The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced unexpectedly to revamp their entire offensive line following the 2020 season. Veteran Maurkice Pouncey retired, and David DeCastro couldn’t pass a physical due to a lingering injury, so he was later released in the off-season. The team also decided to let Alejandro Villanueva walk as a free agent.
The revamping didn’t go exactly as planned, though. Assumed starting right tackle Zach Banner never fully recovered from an ACL injury that caused him to miss most of the 2020 season. He’s currently out of football after the Steelers released him this off-season. They were forced to start a rookie at left tackle in Dan Moore Jr. last year because of Banner being unavailable, and their plan to move a college guard to center didn’t work either. Rookie Kendrick Green was abused all season after making the switch to center and now it appears he’s being moved back to guard.
Today during the Steelers first OTA practice, free agent signee Mason Cole took the first string snaps at center, while Green appears to be set to battle Kevin Dotson for the left guard position. Dotson confirmed that he’s still the starter at left guard for now.
According to reports Pittsburgh’s starting offensive line looked like this:
LT – Dan Moore Jr
LG – Kevin Dotson
C – Mason Cole
RG – James Daniels
RT – Chukwuma Okorafor
The Steelers went out and signed guard James Daniels to instantly come in and impact the starting unit. Daniels was one of the best offensive lineman available during the free agency period, and should be a huge upgrade over Trai Turner. Daniels wants to be the leader that this young offensive line needs. It’s been something they’ve been lacking since Pouncey and DeCastro left.
Kevin Dotson said James Daniels has come in and already taken a role as leader on the Steelers OL
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 24, 2022
When Daniels was introduced at his press conference after signing with the Steelers, Daniels’ talked about taking on a leadership role.
“I want to take on a leadership role, but first I would like to be respected, earn the respect of the others on the offensive line.”
“You can’t take on a leadership role if you aren’t respected. Once I earn the respect of the veterans, the rookies and younger players, the others in the offensive line room and earn it from the coaches and defensive players. Once you earn that respect, you are looked at as a leader by others.”
Daniels will get his chance starting today.
MORE STEELERS NEWS
Steelers Still Without Stephon Tuitt At Day 1 Of OTA’s
A Steelers Overload at Cornerback Might be a Good Problem to Have in 2022
Dwayne Haskins’ Wife Kalabrya Releases Statement After Details Of His Death Revealed Monday