Steelers on the lookout for higher O-line play, no matter QB


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Tomlin has spent the previous month warding off virtually every day questions in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback competitors.

Sometimes with humor. Sometimes with out.

Mitch Trubisky. Kenny Pickett. Mason Rudolph. For weeks each snap, throw and determination — each good and unhealthy — by the three males vying to interchange the retired Ben Roethlisberger has been scrutinized to inside an inch of its life, each inside and outdoors the group’s headquarters.

The most urgent query across the franchise shall be answered in some unspecified time in the future within the subsequent week, with Sunday’s preseason finale towards Detroit offering all three an opportunity to state their case for the ultimate time.

If something, the best way all three have responded to the problem seems to have quelled the mix of pleasure and anxiousness Tomlin — maybe facetiously — copped to having when camp opened.

“I was optimistic (when we started) and I think they’ve met my expectations,” Tomlin stated Friday.

The offensive line set to play in entrance of whoever emerges because the starter for the season opener in Cincinnati on Sept. 11, not a lot. The first unit struggled throughout final week’s victory over Jacksonville, forcing Trubisky and Pickett to depend on their legs as a lot as their proper arms in an try to maneuver the ball.

The shaky efficiency led to an uncomfortable video session within the aftermath, with Tomlin providing a sometimes blunt evaluation. Yet proper guard James Daniels described much less of a tongue lashing and one thing extra akin to a prosecutor making a reasonably compelling case.

“What he was saying really wasn’t bad, it was just factual,” stated Daniels, who signed a three-year deal to hitch Pittsburgh in March. “We had plays and he’s like ‘This is the standard’ and then he shows the clips (from Jacksonville) and he’s like, ‘This isn’t the standard.’”

Not the sort the Steelers want the road to satisfy in the event that they wish to have an opportunity to succeed in the playoffs for a 3rd consecutive yr. Pittsburgh employed Pat Meyer as offensive line coach in February, signed Daniels and heart Mason Cole in free company and minimize widespread however typically injured proper deal with Zach Banner, all with the thought of giving whoever emerges from the quarterback derby an opportunity at success.

While it’s far too early to overreact, Tomlin expects to see progress towards the Lions, even when meaning enjoying the starters into the second half, one thing sometimes remarkable in a preseason finale. Maybe Tomlin felt as if he doesn’t have a lot alternative after the Steelers ran for simply 24 yards on 14 carries towards a group coming off a 3-14 season.

And whereas the road appears appropriately chastened within the aftermath, Tomlin shrugged when requested if he preferred the best way the group responded throughout apply this week.

“I don’t care about the work I’ve seen,” Tomlin stated. “I care about the performance on Sunday. That’s all that matters.”

Having Najee Harris on the sector would possibly assist. The second-year working again may make his first look of 2022 towards Detroit. Harris set a franchise rookie file by working for 1,200 yards final yr. He spent the primary two preseason video games watching from the sideline because the Steelers looked for depth behind him.

There nonetheless appears to be little readability in that division, although it hardly issues so long as Harris is wholesome. He definitely seems to be recent, and the blokes who will block for him are desperate to see Harris’ No. 22 racing by on his method via the holes they’re paid handsomely to create.

“It’ll definitely help,” left guard Kevin Dotson stated. “Just, you know, we want to be able to give him the best opportunity to make the most of everything.”

If not, one other uncomfortable video session awaits.


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