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Buy Or Sell: At Least One OL Not On Roster Will Be On 53 Opening Day (Or Soon After)

With the regular season quickly rearing its head, we are finally beginning to piece together some concrete data to attempt to draw conclusions about the Pittsburgh Steelers and who they will be during the 2022 season.

With new quarterbacks, new coaches in new roles, even a new stadium name, there is plenty of change, creating an environment of even less predictability. That includes the new general manager, which could potentially introduce new variables we will have to learn to adjust to over the years when making our own projections of what decisions the team will make.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: At least one offensive lineman not currently on the roster will be on opening day, or soon after.

Explanation: The Steelers’ offensive line has not shown any sort of meaningful growth in-game since last season thus far. The first preseason game offered the illusion of an improved running game, but the second put the lie to that. Both in the starting lineup and at depth, there is certainly room for upgrades. The team has already been active on the waiver wire, including claiming center Ryan McCollum.

Buy:

The Steelers wouldn’t be turning over the offensive line room so much if they weren’t looking for answers that they knew they don’t currently have. Are the Steelers going to acquire a starting lineman over the course of the next few weeks? No, probably not unless they pull off a trade, but they’re bound to add some kind of competition into the mix.

They don’t even have a viable fourth tackle. They’re trying to make John Leglue one, who has by far been most successful at guard, but Chaz Green and Trent Scott are not the answers. Right now, I struggle to make the case to even carry nine linemen.

Sell:

The only part of the offensive line room the Steelers have turned over is the very bottom, so it would be a mistake to extrapolate much meaning from that. After all, what exactly are we talking about here? Jordan Tucker for Adrian Ealy? Jake Dixon and Chris Owens for William Dunkle. Nate Gilliam for Ryan McCollum? How many of those names would you have even remembered before re-reading them a couple of seconds ago?

Pittsburgh is a patient organization. The coaching staff knew that it would take time to put this offensive line room together, especially with a new offensive line coaching staff, with both of their line coaches from last season gone.

You have guys from center to right tackle who have proven to be at least adequate starters, even if not exceptional, who won’t actively lose you games. Kevin Dotson has put good snaps on tape in the past and now seems the inevitable left guard. Dan Moore Jr. has a lot of concerns right now, but it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to give him time.

The only caveat to this is the possibility of Joe Haeg’s availability being an issue. He’s currently in the concussion protocol; if that somehow lingers, then we might see a move along the offensive line. Otherwise, expect this to be the group, barring injury, for a while.

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