The Steelers overhauled their entire offensive line. To no one’s surprise, that also included the offensive line coach, as Shaun Sarrett was let go. Enter in new coach Adrian Klemm, who primarily worked with the Steelers’ young offensive lineman over the past few seasons as the team’s assistant offensive line coach.
Kevin Dotson is already noticing the tone that Klemm is setting in the room. Sarrett had a more laid-back style, however, Klemm has proven to be rambunctious and aggressive in the early going.
“There’s a little more intensity,” Dotson said. “There’s a little more ‘we need to go’. It’s a little more aggressive.”
Klemm noted that when the Steelers drafted both Kendrick Green and Dan Moore, that he considered both to be nasty and aggressive-minded. It appears that Klemm is trying to foster a culture of aggressiveness within the offensive line room.
“Even the way we come off the blocks, there’s no more getting behind people, it’s more of going down the middle of them,” Dotson said. “Even the verbiage he uses in meetings is way more aggressive. It’s not just getting to the block, it’s more ‘run through his face’ or other stuff I really can’t say. He’s using more aggressive terms and I feel like that pushes our mindset.”
While most players will be getting a new introduction to Klemm this year, that is not the case for Dotson. During Dotson’s excellent rookie season, Klemm was the guy who he mostly talked to throughout the year.
“He (Klemm) helped more of the younger guys,” Dotson said. “He helped you learn stance and just coaching you up on stuff. If I needed to ask somebody about plays I would go to him first before I go to anybody else. He was already like a mentor”
It seems that nastiness is part of what the Steelers believe will help turn the running game around from a season ago. For Dotson himself, nastiness is not something he needs to learn. However, Klemm is also changing how the offensive line will line up pre-snap. Klemm is emphasizing three-point stances for tackles especially over the two-point stances or standing up stances many of the tackles took last year.
It appears that Klemm’s energy and intensity are something that he hopes will go through to his lineman. In the efforts to fix the running game, Klemm will be a key factor in helping the young lineman get up to speed, and turning around a rushing attack that was the league’s worst a season ago.