfelix73
08-10-2012, 02:13 PM
I would've gone with the original plan before the draft. Gilbert as LT. Colon as RT. Let Adams compete with Colon at RT for his 1st year. Foster and DD would be my 2 OG's. Still bring in Max for depth. Gilbert is being wasted over there at RT. IMO.

pfelix73
08-10-2012, 02:15 PM
"wasted' isn't the word I should've used, but I just think he would've made one hell of a LT..

hawaiiansteel
08-10-2012, 02:18 PM
I would've gone with the original plan before the draft. Gilbert as LT. Colon as RT. Let Adams compete with Colon at RT for his 1st year. Foster and DD would be my 2 OG's. Still bring in Max for depth. Gilbert is being wasted over there at RT. IMO.

Gilbert looked horrible at RT last night...

Dee Dub
08-10-2012, 02:50 PM
These guys are in complete disarray.

Good to see Haley helping with the play calling unlike BA. But we just look like a mess on the OLine.

Guess it's gonna take time to gel.


Maybe Philly is really good on D.

How funny. This is the first pre-season game with two new (rookie), starters and a player playing at a new position. They should be in disarray at this point.

flippy
08-10-2012, 03:11 PM
How funny. This is the first pre-season game with two new (rookie), starters and a player playing at a new position. They should be in disarray at this point.

Just hope this disarray doesn't get #7 hurt.

hawaiiansteel
08-10-2012, 06:57 PM
Just hope this disarray doesn't get #7 hurt.


or one of the OL like Mike Adams.

oh wait...:(

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=FbXC7 gvz45TZXezpgBXGoc$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYs4qc8j4RRwe40 hsrqP8FilWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

hawaiiansteel
08-10-2012, 10:44 PM
Labriola on preseason opener

Posted 8/10/12
Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest

PHILADELPHIA – It was only the preseason opener, but it seems as though this one game that doesn’t even count in the standings has settled the competition to be the starting left tackle for the start of the regular season, which for the Steelers will come on Sunday night, Sept. 9, in Denver.

Unfortunately, this really wasn’t what they had in mind.

Last April, the Steelers spent their first two draft picks on a couple of offensive linemen they hoped could help re-make the unit into one that was more exclamation point than question mark. David DeCastro and Mike Adams were seen as the kinds of talents who could do for guard and tackle, respectively, what Maurkice Pouncey had done for center three summers ago.

For their preseason opener, which came last night against the Eagles here, the Steelers’ top two draft picks were in the starting lineup, albeit for different reasons. DeCastro was at right guard only because left guard Willie Colonwas out with an ankle injury and Ramon Foster had to slide over from the right side to fill that spot. Adams, on the other hand, had done enough in practices to earn the start against the Eagles.

What began with such promise ended with disappointment, because before the first quarter of the game against the Eagles was over, Adams had allowed two sacks and was knocked out of the game with an injury to his right knee.

Adams’ injury wasn’t the most disappointing aspect of the Steelers’ 24-23 defeat by the Eagles – that designation would belong to David Johnson’s knee injury that was termed “severe” by Coach Mike Tomlin – but it does seem to have ended Adams’ hopes to be the starting left tackle in Denver.

It’s not believed that Adams will require surgery, but the couple of weeks he seems destined to miss while rehabbing will put him too far behind to catch up in time for the opener.

All of a sudden, Max Starks, who was signed shortly before the opening of training camp and is still on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury of his own, is the team’s best option at left tackle.

Once again, it’s going to have to be Max Starks to the rescue.

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Labriola-on-preseason-opener/4809c14f-f326-45b4-9431-da087b779380

BradshawsHairdresser
08-11-2012, 03:45 PM
Gilbert looked horrible at RT last night...

Yeah...I was thinking Gilbert looked like he was struggling almost as much as Adams...

feltdizz
08-11-2012, 04:33 PM
I can already tell you that this starting lineup is not the starting lineup we want in Week 1. I think it's actually fine to start one of the rookies (i.e. DeCastro), but having both will certainly create a sieve-like environment. Adams is what I've called him all along--fools good. I hope I'm wrong, but there is a reason why a guy with that much supposed "talent" (from a major college program) lasts til that point in the draft.

