Over the offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a pair of moves in an effort to improve their stagnant offensive line from a season ago. Adding veteran guard Isaac Seumalo and first-round tackle Broderick Jones seemed like an excellent starting point.
In the previous offseason, Pittsburgh had added James Daniels and Mason Cole in free agency. In the second half of the 2022 season, the arrow was pointed up, as the Steelers offensive line finally gelled and started playing respectable football. We thought that their additions in 2023 would only boost this unit. Sadly, that hasn't been the case so far.
In each of the first two games of 2023, the Steelers have been smacked in the mouth by the 49ers and Browns, respectively. Not only has the running game been a disaster, but Kenny Pickett hasn't had much of a pocket to work with in the passing game either.
Recently, Pro Football Focus released their grades for the Steelers offensive line in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, and the results were as disastrous as you could imagine.
Starting left tackle, Dan Moore Jr., earned a dismal 21.8 overall grade, and his OT counterpart, Chukwuma Okorafor, wasn't much better with his 37.6 grade. No offensive lineman on the team earned an overall grade of 51 or higher. However, Moore's 3.5 pass-block grade was about as bad as it gets.
Steelers are in need of major changes on the OL
First of all, I want to say that it's only been two games. Therefore, we don't need to sound the alarm just yet. I do want to give some props to Myles Garrett in Week 2. While he didn't record a sack, he was incredibly disruptive all night, so please don't try to spin a narrative that he didn't make an impact.
Having said that, this offensive line is certainly in need of a few changes. The first is an obvious one: It's time to start Broderick Jones. Moore was a former fourth-round pick who has been respectable at times, but he simply isn't cutting it. After watching both the 49ers and Browns games twice, it's very easy to see how poorly he performed in both contests.
Pittsburgh has his replacement sitting on the sidelines, ready to put on his helmet. It's time to move forward and take your lumps with an inexperienced Jones. The good news is that Pittsburgh now has some of their most difficult matchups out of the way, so Jones can be somewhat eased into action as the starting left tackle.
Unfortunately, left tackle is hardly the only problem this team is facing on the offensive line. Seumalo -- a player many expected to be the best offensive lineman on the team -- has been a disaster so far. This falls back on Pat Meyer.
Following the awful offensive performance in Week 2, Brian Baldinger broke down the poor script for the OL. Instead of trying to knock defensive linemen off the ball and putting a hat on a hat, the Steelers are doing far too much positional blocking and reach blocking.
This has allowed defenders to get in the backfield completely unblocked. The problem is that this is simply part of Meyer's scheme, and it may not change much until the Steelers get a new offensive line coach.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the ability to gel on the offensive line and pull things together, but they need to get their 14th overall pick on the field right away. This team has had some tough matchups early on, but it's time for change to occur. Let's hope we have seen the worst performance by this unit that we will see all season.