Onward we go with our player by player breakdown of the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers free agents. We are still looking at the restricted group and next up is offensive lineman Doug Legursky.
Player: Doug Legursky
Experience: 3 Years
Free Agent Status: Restricted
2011 Salary Cap Hit: $525,000.00
2011 Season Breakdown: Legursky was a very busy guy in 2011 for the Steelers. He started the season as the starting right guard after getting the job late in the preseason as Chris Scott, Tony Hills and Ramon Foster failed to nail it down. He started the first three games on the right side before suffering a shoulder injury against the Indianapolis Colts in week 3 and the injury forced him to miss the week 4 game against the Houston Texans. He returned in week 5 against the Tennessee Titans and started at left guard in place of the injured Chris Kemoeatu and again there in week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He suffered a dislocated toe against the Jaguars early in the game and it forced him to miss the next 4 games as a result. He returned to left guard following the bye week but was forced over to center early in the game after Maurkice Pouncey left sick. He would play both left guard and center the rest of the season as Pouncey went down with an ankle injury in week 14. Legursky started the next two games at center against the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams, but left early in the game against the Rams after he injured his left shoulder. That injury forced him to miss the rest of that game and the season finale against the Cleveland Browns as a result. With Pouncey down again for the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos, Legursky once again was forced to start at center. In total he played just over 600 snaps in 2011.
Legursky is very smart and knows the offense inside and out. He knows how to play every interior position on the line and has good short area quickness still. His low center of gravity and quickness allows him to trap well to either side, but his smallish stature also allows for hands inside his frame at times in pass protection. He allowed a few sacks in 2011 and an unofficial 18 pressures on the season to go along with a few quarterback hits. He struggled at times with bigger body defensive tackles at the point of attack throughout the year, but was far from awful. He is the ultimate interior swing man and a sufficient backup center. In my opinion his best position might very well be left guard and he is at his best when on the move. The shoulder injury certainly hampered him at times this season and he played against the Broncos less than 100%. He had shoulder surgery immediately after the season ended as a result.
Free Agency Outlook: Legursky will be a restricted free agent and I expect the Steelers to tender him at the lowest level. With Kemoeatu likely to be a salary cap casualty early on, and the Steelers expected to draft a guard early in the upcoming draft, I think they need Legursky back in 2012. It would not be surprising to see them give him a modest multi-year deal either, but I am not prepared to say that is a lock to happen. Legursky was undrafted so if another team were to sign him to an offer sheet, the Steelers would have a chance to match it or lose him without any compensation. His biggest asset in free agency is his position flexibility, but his durability might be in question after this past season. I think when the smoke clears he will be back at Latrobe for training camp and might be given a shot to at least start the season at either left or right guard and at the very least he will be a backup interior swing man next season.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Mike Wallace – Restricted Free Agent
Keenan Lewis – Restricted Free Agent
Ramon Foster – Restricted Free Agent
David Johnson – Restricted Free Agent
Ryan Mundy – Restricted Free Agent
Jamon Meredith – Restricted Free Agent
Jerricho Cotchery – Unestricted Free Agent
Mewelde Moore – Unestricted Free Agent
Byron Leftwich – Unestricted Free Agent
Charlie Batch – Unestricted Free Agent
Dennis Dixon – Unestricted Free Agent
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