During an interview with 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor talked about how the offensive line is planning on playing together for awhile.
Okorafor specifically mentioned former Steelers like C Maurkice Pouncey, OT Alejandro Villanueva, OG Ramon Foster, and OT Marcus Gilbert and how that group stayed together in Pittsburgh on the offensive line. “I think that’s kind of the plan now for us, whoever the five, four guys are gonna be to kind of play together for the next 3, 4, 5 years. So I think, I think that’s kind of the new plan for us,” Okorafor said.
Obviously, the Steelers would love if their current offensive line could form a core and stick together for the next few years. Pittsburgh invested in their offensive line this offseason by giving Okorafor a new contract, while also signing OL Mason Cole and James Daniels. Those three along with OG Kevin Dotson and OT Dan Moore Jr. are expected to start, but last year’s third-round pick Kendrick Green will also compete for a job. If Pittsburgh can form a reliable offensive line out of that group for the next few years, the team will be in solid shape.
The problem is, the offensive line last year wasn’t very good and wasn’t a group Pittsburgh could stick with in the future. While Cole and Daniels should help, Pittsburgh will need both Okorafor and Moore Jr. to improve from last year. Moore Jr. showed flashes of being at least an average starting tackle, and if he can perform to that level this year, Pittsburgh will be happy. Dotson struggled with injuries last season but showed a lot of potential as a rookie. If he can improve on his rookie-year performance, then Pittsburgh should have a talented guard for the next few years.
One of the most important things along the offensive line is stability, and if this young group can improve and work together, having that stability will only improve the team as a whole. While Moore Jr. wasn’t great as a rookie, I think he’ll take a pretty solid step forward this year, while the hope is that Dotson becomes the player he looked like he could be just two seasons ago. Okorafor will have a lot to play for this season, as his contract allows the Steelers to cut him after this year with minimal penalty, while Daniels and Cole will look to prove why Pittsburgh committed to them as free agents. The offensive line play is maybe the biggest thing the Steelers need to improve on from 2021, and if they can do so in 2022, the Steelers could be a lot better than people think.