Steelers Set Record For Offensive Line Continuity, Per Football Outsiders Metrics

The Pittsburgh Steelers were incredibly lucky when it came to the health of their offensive line last year, having the same five start all 17 games. In doing so, they became the 40th such team in NFL history to start a full regular season, but the only team to have it happen in a 17-game regular season. As a result, the Steelers set a record for offensive line continuity score, a Football Outsiders metric that tracks continuity among starters on a team’s offensive line. The Steelers’ continuity score of 51 is a new high in the history of the metric and obviously ranked No. 1 in the NFL last season. They finished ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, who were second with a continuity score of 45.

The score was a nice change of pace, as from 2017-2021 the highest the Steelers ranked was ninth in 2019. Their other finishes were 13th in 2021, 18th in 2020 and 2018, and 24th in 2017. The Steelers know they won’t be as lucky again when it comes to offensive line health, something Mike Tomlin addressed at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix last week. Also, the Steelers almost assuredly won’t trot out the same starters in Week 1 of 2023 that they did throughout the 2022 season. The addition of guard Isaac Seumalo in free agency should push Kevin Dotson, who started every game in 2022 at left guard, to the bench. The team could look to trade or release Dotson if it views free agent signee Nate Herbig as a better guard option, as well.

Even if they aren’t the sexiest names, the Steelers have done a good job of adding established offensive line depth in free agency. Tackle Le’Raven Clark and Herbig might not be Day 1 starters (and Clark certainly won’t be unless there is an injury), but they’re both guys who have been in the league and the team is likely more comfortable with them than a mid-round rookie. While Herbig has been better when given an opportunity, the Steelers are at least insuring themselves against potential injuries by adding experienced NFL players to the offensive line room.

There’s always the chance they continue to fortify through the draft, as well. The team could stand to take another offensive tackle to potentially compete with Clark as the swing tackle. Another center-capable option could be necessary given the likely departure of J.C. Hassenauer, whom the team didn’t tender a contract to earlier this offseason. While guards James Daniels and Herbig have center experience, the team might want someone else who’s played the position more recently just to add to its comfort level. Either way, the Steelers know they more than likely won’t maintain historic levels of health along their offensive line again. Up to this point, they’ve done a good job adding to the room to make it better and make it deeper.

To Top