Our free agent spotlights for the defense have concluded and now we start over with the offense. Starting with the offensive line we’re going to take a look at the free agent centers for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fernando Velasco came into rescue the team when Maurkice Pouncey was injured in Week 1 in 2013, but where might he end up in 2014?
Fernando Velasco was signed by the Tennessee Titans in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. He was released by the Titans in late August of 2013 and picked up by the Steelers in September of 2013. He was immediately put into the starting lineup and immediately performed commendably in taking over for the Pro Bowl center. Velasco himself was put on injured reserve following an Achilles injury he sustained against the Ravens on Thanksgiving.
The interesting thing about Velasco is the fact that he was cut from the Titans by Mike Munchak, who is now the offensive line coach for the Steelers. Velasco would be a more than capable backup for Pouncey to provide depth for the Steelers offensive line that we always seem to need but when it comes down to it, he could very well be looking for a starting job given how well he played for the Steelers this season. His Achilles injury could limit him, however, in finding a starting role if he’s not fully recovered.
I don’t see the Steelers going very aggressively after Velasco considering he’d be primarily a backup for Pouncey. While he did play very well once he stepped in, I just don’t see them with all the other pressing needs this offseason going hard for a backup center. Velasco might just want to start somewhere and he’s more than justified his case for starting. Still, it would be very nice to have some reliable depth on the roster considering the fact that the offensive line seems doomed to suffer injury after injury each season.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you see Fernando Velasco as a Steeler in the future?