It's a dicey thing. On one hand, I'd like to leave Colon at Guard, where he is probably more suited. But he's probably one of our top two Tackles right now. Gilbert is one. But after that, I think Colon is better than Starks, a 350 lb. man coming off a knee reconstruction.

Even if Max is cleared, he's going to be slower than normal. For him, that's scary.

Couldn't the same thing be said about DeCastro in terms of dropping to us with all his talent? Its still way too early to predict how these 2 will turn out but I wasn't impressed with either of them the other night.

Rainey really impressed.

hawaiiansteel
08-11-2012, 04:38 PM
Rainey really impressed.

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1286698/Rainey_medium.gif

hawaiiansteel
08-13-2012, 02:11 AM
Steelers Young Offensive Lineman Having Different Camps

By Kyle Curry on August 12, 2012

http://steelblitz.com/wp-content/themes/u-design/scripts/timthumb.php?src=http://steelblitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Pittsburgh-Steelers-David-DeCastro.jpg&w=570&h=172&zc=1&q=90

When the Steelers used there first round draft pick on David DeCastro, the best guard in the draft out of Stanford, there was surprise (that he was still on the board) and excitement for the future of the offensive line. The Steelers added DeCastro to a line already including a young All-Pro in Maurkice Pouncey and a second year tackle in Marcus Gilbert.

Then the Steelers turned around and drafted a top tackle in Mike Adams, a player who had some off-field issues at Ohio State. Adams was expected to pair with Gilbert to give the Steelers a young pair of offensive tackles to open up the run game and protect Ben Roethlisberger in the passing game.

As the Steelers got closer to training camp comparisons between David DeCastro and ex-Steelers All-Pro Guard Alan Faneca became common-place. When DeCastro was given Faneca’s old number 66 jersey the comparisons were running wild. Adams, who was still being questioned by fans for his off-feild issues, wasn’t expected to start at left tackle. The Steelers resigned left tackle Max Starks, who is coming off an ACL injury, and Adams chances to start seemed to disappear.

However, when camp started the two rookies seemed to switch places. DeCastro was getting beat in drills regularly and Adams was receiving high praise from all of his coaches. Adams earned a first team spot before DeCastro and was all of a sudden expected to start on the Steelers line.

Just a week and a half later and DeCastro is getting praise from the coaches and has been named the Steelers starting right guard. Adams on the other hand struggled mightly in his first NFL game (A pre-season matchup with the Eagles) giving up 2.5 sacks. Adams also suffered an injury in that game and will be out of the line-up for at least two weeks.

In his absence the Steelers have moved Marcus Gilbert to the left side of the line, Ramon Foster is filling in at right tackle, and David DeCastro has officially taken Foster’s spot at right guard. Gilbert was talked about as potentially starting at left tackle for the Steelers in 2012 prior to the drafting of Adams. However, if Adams doens’t get better before week 1 and Max Starks isn’t able to return from injury Gilbert may get the start.

The Steelers will hope to have Starks and Adams both back soon and be able to build the line they want; not the one they are forced to use. We could see a line (from left to right) of Starks-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Gilbert, Gilbert-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Foster, or Adams-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Gilbert. We will just have to wait and see who earns the starting jobs.

There is one thing that has become aware, however, the Steelers offensive line still has question marks. Gilbert, Pouncey, DeCastro, and Adams is a great young core for the future, but they may not be ready to do it all in 2012.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/steelers_young_offensive_lineman_having_different_ camps/11437795

Oviedo
08-13-2012, 07:36 AM
Things like Adams' injury is why we need to keep looking for quality OL in every draft. Just getting DeCastro and Adams doesn't mean the position becomes low priority. We still don't have lots of depth. Foster is good as a back up who can move around. Essex is average. Legursky is average. Need young players who challenge the starters.

fezziwig
08-13-2012, 09:37 AM
It's just one preseason game so I'm not ready to panic yet. What would Steeler camp/season be like if we didn't have offensive line woes ?

