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O-Line

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by mac daddyo, May 15, 2018.

  1. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    How long before we start to see some changes?

    We see a lot of prospects being brought in to field a preseason roster. There is talk starting about this group aging and that is true. Ben has also hinted about staying coinciding with the o-linemen staying intact. Contracts will be coming towards their end in the next year or two. Foster (contract and age), Gilbert (contract and age), pouncey has also hinted about retiring when Ben does. His age isn't as bad but his seasons are adding up. I do see we are looking at least. The process is starting. This is a good thing that they are at least beginning this look early. Where do we stash these guys that show potential though? Do we keep more on the active roster than usual? Do we take the gamble with the PS? Do some have enough PS eligibility? (Feilers is gone I think).

    That 3rd center has shown to be a crucial position several times the last few years. Hubbard will not be easy to replace. We have a new high draft pick that will have to be protected. Where does Hawkins fit in this? We have one guy for the interior in Finney. Will we see any changes this season? Foster is coming off of shoulder surgery. He's getting up there too. He has one year left on his contract. Is this the year feiler takes that spot? :cool:
     
  2. mcam

    mcam Well-Known Member

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    I don't think age is the big thing. I think it is salaries ultimately. We have been blessed with an awesome offensive line, and Ben's health on the field points to that.

    Pouncey is one of the best centers ever to play in my opinion. To be able to pull like he does leading the running back is ridiculous for his size. We need to keep this guy around.

    Decastro is a beast at right gaurd. Another one I think we can't afford to lose.

    And who the hell doesn't love Alejandro Villanueva? Besides him playing great, the guy is a freaking American war hero. Humble, cool family guy.

    Hoping that's the core they continue to build around for a bit.
     
  3. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    I don't think AV is going anywhere. Nor DD.

    Foster however is in the last year of his contract and is getting up there and now with the injury being repaired. It starts to take a toll. I doubt he gets another contract. Gilbert has been a part time player for many years. Yes he's gotten better finally under munch but will be 33 when this contract is up after next season. I doubt he gets another one. By that time pouncey will have a lot of seasons on beat up legs. He will also be in his 30s by then. I think he has 3 more on his contract. That puts him at 12 seasons. As I said, he has hinted at leaving when Ben does. We are starting to take notice of the changes that could be coming soon to this group. We have been very blessed by these players the last couple of years but remember we had a guy like Hubbard in place. Personally I'd have signed him, but..... We also saw Finney get dinged up for several games last year and we are nowhere in the same shape as we were for such a thing. Nor Gilbert's on again off again status. :cool:
     
  4. Diamond

    Diamond Well-Known Member

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    It takes longer to prepare rookies to play at a high level, in some cases they never play at the expected high level needed to excel at their position, here are some of the reasons it's become a problem:

    https://www.theringer.com/2016/9/7/16077250/the-nfl-has-an-age-problem-7068825845e4
     
  5. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    I touched on this very thing before. It also hurts the drafts quality year to year. That's why I mentioned the pouncey situation as an example as his age not being a critical problem but he still is racking up the years played. Same as timmons. Wear and tear become a factor. Snaps played. Throw in the limit on how long you can sign these guys when first drafted and it creates problems with second and third contracts too. :cool:
     
  6. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    How I see it as that both Colbert and Tomlin are already or will be looking for replacements in Pouncey and "Big Al" soon thereafter. Once that is done, acquire some depth as I believe that Hawkins days are or will be numbered should he not show considerable improvement during these OTA's, Training Camp and the Pre-Season.



    We likely have our Gilbert replacement in Chukwuma Orkorafor as Gilbert generally misses games to begin with. B.J. Finney is Ramon's heir. As you said, interior depth is essential as Tomlin generally goes towards offensive lineman who can play multiple spots. Now, assuming Hawkins does perform well before the start of the 2018 season then we already have our swing tackle for the future.



    Ultimately though, we shall soon see.
     
  7. Diamond

    Diamond Well-Known Member

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    Big AL is still producing and playing for a cheap contract, he will be here for a good while longer, pouncey is gone they wont pay him what he is going to want on a new contract, centers are available at a reasonable price including drafting one to replace him...
     
  8. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    Feiler is indeed becoming the new Swiss army knife or at least learning to be. He is taking center reps this year as the emergency center. It looks like, so far that he and Finney will get helmets on game day as the reserves. Hawkins and Okarafor should fight for that final swing tackle spot. :cool:
     
  9. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    I suspect that Hawkins may be a better guard than he is a tackle. However, given our current tackle depth, moving him there would not be ideal at all.



    I still believe Okorafor has an immense ceiling and will do well; possibly even being the teams swing tackle option by preseason's end.
     
  10. Diamond

    Diamond Well-Known Member

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    Feiler is is going to try and get a start this year, he is working hard to get there improving with every snap he gets:

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2018/05/2018-stock-watch-ol-matt-feiler-stock-up/
     
  11. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    This group is going to be interesting to watch the next couple of years. The starters are quietly aging. Ramon, pouncey, AV, Gilbert and even DD. It may not be too many more years before we start to see some turnover begin. We have a lot of new young faces in camp and it will be interesting to watch the progression and who may be kept around on the PS this year. We are becoming an old offense. Ben,AB, the O-Line, even Bell. It could be quite a transformation in a couple of seasons.:cool:
     
  12. Diamond

    Diamond Well-Known Member

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    AV isnt old in football years, he's only been on the team 4 years, 1 year on the practice squad and 3 years starting, he had to fulfill his military obligation before being a player but still he is young in football years, remember kiesel was on the team 5 years before he started........
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  13. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    I know but age wise he will be 30 this year.:cool:
     
  14. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    Big change with Hawkins going down. Rogers gets in the mix more now I would assume. :cool:
     
  15. Abraham Powell

    Abraham Powell Member

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    2nd best in league
     
  16. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    That was with Hubbard most of the season too.:cool:
     

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