Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler joined 93.7 The Fan Monday morning to talk about the offensive line as the team heads next towards training camp after finishing up mini-camp last week. Below are some of the better talking points from the interview if you do not have the time to listen to it.
Re: The intelligence of David DeCastro coming into the NFL?
Kugler: Well he is an extremely intelligent kid. He just graduated yesterday in four years from Stanford with management in science engineering degree, which is really amazing in itself. And you can tell just even being in here for the mini-camp, rarely made mistakes, was on point in the meetings and those types things, so I think the learning aspect for him is going to come pretty easily, of course there\’s always the physical aspect, which is a shock for any player coming out of college.
Re: The toughest position on the offensive line from college to pros?
Kugler: Probably the two toughest would be left tackle, just because of the athletes you\’ll be facing as pass rushers, but mentally it has to be center and Maurkice made that transition two years ago, and just because of the fact that they have to set all of the line blocking schemes, make all of the calls and the defensive identification. So I would say center is the hardest probably mentally and physically would be left tackle.
Re: Health of Maurkice Pouncey this year?
Kugler: Well Maurkice is the one that attacked that. This off-season, and I told him the other day before we left camp, was his best off-season since he\’s been here. He looks outstanding. He\’s moving around great. He\’s healthy. I can\’t wait to watch Maurkice Pouncey play this year, because I know he\’s healthy and I know what he is capable of when he is healthy and he\’s excited as well. So he did have two major injuries, he\’s had surgery to correct it. I think last year really hurt him because he wasn\’t around to be able to rehab with our doctors and training staff, and it\’s different when you do it on your own. And this year he was, he was here every day and I\’m excited for Maurkice Pouncey.
Re: Mike Adams, his good feet and who he is?
Kugler: Yeah, Mike does have really good feet and he moves well. Again it\’s going to be Mike transitioning to the physical aspect of the NFL. Personally I can\’t make an evaluation on him until I see him against a James Harrison or a LaMarr Woodley, because those are the top guys that he\’s going to be going against, and if he can block those cats, he\’ll have a good chance. So we\’ll get a quick evaluation on Mike Adams from probably day one to the second we put on pads, but he did an outstanding job as well with the mental aspect, communicating long distance and he came in and you can tell he put the time and effort in to learn the offense.
Re: How quickly he wants the starting five set on the line.
Kugler: As soon as their ready. Those guys are going to have to earn their jobs and I have all the respect in the world for the Ramon Fosters\’ and the Doug Legursky\’s and those type guys. I know those guys aren\’t going to willingly give up their job. It\’s not in their make-up and all that makes for is better competition. So whoever the starting five are that are out there, of course you want to do that as early as possible and get those guys gelling together and ideally have them play through the entire season. Is that a reality? Maybe not, but that\’s something that we\’re striving to do.