The Offensive Line Shuffle: Steelers Use Gilbert to Plug the Hole


I’m not sure which is more disgusting to watch – the way the offensive line looks or Chunk’s Truffle Shuffle.  Ok, so the Truffle Shuffle is certainly funnier.  But there’s nothing funny about the Steelers’ offensive line and the developments over the past couple of days.

I give you the Steelers offensive line shuffle:

– Flozell Adams and Max Starks were cut once the lockout was lifted.  That left a holes at both right and left tackle.

– Willie Colon, healthy at the time, got his starting role back as Right Tackle.

– The Steelers released a few more offensive linemen during camp and the final lineup for Week 1 ended up as:

LT Jonathan Scott

LG Chris Kemoeatu

C Maurkice Pouncey

RG Doug Legursky

RT Willie Colon

– 4th quarter against beatdown from Ravens, Colon tears a triceps muscle and is placed on IR.

– Flozell Adams’ agent reports that the Steelers were in talks with Adams on Monday.  But things weren’t going anywhere.  It is later reported that Adams wanted too much against the cap for the Steelers so they passed.

– Mike Tomlin reported during his press conference yesterday that rookie Marcus Gilbert will take the starting role as right tackle stating,

"We like his pedigree.  He is a talented guy. He has showed the ability to play a variety of positions at Florida. He played both tackle positions and actually some guard at Florida. He has shown that he is not a fish out of water in those areas since he’s been here in terms of being position flexible."

– Gilbert is backed up by Chris Scott on depth chart

UPDATE: Steelers Insider reports this afternoon that Trai Essex will ‘get a good look’ at playing RG ahead of Legursky.  Guess Legursky didn’t fare well as we first thought.

So there is the shuffle since the beginning of the ‘offseason.’  It doesn’t really look that much like a shuffle when you see it on paper. But comparing it to last year’s line, it is very different.  Legursky moved to RG from being the backup center, Colon returned and Jonathan Scott got the start at LT after filling in half of last season.  Now Gilbert moves to the three point.

Gilbert will be joining fellow college lineman Maurkice Pouncey – and I like the prospects of that.  I feel encouraged to know that Pouncey pushed for this guy during the draft.  I feel encouraged that Tomlin ‘likes his pedigree.’  He has the size and athleticism.  Hopefully with Pouncey on the line, Pouncey can help ease him into his new starting role… with about as much easing as you can do with only a few days to prepare.  This move will more than likely move Gilbert off of special teams – which is why they probably signed Doris Dickerson.

All may not be lost in this move.  Colon was injured and placed on IR last year.  The Steelers worked around other injuries as well and found an offensive line that could gel well enough to make it to the Super Bowl.  Maybe we’ll see the same results this year.