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Steelers Coaches, Teammates Impressed by Depth in Trenches



Steelers DE DeMarvin Leal Depth

PITTSBURGH — For a while, the Steelers never felt comfortable with their depth along the offensive and defensive lines. Last year, that depth was painfully thin on both sides of the ball. But Omar Khan and Andy Weidl were determined to change that this offseason, signing and drafting players to attack the trenches on both sides.

Now, the Steelers have something this year they did not have last year — depth along the defensive and offensive lines. The trade of Kevin Dotson showcased that Pittsburgh has depth along the offensive line they have not had for years. Meanwhile, the notorious defenisve line depth will create multiple tough cuts down the stretch for Pittsburgh. The emergence of players such as Spencer Anderson and Dylan Cook gives Pittsburgh confidence in the offensive line. Meanwhile, improvements from Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal and outside additions such as Armon Watts and Breiden Fehoko boost Pittsburgh’s defensive front.

“I think our lines are going to be like that,” center Mason Cole said. “Depth in the trenches is so important. Those guys are rolling in, and you see guys on the defensive line, they play like 15 snaps per game. It’s huge. We’re deep there.”

That’s a common sentiment felt around the Steelers locker room. The preseason tape showcases the team should be deep in the trenches. For top players who are starters, having that security blanket to give you rest on defense is invaluable. Simply put, the world can not fall down for one simple injury. Pittsburgh has multiple skillsets on the offensive side of the ball but the defensive side of the football is where that depth shines.

Breiden Fehoko was relegated to the practice squad because of the team’s depth along the defensive line. From the beginning, the team aimed to have tough cuts across the entire team. In the trenches they did that while finding a potential gem on the offensive line in Dylan Cook.

Offensive line depth is rare in the NFL nowadays. Defensive line depth is more plentiful, but you have to get the right skillsets to work with one another. The Steelers have done both, and they now have planned for the case where injuries occur. It is bound to happen with the team’s luck last year on the offensive line. Defensively, they have guarded themselves against worst case scenarios.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin referred to those decisions along the defensive line as tough. Mike Tomlin lauded the versatility on the offensive side of the ball. Now, it is up to those depth players to prove themselves if the opportunity comes up for them. But for the first time in a while, Pittsburgh feels they have that depth.

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