When he is not defending Kenny Pickett from a late hit, veteran James Daniels is busy protecting him from opposing defensive linemen. Quite frankly, he does it as well as any offensive lineman in the NFL.
Last season, Daniels had the distinction of being the only Steelers offensive lineman not to allow a single sack. To add, he allowed the fewest pressures and quarterback hits on a unit that broke out in the second half of the 2022 season. Daniels would also finish 9th in pass-block-win rate among guards.
For the Steelers this upcoming season, stability will be key for the success of their offensive line. In the short period of time Daniels has been on the team, he has proven to be one of the most reliable players on offense. Even with the changes made to the offensive line this offseason, the right side has remained the same, alongside veteran Chukwuma Okorafor.
Fans should expect the same thing from Daniels this season; someone who you may not hear much from, as he is quietly providing high-level protection for Kenny Pickett, and opening holes for his running backs, such as Najee Harris. For the Steelers to become playoff contenders, it begins in the trenches. As long and Daniels is present to help them in that cause, their prospects of reaching grows that much higher.