The offensive line troubles were in the rearview mirror when Cowher was coaching his last couple of years so, it should be no surprise that it won't get fixed with the number 2's & 3's draft draft picks we been throwing at it prior to Pouncey and DeCastro. They've let this area of the team slip in my opinion over the years and I'm not stating anything new or that you guys didn't already know. About time we have a legit powerhouse of an oline will be time to start adding youth to it again and by that time, Ben's talents will have dwindled if he is still on the team by then.
This whole team is a work in progress or will need it up dates in many areas. As I said before, we are probably an 8-8 or 9-7 team this season

Slapstick
08-13-2012, 01:42 PM
This whole team is a work in progress or will need it up dates in many areas. As I said before, we are probably an 8-8 or 9-7 team this season

It's a common thing to set your expectations low so that you can seem to be pleasantly surprised at a better outcome...

fezziwig
08-13-2012, 04:46 PM
words to live by my friend, words to live by lol.

hawaiiansteel
08-13-2012, 06:23 PM
Starks reality: He hopes to play before regular season

August 13, 2012 1:05 pm
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://c4241337.r37.cf2.rackcdn.com/2012/225/753/max-starks_420.jpg

Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks works out with the PUP group during training camp workouts at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

Max Starks is accustomed to quick turnarounds and baptism by fire. He just isn't sure when the next round of such events will be.

All of a sudden, his return from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament -- sustained in the January playoff loss in Denver -- has become a bigger issue after rookie left tackle Mike Adams' rocky start in the Steelers' preseason opener.

But it probably won't be an issue for Starks, who, at 30, is the old man in the offensive line. Last year, four days after being re-signed because injuries had decimated their offensive line, Starks started against Tennessee and looked as though he never had been away.

The Steelers rushed for 174 yards, their second-highest total of the season, and Ben Roethlisberger had time to throw five touchdowns in an easy victory against the Titans.

Starks might have to do that again, only this time in the season opener in Denver. Still, he would prefer to get a little preseason warmup before he does.

"I didn't need it last year," said Starks, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list and cannot practice until he is removed from it. "But this is a new offense. It's a lot more confusing than I thought it would be. It's the same stuff, but the names [of the plays] and the way it's called is different. I'm always going, 'Oh, this play is old such-and-such.' "

Starks has started 80 games for the Steelers in his eight years with the team and would be lending a lot of experience to a line that will start center Maurkice Pouncey, who turned 23 last month; second-year right tackle Marcus Gilbert and likely rookie David DeCastro at right guard.

But he is coming off ACL surgery and wasn't re-signed by the team until the week before training camp, leading many to assume that Adams, a No. 2 draft choice, was being handed the left-tackle job.

But, after giving up two sacks in his first 17 snaps in the preseason opener Thursday night in Philadelphia, Adams might have to wait a little longer. What's more, he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on his second allowed sack and likely will be sidelined at least two weeks.

Enter Starks. Again.

"I am more concerned with being ready for the regular season," Starks said. "That is the goal. Hopefully, I'll get out here sooner and at least practice and get back into the rhythm of things."

Starks' contribution at right and left tackle has been as massive as his 6-foot-8, 345-pound frame.

He is one of Ben Roethlisberger's best friends on the team and sits next to him in the locker room. Roethlisberger wore a No. 78 jersey to practice when Starks was unsigned -- a show of support by the quarterback to bring back the player who has protected his front and back side since 2004.

Eventually, Starks will be replaced by Adams, but that might not be as soon as some people projected.

"You just have to bounce back," said Gilbert, who has moved to left tackle to replace Adams. "I know my first start in the preseason wasn't that pretty, but you just have to learn from it and move on. He saw the film, he saw what he has to correct.

Unfortunately, the preseason is different than the regular season. When the regular season comes, it will be fast, it will be lights out."

And that might be the next time Adams gets to play. He is expected to miss the next two preseason games, beginning Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field.

But Gilbert said Adams' debut performance was not as bad as it looked.

