On Sunday, the Steelers were blown out by Baltimore. A hard pill we all had to swallow. Let’s overlook the fact that the defense allowed Baltimore to march down the field with ease the majority of the time. The offense’s seven turnovers led to five Baltimore scores that afternoon. The offense was anemic at best and could not mount any momentum for any possibility to swing the game in their favor. The line is in shambles (not that it was ever ‘solid’) now that Colon will more than likely go on the IR for the second season in a row. The coaching staff will need to get creative with solutions to its problems – and Pouncey may be the answer to all their problems.
UPDATE: About 10 minutes after I posted this, Tomlin announced that RT Marcus Gilbert will be starting in place of Colon. But read the post below anyways. It’s something to think about.
UPDATE #2: Scott Brown from the Trib reported through Twitter that the Steelers have placed Colon on IR and signed OT Jamon Meredith. Meredith has played right guard and right tackle for four teams – Packers (drafted in 2009), Bills, Lions and Giants.
Remember the name Mike Pouncey? I wish that this is the Pouncey I’m referring to when I say that there is a Pouncey that could be the answer to the offensive line woes. For those that cried for a draft to include a number one pick that addressed the secondary issues, is there any remorse in that statement after Colon’s injury? Maybe not, but if the Steelers pushed hard for a solid rookie lineman (like Mike Pouncey or others) would they really have to be in this predicament? I’m not saying Marcus Gilbert is not worthy – going in the second round means you’ve got the skills. But, I’m still partial to them trading up for a marquee lineman – tackle or guard.
The coaches will need to get creative in the lineman shuffle this week. We could see Gilbert or Scott filling in Colon’s spot. They could even share the time. But another option is shuffling around the starters to plug the holes (pun intended). Behind the Steel Curtain presents a great option that I think is very reasonable and possibly very successful – move Maurkice Pouncey from Center to Tackle and move Doug Legursky from Guard to Center (Neal Coolong does not mention who fills in at RG, but I imagine Essex or Foster could handle the move).
Neal points out that the idea of moving your best linemen to fill your greatest need was done back in 2003 when Alan Faneca was moved to left tackle for nine games when Marvel Smith went out with a pinched nerve. And Faneca did a pretty good job back then due to his natural ability at being a linemen. Pouncey embodies those same natural abilities – in fact, he’s not that different in size to what Faneca was. Legursky wouldn’t be so bad at the Center position. He played there in the Super Bowl and did ‘ok.’ And after last week’s embarrassment, ‘ok’ is better than no improvement at all. Legursky is a really smart guy and knows and understands the offense just as much as Pouncey – he’s just the smallest guy you can possibly have on a line.
Rumors of Flozell Adams coming back to the team have been floating around since last night, but is he really the best option? He’s been inactive since before the preseason started. Would he be game ready in just a few practices? After some careful thought – no. He would also be an addition to the cap the team barely got under before September 4th anyways. Who would need to be released to fit him on the team financially? The Pouncey/Legursky move seems like the least disruptive to the existing line (although would anyone blame Tomlin for benching them all?) and gives the Steelers ‘time’ to figure out the long term solution.
You may be on to something here Neal. I’m sure more will unfold from the Steelers as the day and week progresses. If we don’t see an addition to the team from the outside by tomorrow, the solution will more than likely come from the existing lineup.