Max Starks was our starting LT, and Colon our LG both gone so a lot depends on how our O-line plays and if they can stay healthy. Obviously we'll need a healthy Ben all season if we have any chance of being a playoff team.
I'm not too concerned with the WR's as much as this article points out and think a better run game will help offset the loss of Wallace, I just hope Miller can come back sooner than expected.
I hope you are right flippy. I agree that we are solid with pouncey (if healthy)... but I am afraid that DD and Adams have not yet lived up to the hype. Hopefully that will be a different story this year.
An effective run game will also be key. It can help hold up some of the ROLBers or DEs to the benefit of our LT whoever that may be. Especially on play action passes which BB is very good at. Spaeth can also help out on the left if it comes down to it. I just think a more productive run game can really turn it around this year. Really liking the Bell pick right now.
DD looks like he put in the work this offseason and looks like he's got a complete new body type from last year. With his pedigree, I think he'll be ready to rock and roll. If results match his efforts, he's gonna be head and shoulders our best OLineman.
I'm not a fan of any of our LT options, but think Gilby has the best feet and just needs to get stronger. I'm also not a big fan of Foster at LG because I don't think he's got the quickness to pull and I think he makes it difficult for Ben to throw over his height on the interior.
Maybe we move DD to the left? Foster and Adams were good run blocking together on the right side.
I dunno, I just don't feel we have the right combo of guys on the OLine.
Steelers may involve fullback Johnson in passing game more
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Monday, June 10, 2013
Steelers fullback Will Johnson's statistics last season:
Yards after catch 81
Neither offensive coordinator Todd Haley nor running backs coach Kirby Wilson specifically told Will Johnson he will be used more in the passing game this year. But three weeks of organized team activities may have revealed their intentions for the Steelers fullback.
With Heath Miller recovering from knee surgery that likely will keep him out at least the first part of the season, and with no viable replacement at the position to put a dent in his team-high 71 receptions, the Steelers could turn more to their bruising-but-soft-handed fullback.
“We are doing a lot more; that's been evident (during OTAs),” Johnson said. “In the red zone, they put some angle routes in there for me. We are doing a lot of things. If they are impressed, they will show me by adding plays where I can get out in some routes, particularly in space. That's how I will know if they are interested in using my hands.”
Johnson's just interested in continuing what has been a Cinderella story. He missed his window into the NFL, worked three part-time jobs, accidentally was seen at a workout not meant for him and wound up playing in all 16 games for the Steelers last year.
“I will do whatever I can do to make myself more valuable to the team, and if that means catching passes, then I am fine with that,” Johnson said. “You have to be ready for everything, but my main focus will always be blocking. I don't mind catching the ball that's fine and all but first and foremost is blocking.”
Johnson (6-foot-2, 238 pounds) was an important part of the Steelers offense last year when he was an emergency replacement for David Johnson, who tore his ACL in early August. Will Johnson started seven games. He rushed only twice for 7 yards but was a solid lead blocker and even part of the passing game. Johnson was in the pass pattern 134 times, targeted 22 and caught 15 for 137 yards, including a Week 8 touchdown reception against Washington.
Johnson was on the field a lot. He played in as many as 32 snaps (about half of the offense snaps per game) a handful of times last year.
“I want to perfect my craft,” Johnson said. “I want to become a better coachable player, and if there was anything that was lacking last season, I am trying to focus in on that and sharpen that.”
Johnson's biggest problem last year was sustaining blocks.
“My initial attack is there, but I need to stay on them longer and finish them,” he said.
So Johnson is working out with the tight ends hitting the blocking sled and working on line-of-scrimmage blocking to help him when he is in the standup position outside the tight end.
“Every day I am learning something different, especially using the outside zone scheme,” Johnson said. “You can see that I am still learning how to read it.”
Johnson, 24, doesn't mind the extra work, especially knowing how he went from working odd jobs to scoring an NFL touchdown within a couple of months last year.
“It was definitely a dream come true, but is something that you can't take for granted,” Johnson said. “Coach (Mike) Tomlin tells me all the time to not become complacent and satisfied, to set a new goal and continue to strive to reach it. I will become a better player because of it. Hopefully I can continue to build off last year's success.”