"He did some pretty impressive things," Gilbert said. "Obviously, the sacks stand out, but he did some impressive things in run-blocking. He's going to improve. He's a player who's going to bounce back.

"But [the sacks] are part of being an offensive lineman. What's ever on film, you have to live with it and go out there and correct it. You're not going to have a perfect game. Everyone knows that."

And you might not always get a lot of sympathy.

"I didn't try to pat him on the back and give him milk and cookies," Starks said. "He came and asked me what I saw, and I gave him my opinion and that was it. The best thing is you get on the field and make the corrections yourself."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/starks-reality-he-hopes-to-play-before-regular-season-648767/#ixzz23SYYFzLL

hawaiiansteel
08-13-2012, 06:30 PM
TACKLE MAX STARKS RETURN TO FIELD BUT PITTSBURGH STEELERS STILL TO REVIEW PUP

Posted By: Matt Davis

http://answers.bettor.com/images/Articles/thumbs/extralarge/Tackle-Max-Starks-return-to-field-but-Pittsburgh-Steelers-still-to-review-PUP-NFL-News-180048.jpg

Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle Max Starks returned to practice field on Sunday for the first time since injuring his right knee earlier this year, raising hopes of his comeback to the squad by the regular season opener on 9th of next month.

Max looked fine and comfortable with the process of recovery from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and upbeat about the chances of return to the side by the regular season. The present status of the recovery shows that his comeback by Sept. 9 is possible because he still has got more than three weeks left to work on the remaining part of the rehab.

The player said:

"That would be pushing it. We'd have to put some Popsicle (sticks) and rubber bands together to try to get myself going."

He added:

"Maybe if it was end of August, I would probably be able to. I feel like I'm coming along nicely."

It is pertinent to note here that Max is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and is expected to remain on it for about another week at least as coach Mike Tomlin said they will not review the list until their next preseason game is over. The team is due to face the Indianapolis Colts on 19th of this month. The game is second of the preseason campaign for both teams.

Starks’ return to the field is nevertheless a good development for Steelers given they have met with injury problems to a number of their players in the preseason opener. They include rookie safety Mike Adams, who was boasted to be well up to the task of offering protection to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Starks’ absence.

Mike is expected to remain on the sidelines for two to four weeks with a knee injury he suffered during the first game of his pro career.

Although as confirmed by the coach that Starks still has to clear physical to get himself removed from PUP, the official is hopeful of the player's rejoining of the squad during the regular season campaign.

http://blogs.bettor.com/Tackle-Max-Starks-return-to-field-but-Pittsburgh-Steelers-still-to-review-PUP-NFL-News-a180048

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-13-2012, 07:28 PM
Are the Steelers actually cursed when it comes to the O-line, or do all teams have woes like this? The Steelers' just seem worse to me, but maybe it's because they are the only ones I pay attention to at a granular level. I cant even name more than 3 or 4 O-line players in total in the rest of the NFL, much less comment on the state of their ACLs ...

hawaiiansteel
08-14-2012, 02:24 AM
Let The Offensive Line Shuffle Begin Again For The Steelers

Aug 13th, 2012 by Dominic Di Tolla

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2012/08/58283741-300x194.jpg?5dc56d

It is official “Steeler Nation”: The 2012 version of “Offensive Line Musical Chairs” has started in Pittsburgh!

After he sustained a knee injury in Pittsburgh’s first preseason game against Philadelphia, Rookie Mike Adams will be forced to the sidelines for what appears to be 2 weeks. With Adams out, Left Guard Willie Colon back from his own injury, and David DeCastro having earned the starting nod at Right Guard, the Steelers shuffled substitute Left Guard Ramon Foster to Right Tackle, and Right Tackle Marcus Gilbert over to Big Ben’s blind side.

While it is a bit disheartening to see Adams miss some time, the roster moves themselves are not exactly a huge cause for concern. Gilbert was slated to move over to the Left side for this season anyway and had taken some reps there during the offseason. As for Foster, while he has not played Tackle extensively since he was at Tennessee, he has the body type the Steelers’ look for in a Tackle, can run-block decently, and possesses enough of a skill-set at the position in terms of his pass-blocking to shore up the Right side for however long Adams is hurt. Plus, popular veteran Max Starks is still on the roster, and once he regains full health, can slide over to Left Tackle in case of another emergency.

