It took a long time but Stefen Wisniewski is home. For Pittsburgh, just in the nick of time. Wisniewski was a key veteran signing to replace BJ Finney, let go and signed with Seattle, as the team’s presumed backup interior swingman. He brings more than versatility to the table. Offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett praised Wisniewski’s professional approach and mentorship he can provide to his younger teammates.
“Wis is a true professional,” Sarrett said yesterday. “I could tell since day one in the virtual meetings. Once I met him in person at camp, we got in the room, I could tell it’s no wonder this guy has done it as long as he has. He’s done a great job in the room. He’s helping young guys along. You go out to the field, he can play multiple positions too. He’s playing both guard spots, he’s playing center spot, and he hasn’t batted an eye. He goes out there and competes.”
Though he’s bounced around the past few years, he comes with plenty of hardware and experience. He’s been part of two of the last three Super Bowl winning squads. 2017 with the Eagles, 2019 with the Chiefs, part of the starting lineup in both games. Super Bowl rings are hard to find on this team. The only other on the roster is QB Ben Roethlisberger. That’s important credibility in the room. Pittsburgh’s o-line is full of veterans but have also added younger faces like rookie Kevin Dotson and second-year guard Derwin Gray.
Wisniewski is projected to begin the year as a backup but Sarrett didn’t entirely discount the possibility of him starting.
“If he’s competing at a high level and we feel comfortable with him, we’ll put him in there at guard.”
Should Chukwuma Okorafor and Zach Banner struggle to cement the right tackle spot, the team could kick Matt Feiler back out there and insert Wisniewski at left guard. The odds of that happening as we sit here today are relatively unlikely but not impossible. Failing that, it’ll take just one injury at guard or center for Wisniewski to move into the starting lineup.
That’s almost guaranteed to happen, especially given the COVID pandemic. BJ Finney started at least two games in all four years of his Steelers’ career so at some point, Wisniewski will be counted on as next man up.