The breakdown of the potential 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers offense is nearly complete. With the skill positions wrapped up, all that remains is potentially the most important part of he unit, the offensive line. This season, the line will be undergoing some schematic changes, including the move toward a more zone-based scheme, which should actually fit their athletic make-up better than a man-based scheme. How they adapt in camp will be a huge sign at the overall success of the offense.
Of course, the major question is who will man the left tackle position with Kelvin Beachum opening camp in that role. In 2013, Mike Adams failed miserably early on, and Beachum became a settling force up-front once he entered the starting line-up.
The biggest battle in camp should come from Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert at the right tackle position. Both Adams and Gilbert had somewhat disappointing seasons in 2013 and must improve to be part of the long-term solution for the franchise
Veteran Ramon Foster and 2012 first round selection, David DeCastro, who was solid in his first year as a starter, will man the guard positions. Foster, also had a good year with it being his first on the left side of the offense.
Whimper was brought in to be a veteran presence at the tackle position, and will slide into guard or tackle if an injury should arise. Cody Wallace, who flashed some potential late in 2013 returns and should be the first interior lineman off the bench moving forward.
The final lineman to make the roster should be Johnson. A four-year starter at Vanderbilt, Johnson is a smart, versatile, and fluid offensive lineman that understands the game and plays with intelligence. In college, he saw a total of 51 starts outside at tackle, although he profiles inside as a guard / center combination in the NFL. At 6-5, 297-pounds, he lacked the bulk teams prefer, but his athleticism and movement abilities will give him a chance to be a swingman in the league.
In the end, the Steelers should keep nine offensive linemen in 2013.
Over the next few weeks, Steelers101 will break down every position, highlight training camp battles and eventually have the complete 53-man roster as we see it today.
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