Although the Steelers have the ability to play some “roster Tetris” along their Offensive Line, the fact that a guy which appeared to be an instrumental part of the rebuilding process is already missing time is a huge blow. Cohesiveness (outside of talent) is probably the most important ingredient which goes into building a successive Offensive Line. And while the Steelers might have upgraded in the talent department at essentially every position over the last three years, Big Ben’s blocking unit has been maligned by injuries, numerous different lineups, and personnel changes across the board.

While I have complete and total faith that Offensive Line Coach Sean Kugler can “MacGyver” some sort of passable Line if disaster inevitably strikes, I am frustrated with the fact that he has already had to do it multiple times during his two year tenure with the franchise. What Kugler and the rest of the Offense needs is five guys to simply stay healthy for an extended period of time so they can build some chemistry and find out what works and what does not as a unit. My only hope is that the Steelers can find some sort of solution soon, because this “Offensive Line Question Mark” is something which has plagued this team over the last half decade.

All we can do now though “Steeler Nation” is cross our fingers’, wait until the music stops, and hope nobody gets injured trying to find a chair.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/13/let-the-offensive-line-shuffle-begin-again-for-the-steelers/

Oviedo
08-14-2012, 08:16 AM
TACKLE MAX STARKS RETURN TO FIELD BUT PITTSBURGH STEELERS STILL TO REVIEW PUP

Posted By: Matt Davis

http://answers.bettor.com/images/Articles/thumbs/extralarge/Tackle-Max-Starks-return-to-field-but-Pittsburgh-Steelers-still-to-review-PUP-NFL-News-180048.jpg

Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle Max Starks returned to practice field on Sunday for the first time since injuring his right knee earlier this year, raising hopes of his comeback to the squad by the regular season opener on 9th of next month.

Max looked fine and comfortable with the process of recovery from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and upbeat about the chances of return to the side by the regular season. The present status of the recovery shows that his comeback by Sept. 9 is possible because he still has got more than three weeks left to work on the remaining part of the rehab.

The player said:

"That would be pushing it. We'd have to put some Popsicle (sticks) and rubber bands together to try to get myself going."

He added:

"Maybe if it was end of August, I would probably be able to. I feel like I'm coming along nicely."

It is pertinent to note here that Max is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and is expected to remain on it for about another week at least as coach Mike Tomlin said they will not review the list until their next preseason game is over. The team is due to face the Indianapolis Colts on 19th of this month. The game is second of the preseason campaign for both teams.

Starks’ return to the field is nevertheless a good development for Steelers given they have met with injury problems to a number of their players in the preseason opener. They include rookie safety Mike Adams, who was boasted to be well up to the task of offering protection to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Starks’ absence.

Mike is expected to remain on the sidelines for two to four weeks with a knee injury he suffered during the first game of his pro career.

Although as confirmed by the coach that Starks still has to clear physical to get himself removed from PUP, the official is hopeful of the player's rejoining of the squad during the regular season campaign.

http://blogs.bettor.com/Tackle-Max-Starks-return-to-field-but-Pittsburgh-Steelers-still-to-review-PUP-NFL-News-a180048


Starks actually looks like he is in shape.

phillyesq
08-14-2012, 09:08 AM
Wexell is reporting that the Steelers plan for the opening day OL to be Starks-Colon-Pouncy-DeCastro-Gilbert, unless Starks isn't ready or there is an injury.

Whether Starks or Adams begins the season, I have a feeling that both will play this year. And I'd much rather see Adams out there than Scott.

fezziwig
08-14-2012, 09:32 AM
How do you guys feel about Gilbert... My memory isn't wha tit used to be because, I don't recall him giving us any assurance that he would be able to handle the job.

Oviedo
08-14-2012, 09:37 AM
How do you guys feel about Gilbert... My memory isn't wha tit used to be because, I don't recall him giving us any assurance that he would be able to handle the job.

