The Steelers went head to head with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday. One of the biggest takeaways was the Steelers Offensive line. The Jaguars are a much more difficult task to go against than the Seahawks and it showed.
Steelers Offensive Line Struggles
Say what you want about the Jaguars, but the team has a lot of talent on it. They have good depth at the defensive line and a lot of high draft picks across the defense. A lot of people took the Steelers performance against Seattle lightly due to their lack of talent and depth. The real test came on Saturday. The Steelers Offensive Line like usual lacked any kind of push or momentum. The game started with Mitch Trubisky having constant pressure in his face and having to move around more than he should. With that being said, I think Mitch did a great job trying to make a play and avoiding the pressure. Guys like Dan Moore Jr and especially James Daniels REALLY struggled. The credit and inspiration of this came from DK Sports Network.
Dan Moore Jr
Dan Moore Jr had a rough time Saturday. Since being drafted he definitely has been solid given the situation he was put in. A late round draft pick of the Steelers he was thrown to the wolves. There have been moments where he had Myles Garrett locked up last year. At his position he allowed the 10th fewest sacks last year which is great. However, against the Jaguars stacked defensive line he was being beat left and right. Now as a tackle his job is to watch around the outside rush. In this game guys were not just beating him on the edge but they were going right at him and bullying him. It’s definitely worth noting that the interior guard position was a rotation with no continuity, Mason Cole played just okay and James Daniels looked absolutely bad.
James Daniels was brought in from the Bears to help improve the offensive line. While he did have early struggles with the Bears, his versatility and continued improvement showed a lot of promise. The Steelers signed him this offseason for 3 years $26 million. So far in his first 2 preseason games he has not looked great at all. The most recent against the Jaguars being his worst performance. The play he put out was simply unacceptable. As I referenced above, DK Sports podcast mentioned something interesting, this level of poor play was not on the tape of him with the Bears. You have to think part of it is just the rest of the line being solid is part of his problem but, the Bears did not have great play around him and he still excelled. He is going to be expected to be a leader for this unit and he needs to get it together if the Steelers expect any success. Click here to a great article with a clip of James Daniels looking absolutely lost in protection.
The Steelers need to make a move as soon as possible. I don’t see anything that shows any signs of improvement at all. The unit is very young and very inconsistent with no veteran leadership as of yet. They knew this group was a weak spot of the team last year and just threw them out there anyway in hopes coaching and development would fix the situation. Up to this point early on I don’t see any improvement and they better go grab a veteran from free agency or seek a trade if they really plan on being competitive.
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