Home Steelers Offseason Sifting Through the Steelers’ Interior Offensive Line Moves

Sifting Through the Steelers’ Interior Offensive Line Moves

by Steeldad

If you thought the Pittsburgh Steelers were happy with their offensive line from last year you’d actually be right. They were very pleased with the improvement the unit showed from week one to week 18. That does not mean however that they were so happy that changes wouldn’t be made. And changes have been made. The major question that exists as of right now is where do these guys all fit?

Through the first week of free agency, the Steelers signed Guard Nate Herbig. The former New York Jet and Philadelphia Eagle has appeared in 44 games, starting 28 of them. At 6’4″ 330lbs, Herbig is a very large human being. At the time of his signing last week, the initial thought was that he would provide immediate competition for Kevin Dotson at the left guard spot.

Then this weekend, the Steelers made perhaps their most impressive and surprising move when they signed Isaac Seumalo who started all 20 games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 at right guard. Arguably, he becomes the Steelers’ best offensive lineman. That would mean that he’s even better than James Daniels who was the Steelers’ best lineman last season. Considering the money being made by Daniels, there’s no way he isn’t among the starting five. So where do these two new pieces fit?

Option 1

While most people would agree that Mason Cole had a better than expected season at center in his first year with the Steelers, what we don’t know is how Mike Tomlin felt about it. Daniels has experience playing center in the NFL so option one sees Daniels sliding into that position. Seumalo starts at right guard and Herbig and Dotson battle it out for the left guard spot. For his part, Cole does have some position flexibility as he has experience at guard and we know how Tomlin loves position versatility, especially in his backups.

Option 2

Not only did Daniels have a great season in ’22 but he also had the important duty of signaling when everything on the O-Line was set. Perhaps the staff doesn’t want to break that up and leaves Daniels at RG. Mason Cole would remain at center and then Seumalo moves over to left guard. In this scenario, Herbig becomes the odd man out as a starter but likely becomes the number one reserve with the ability to play either guard spot. Kevin Dotson, assuming Herbig beats him out, would be in serious trouble as far as making the roster.

Option 3

This is the most radical of the options as I see them currently. Keep Seumalo at his right guard spot and move Daniels to left. Cole stays at center and Dotson/Herbig are left to fight it out. “Radical” probably isn’t the right word because Daniels actually spent more time at left guard than he did right during his four years in Chicago. What it really boils down to (if you assume Daniels and Seumalo are your starting guards) is who is more comfortable playing left and who is more comfortable playing right.

What I find really intriguing about all of this is how it affects the Draft. A week or two ago I would have suggested the Steelers were content with their O-Line and wouldn’t be looking for a tackle. Now? I’m starting to think it’s right back in the equation along with cornerback as a likely first round selection.

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