2014 Steelers OTA Practices

Steelers Outside-Zone Runs In 2014 Won’t Include Cut Blocks

A failed cut block by Pittsburgh Steelers right guard David DeCastro in the season-opener last year put center Maurkice Pouncey out for the season with a knee injury. On Tuesday, Pouncey revealed that the outside-zone runs used this season will not include those types of blocks.

“That was the last time we ran that play,” Pouncey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We’re working on it now (the outside zone blocking), but we’ll take away the cut blocking.

“We’re not doing that anymore.”

DeCastro’s failed cut attempt on Titans defensive tackle Sammie Hill with Pouncey still somewhat engaged was tough to watch last season. While cut blocks aren’t illegal, several defensive players are wanting them to be. Currently unsigned free agent defensive end Brett Keisel is one of those players.

“I am not saying all cut blocks, but when someone is engaged, then I don’t feel like it is a safe play,” Keisel said last season after Pouncey went down. “Every year guys get hurt. You wonder how many guys have to go down before something happens.”

It seems as though new offensive line coach Mike Munchak might very well feel the same way.

As far as the outside-zone scheme goes, Munchak said recently that we can expect to see it this season.

“It’ll be a part of our offense” Munchak said. “There’s not much more to it; you’re going a hole wider. It’ll add to what we’ve done last year as an offense. It’s something we’re very capable of doing with the type of offensive linemen we have.

“That’s the nice thing about getting versatile guys who can run, a guy like (David) DeCastro who can pull and do some things, (Kelvin) Beachum can run as a tackle, (Maurkice) Pouncey can obviously do just about anything you want him to do as a center. There are a lot of options to what we can do, and that’s what we’re exploring now. ”

One thing is for certain and that is one those options won’t be cut blocking.

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