The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was very shortly after the 2016 season ended. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed, and, in a rarity, this actually applies to literally every position on the roster, including the quarterbacks and specialists.
We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, however, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.
Position: Interior Offensive Line
Total Positional Figure: 9
Ramon Foster: I don’t care who knows it, I love Ramon Foster, and not just because we share a birthday (one year apart). I don’t know how anybody can not like him on or off the field. He is about as reliable as they come, and the Steelers are fortunate to have him, especially at his price tag.
Maurkice Pouncey: Pouncey was not at his best last season, but he was coming off a major injury with major complications. I’m optimistic that he will be closer to his older self in 2017 another year removed from that nightmare.
David DeCastro: An All-Pro of deserving status, DeCastro nonetheless didn’t have his best season last year, though much of that has to do with his unusual number of penalties, which should decline this year. A little more consistency is all he needs.
B.J. Finney: Based on his two starts at guard last year, it’s hard not to think about the possibility of him being a full-time starter someday. The thing I noticed most was greater fluidity of motion from him, even in comparison to the preseason.
Chris Hubbard: Though a tackle in college, and his starting experience coming at tackle, most of Hubbard’s practice reps in his professional career have come inside, including at center. He nearly started last year when Finney injured his hand in practice.
Matt Feiler: Until given a compelling reason not to, I’m keeping Feiler on this list. He has played both inside and outside, as has Hubbard.
Mike Matthews: The son of Bruce Matthews (and all the other family ties that go along with it), right now he is just hoping to get noticed during training camp after signing as a Reserve/Future player.
Kyle Friend: Another Reserve/Future Player, Friend will too have a whale of a time just trying to get reps this year.
Ethan Cooper: More attention will no doubt be paid to Cooper than to Matthews, Friend, and even Feiler. He was a priority undrafted free agent signing and could be a prime candidate for the practice squad.
Notes and Camp Outlook:
I think the Steelers’ 53-man roster at this position is pretty set in stone with Finney and Hubbard as the reserves. Unless somebody like Cooper really pushes for a spot on the 53-man roster, which is unlikely, everybody else will simply be competing for a spot on the practice squad.