Nobody said anything really when Hoke was demoted from his back-up role. There were big murmurs abound when Ward lost his starting role last week prior to the Bengals game. Now, the highest paid offensive lineman of the Steelers, Chris Kemoeatu has been kicked out of his starting role, and Doug Legursky will take his place at left guard.
So why the shakeup with the offensive line? Well I think this is something that’s been coming for a long time. Kemoeatu, dating all the way back to the playoffs in 2011, has been average in performance and horrendous in discipline. Penalty after penalty, Kemoeatu has been single handedly responsible for killing drives. And we aren’t just talking holding calls or false starts (although those can be included), we are talking mainly about his habitual late hits when the whistles have blown the play dead – pushing the pile or just plain jumping onto some defensive player already on the ground. This immature backyard style of play is really annoying, and that hasn’t been lost on Tomlin.
The end of the season, with the division as wide open as it is right now, is too important to have players who aren’t contributing every single down hold the team back from winning a game. The Steelers need every aspect of the team firing on all cylinders. And for Big Ben’s sake, the weakest link can’t be on the offensive line. Doug Legursky will be starting at left guard now – not unfamiliar territory for him.
I certainly don’t blame Tomlin for the recent shake downs within the team.
So Steelers Nation, what are your thoughts on Kemoeatu’s demotion?