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NFL Analyst Brian Baldinger Issues Warning About Steelers No. 1 OL James Daniels: “He Doesn’t Have The Same Power [As Before]”

Credit: Caitlyn Epes/Steelers

NFL Analyst Brian Baldinger Issues Warning About Steelers No. 1 OL James Daniels: “He Doesn’t Have The Same Power [As Before]”

Pittsburgh Steelers interior offensive lineman, James Daniels, hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts in the black and gold. After signing a three-year, $26.5 million deal a few months ago, he was supposed to immediately become the team’s best lineman. That hasn’t exactly happened yet, as struggles began as early as training camp.

Steelers lineman James Daniels, formerly of the Chicago Bears

Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While he’s still learning new terminology and such with his new team, it has caused room for concern. It’s also the first year for offensive line coach Pat Meyer, who may be getting his feet under him as well. Based off what we’ve seen so far though, it’s clear he’s not the same guy he was with the Chicago Bears for the first four years of his career. NFL analyst Brian Baldinger, who played 11 NFL seasons on the offensive line, echoed those concerns about Daniels in an appearance on 93.7 The Fan.

“I’ve got concerns about James Daniels at right guard right now,” said via 93.7 The Fan. “He doesn’t look like the same player that came out of Iowa. To me, he doesn’t have the same power now. He was a center [at] Iowa, and I thought he was a really good center because of his movement. It’s early, maybe I’ve got this wrong, but they’re counting on him to come in and really solidify the interior. I’ve gotta see it. I’ve gotta see it.

Daniels did own up to his poor performance on Saturday, clarifying that he needs to clean up those mistakes. He allowed multiple pressures to an uninspiring Seattle Seahawks front. As a result, he’s a guy to watch this upcoming weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The offensive line continues to be the biggest area of concern on the offensive side of the ball. Beyond the three-headed battle at quarterback, the team is locked in at all other positions on offense. As a result, the OL’s play is the X-factor to the team’s success this season. It was a rough 2021 season, as running back Najee Harris had nowhere to run and former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his limited mobility had minimal time in the pocket.

Steelers Ben Roethlisberger Najee Harris

Credit: WTAE

The level of concern is still low, as there’s still plenty of reason to believe he’ll return to form. For now though, he’s looking to be a disastrous $26.5 million signing. It is still way too early to determine that fully, as he hasn’t even played a regular season game with the Steelers yet. If the offensive line wants to progress from last season’s disappointment, they’ll need Daniels to be his usual self. If not, it could be another long season for the Steelers’ below-average offensive line.

Thankfully for the Steelers, there’s been positive news and progressions elsewhere on the line. Tackles Chukwuma Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr. have enjoyed solid training camps, as they look to each take a step forward in 2022. While sophomore Kendrick Green struggled at left guard on Saturday, Kevin Dotson has shown flashes of his talents in camp, specifically his ability to block in the running game. Lastly, depth pieces like John Leglue and JC Hassenauer, as well as starting center Mason Cole, made several good blocks in the preseason opener.

Are you guys concerned/worried about James Daniels yet? What do you expect out of him in his first season in Pittsburgh? What are your overall thoughts on the state of the offensive line? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and interact with our social media sites!

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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