We’ve heard from virtually every other Steelers’ offensive lineman about the physicality and tenacity new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is demanding. So we might as well hear from the final piece of the starting five, right guard Trai Turner.
Turner spoke with reporters following yesterday’s practice and says his focus is on doing anything and everything Klemm asks of him.
“I think I bring some physicality, but I’m just listening to everything that Coach Klemm is teaching us to do,” he told reporters as posted on the team’s YouTube channel. “We’ve got [Coach Morgan] teaching us different techniques and new things. I’m basically being a sponge right now. I’m soaking everything up.”
Turner signed about a month ago, meaning he missed out on the Steelers’ spring workouts. That put him slightly behind his teammates and makes picking up the scheme and coaching points even more important for a guy like him. He’s fully expected to step into David DeCastro’s shoes as the team’s starting right guard.
A year removed from an offensive line that simply didn’t get the job done, Klemm and the organization have rebuilt this group basically from the ground up. To Klemm, that starts with a physical and tough element to the line. He said as much last month.
“I’m not going to accept sub-par performances or effort. We’re going to make mistakes and sometimes we’re going to struggle, but the one thing we’re not going to do is get pushed around.”
Turner is known as an impactful run blocker. But he realized those physical gifts alone won’t get the job done at this level. It’s about combining physical talent with the knowledge of the system.
“That tenacity and physicalness is there naturally. But I’m also worried about the technique. I think that comes after you get the technique down and you get the plays down. That physicalness, and that nastiness naturally comes.”
If the Steelers are going to make a big jump forward with their run game, it’ll be because they’re running behind two big, powerful blockers in RG Turner and RT Zach Banner. That’s where the run game will start. If both players stay healthy and play well, they’ll fulfill Klemm’s mission and make this offense a lot more well-rounded than it was a year ago.