The Pittsburgh Steelers picked one of the better run-blocking offensive linemen that was available during this year’s free agency period. Agreeing to a three-year deal, Cole is already embracing the culture around his new team and his head coach, Mike Tomlin. As far as where he will play, Cole made it known he’d like to stay at center.
Appearing on Steelers’ Nation Radio via the Steelers Blitz podcast, Cole highlighted his experience so far as a Steeler. In particular, commenting on Tomlin’s presence and how the culture that’s been built in Pittsburgh was a major plus for him.
“Coach Tomlin’s been awesome and the culture he’s built here and the city’s built is unbelievable,” he told the show. “And to be a part of it is really special.”
As far as his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, Cole played mostly at center, excelling in run blocking. Per Pro Football Focus he earned a 75.2 grade in that department, helping to lead Minnesota’s rushing attack to 1,930 yards on the ground. It should be noted that Cole is no slouch in pass protection either, as the Vikings’ center the last two years, he’s only surrendered four sacks. On top of that, he played some of his best, cleanest football, earning zero penalties for the year.
Now with Pittsburgh, Cole would like that to continue.
“Center is certainly the position I feel most comfortable just because I’ve started the most games there. I could be out there and hold someone’s spot. But any of the three interior spots I feel comfortable, I can play at a high level at. But I do think center is where I feel the most comfortable at.”
With OTAs underway, Cole does have J.C. Hassenauer and Kendrick Green are beneath him on the depth chart but in all likelihood, he’ll be the starting center come Week 1.