Ed: Steelers OL to Have Different Look in '13
WEDNESDAY, 09 JANUARY 2013 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE
Three regular starters in the Steelers offensive line likely won’t return in 2013 and all three players who took turns starting at right tackle should start at three separate positions next season.
There is a caveat to all of this, of course – provided they all stay healthy.
Look for Max Starks and Ramon Foster to leave in free agency and Willie Colon to be released. Colon’s knee injury that placed him on injured reserve for the third straight season was the last straw. The Steelers want to move on and they believe they have the right man to replace him.
The Steelers drafted Kelvin Beachum – their fourth and final pick in the seventh round last year – to play guard even though he started all 52 games in his four years at SMU. When Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams were shelved by injuries after starting at right tackle, the Steelers turned to Beachum. He started there the final five games and did a nice job. It helped convince them he can start at guard – coincidentally, moving from and to the same position that Colon did.
They will turn the right tackle job over to Adams. Gilbert will start at left tackle. There was a time many assumed Adams would play left tackle, but he is a more natural right tackle, a better run blocker, and Gilbert’s more natural position is left tackle.
David DeCastro will take over at right guard as he did at the end of the season when he became healthy from his preseason knee injury. And, of course, there is three-time Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.
Their backups are to be determined because at the moment only John Malecki is under contract from their season-ending roster.
That, ladies and gents, is your 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. Check back for medical updates.