The unusual nature of 2020, was the main theme of Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert's media session this afternoon.
Without question, the biggest change for the team this offseason was to their offensive. Last season, the Steelers began the season with Maurkice Pouncey at center, Matt Feiler at left guard, Alejandro Villianueva at left tackle, Steve Wisniewski at right guard, and Zach Banner at right tackle. As it stands, the Steelers only have Banner returning, who is still working his way back from season-ending ACL injury he sustained in week one against the New York Giants. Add the fact that All-Pro guard David Castro was released before minicamp — what you have is one of the youngest and most inexperienced offensive lines in the NFL.
Aware of the many changes at this position, Colbert expressed how this period for the offensive line will be one of transition, with bumps along the way.
"We knew it was going to be a transitional period. Once Maurkice decided to retire, OK, that was one spot. We knew we were going to have trouble signing Al just based on where we were with our cap situation, and we had to make those types of decisions. Of course, David gave us another situation."
Colbert has done an admirable job infusing youth and veteran experience to this year's version of the offensive. In addition to adding both center Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. from this year's NFL Draft, he also brought back veteran BJ Finney and signed Pro Bowl lineman Trai Turner to the fold. With Kevin Dotson returning with fourth-year tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, Colbert voiced confidence in the mix-and-match ensemble of linemen.
"We knew it was going to be a mix and match, but we were comfortable with the group we had albeit having to add Trai after we moved on from David.”
With questions surrounding depth, Colbert noted he was more than comfortable with the current group, siting experience as a possible issue.
"I wouldn’t say we lack depth, I think we lack proven abilities. Do we have people who can play every position on this team? I feel yes, but they have to come out and prove it."