Gilbert reminds me of a young Max Starks. He will be fine and good solid OLman over his time with the team. He won't be an All Pro but he wil be solid the more he gets experience.

fezziwig
08-14-2012, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the response and the positive reply

phillyesq
08-14-2012, 09:49 AM
Gilbert reminds me of a young Max Starks. He will be fine and good solid OLman over his time with the team. He won't be an All Pro but he wil be solid the more he gets experience.

That is my impression of Gilbert as well. He was generally solid last year as a rookie, and should only get better. He has the ability to be an above-average right tackle. He needs to keep his head in the game and stay focused - I recall that there were a few issues with that last year, and having Mike Adams (or Starks) looming behind him should serve as motivation to do that.

hawaiiansteel
08-14-2012, 10:37 PM
Steelers notebook: Colon won’t be moving back to tackle

By Mark Kaboly
Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=oM6kJ d0B3nEzygt1HdgvYM$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYsMigkG9x5DcC_ r3dZ_9oAHWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

• With Mike Adams out at least another week because of a knee injury and Max Starks working his way back from offseason knee surgery, Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler is looking for anyone to play tackle — anyone except for last year’s right tackle, Willie Colon. The Steelers moved Colon to left guard in the offseason, and Kugler said that’s where Colon will stay. “I will never say never, but I promised him when I moved him to guard that I wouldn’t move him back out there,” Kugler said.

• The Steelers activated Starks from the physically unable to perform list. Under new CBA rules, Starks won’t be able to fully participate in practice until Friday, the day the Steelers break camp. Starks had surgery in January to repair a torn ACL he suffered in the Steelers’ playoff loss. “I am going to slowly work my way back in,” Starks said.

• The Steelers waived injured running back John Clay (torn quad) and signed rookie free-agent running back Jason Ford, who played at Illinois.

• Running back Jonathan Dwyer returned to practice after hurting his shoulder on the first carry of last week’s preseason game. Dwyer is unsure if he will be ready for Sunday’s game against the Colts. “I am feeling better. I just want to ease into it,” Dwyer said.

• Injured tight end David Johnson cleared waivers and will remain with the team until he’s medically cleared. The Steelers are responsible for the entire $1.26 million restricted free-agent contract he signed in April.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2407174-85/steelers-starks-colon-dwyer-kugler-running-tackle-agent-anyone-cleared

hawaiiansteel
08-17-2012, 02:02 AM
Adams V. Starks: Which Steelers Tackle Wins The Battle

Aug 16th, 2012 by CraigSteelers

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2012/08/871c344cdc193c2ee646ea91b519ef46.jpeg?5dc56d

Steelers veteran left tackle Max Starks hit the practice field for the first time since tearing his ACL. Rookie left tackle Mike Adams also returned from his knee injury he suffered last week against the Eagles. And, while it’s not The Octagon, this battle for left tackle just got interesting.

I’m not yet convinced that Mike Adams is the guy for the starting job. Yet. He’ll get there, but his poor showing against the Eagles is a cause for concern. Enter trusty Max Starks. Starks, though criticized for his age and size, entered last season overweight and out of shape from his most recent injury. After being cut by the Steelers, he was resigned part way through as a final play by the team to improve the awful offensive line.

Starks, who hadn’t really practiced or taken a snap for months shined in his return. He continued to have Ben Roethlisberger’s back the rest of the year until he went down with an ACL at the end of the season. Starks is a solid choice at left tackle and has a realistic chance of taking that roll away from Adams.

So who will the Steelers start against the Colts on Sunday? Does Adams get a second nod and chance to prove that he deserves that spot? Or do the Steelers go with Starks to see if he can still handle game speed?

If Starks doesn’t start on Sunday, I would think the Steelers would put him in fairly early in the game. Adams and Starks may share time in the 1st quarter so the coaches can asses how both men handle the 1st team defense of the Colts. With Freeny and Mathis of the Colts still playing at a high level, both Adams and Starks will be tested often and early.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/16/adams-v-starks-which-steelers-tackle-wins-the-battle/