The Steelers’ offensive line has struggled to get going this season entirely. But they have had flashes but consistent struggles at both tackle spots and at center. While they seem to have a guard duo in Isaac Seumalo and James Daniels, Pittsburgh needs more out of the offensive line, similar to what they got down the stretch last year, to power the team to a strong finish. Yet, when the team went shopping this offseason, they focused heavily on fixing the interior and addressed one tackle spot by drafting Broderick Jones.
CBS Sport ran down the list of needs for each team this season and what their most significant need could become in the offseason. For Pittsburgh, they have it tabbed as the offensive line. You can argue they need both a tackle and a center to overhaul the group entirely and mold it into something that fits their long-term vision. Indeed, the group has sometimes fallen short despite the money invested into it.
“The offense, as a whole, has been awful, but that is largely attributed to play-calling rather than any particular personnel group,” they wrote. “Pittsburgh is allowing pressure on 39.6% of their dropbacks, which is the ninth-worst mark in the NFL, according to TruMedia. Offensive tackles Dan Moore and Chuks Okorafor have among the 10 worst beaten percentages.”
Again, another tackle seems to be the consensus here, and it makes sense. Jones already took over for Okorafor and Moore at different points this year, and the Steelers saw he firmly outplayed both. He is their best tackle, even as a rawer and still-developing player. But his innate athleticism adds something that the Steelers do not have without him on the field.
Against the Titans, Jones sparked the rushing attack, blowing the Titans front open for 166 yards and 5.5 yards per carry on the night. Jones impressed in that game, allowing just one pressure in the passing game while doubling off that in the run game. Pittsburgh pulled guards and one tackle, Jones, out in space to highlight his athleticism. But Pittsburgh still has to worry about Moore and Cole each week. Last week, both held up their end of the bargain enough to succeed. It needs to be better down the stretch, or Pittsburgh could have two new starters along their offensive line in 2024.