Banner On O-Line’s New Mentality Under Klemm: ‘You Gotta Come Off The Ball And Kill People’

Zach Banner

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson met the media on Wednesday and talked quite a bit about the aggressiveness the team’s offensive line is expected to have in 2021. On Thursday, tackle Zach Banner met the media and was essentially asked to expand on the description that Dotson gave on Wednesday when it comes to what will be expected from new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm moving forward.

“We call it an unnecessary violence,” Banner said. “Offensive line is a very tough thing to love, right? We don’t want to play offensive line when you’re a little. You want to catch the ball, you want to throw the ball, you want to run around. There’s that type of quote-unquote, hurt – not hurt somebody on purpose, but that thug mentality that we have when we put our helmets on. It’s still professional, still structured. I want to reiterate that, too, because his professionalism is through the roof.

“But when I look at my guys going out in the tunnel, going out anywhere, I’m looking at them and I’m saying let’s f’ing go. And we have that now as a coach. And you know, a lot of people talk about last year and Klemm developing younger guys like Kevin Dotson, other guys who just got here and even some of the vets too, that’s something that’s missing in his resume that people don’t talk about.”

When talking later on Thursday about the new and younger offensive linemen on the team this year and what kind of message is being conveyed to that group, Banner talked more about the mentality the group is looking to have in 2021 under Klemm.

“I don’t know why I was hesitant on saying thug mentality, but I think you guys get that, because the last thing I want people thinking is, you know, we’re walking around Pittsburgh beating people up or doing dumb stuff,” Banner said. “But at the same time, what else would you want out of an offensive line, you know, as an offensive line unit? That’s my question. You gotta come off the ball and kill people and that’s the type of mentality we need to have.”

Based on all that Dotson and Banner have had to say these last two days we should really see an aggressive offensive line unit in 2021 under the leadership of Klemm with a bullying-like attitude to boot. As a unit, the Steelers offensive line hasn’t been great as a collective unit for a few seasons now and that’s why Klemm was promoted this offseason and why Shaun Sarrett, the team’s offensive line coach the last few seasons, didn’t have his contract renewed this offseason.

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