Was it just me or did we seem to cut more members of the offensive line than we signed? With the flurry of activity for cuts, free agent signings, and contract restructuring just about over, and with fingers crossed a new CBA ratified and all players fully practicing today we are left wondering if the right moves were made concerning the O-line.
The first and most prominent cut was Max Starks, whose $6.5 million salary was too much to keep on the books. Although Starks was a fan and a Ben favorite, his salary plus the fact that he was apparently injecting himself with butter during his surgery rehab, left the club no other option. Then 36 year old Flozell Adams, who played solidly in 2010 wasn’t willing to take a pay cut or move to a back-up position. This freed up room for Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott to be signed. Without full practices, it’s hard to tell this early who exactly will end up on the line protecting Ben while he scrambles around the pocket causing everyone to scream, “Why does he hold on to the friggin ball so long?!”
So how worried should we be? Will Jonathan Scott turn into a solid and dependable starter? Will Willie Colon stay injury and holding penalty-free for the duration of the season? And how did Maurkice, his brother, and some other guy all fit on top of that fridge in the “planking” photo? These are all serious questions that need answers. As training camp progresses and the team can get some preseason games under their belt, things will fall into place as they always do.
I, for one, am not worried. As much flack as our O-line seems to get, the Steelers have been to 3 of the last 6 Super Bowls so they must be doing something right. Ben’s style of play accounts for a lot of the times the defense is able to get to him, sometimes he can get out of it and sometimes he can’t. It’s not always a matter of a tackle or guard letting someone blow right by them. Plus, we have a solid and dependable center in Maurkice Pouncey. Even with coming off an injury and just one season under his belt, this kid shows all the signs of one day joining Webster and Dawson as outstanding centers in Steelers history.
There is a chance with the restructuring the Steelers veterans have done in the past few days to help the team get under the cap that either Starks or Adams can be resigned if they agree to less money. Depth on the O-line is never a bad thing so hopefully because there has been no news of signings to any other teams from either of them that a return could be inevitable. Until then we have just over a week before the first preseason game and just a little over a month until Week #1 to debate about the moves that were made or not made.