Down the stretch of the 2022 season, few offensive lines were as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line was, at least from a run game and pass protection standpoint.
Much maligned throughout the offseason and early parts of the season due to some struggles adjusting to a new position coach and trying to learn how to play with each other, the offensive line gelled down the stretch and really played well, helping the Steelers find an identity offensively while going 7-2 in the second half of the season to finish 9-8 overall.
Despite the strong play in the second half, the Steelers enter the offseason ahead of the 2023 season with a potential opportunity to upgrade pieces on the offensive line, particularly on the left side at left tackle and left guard. For GM Omar Khan, who is entering his first free agency and draft process as the man in charge, he’s not going to rule out any opportunity to upgrade any position group, even if he’s pleased with said position group.
Appearing on Steelers Nation Radio Tuesday from the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with hosts Gerry Dulac, Dale Lolley and Max Starks, Khan spoke highly of his offensive line group.
“I mentioned it earlier, just, it was fun to see the growth of that group. Where we were from training camp to where we were at the end of the season, like the o-line group, it really grew week in and week out,” Khan said, according to audio via SNR. “They were just getting better. They were connecting more. It was fun to watch. But, you know, I’ll say regardless of of position, any chance you have the opportunity to upgrade a position, one of the rooms you’re gonna do it.”
It certainly was fun to see the offensive line continue to gel each and every week, and get better and better as the season progressed. They settled in nicely as a group and really turned a corner in the second half of the season, playing an integral part in the Steelers’ turnaround in the second half of the season.
But, as Khan stated, that play down the stretch from the offensive line won’t keep the Steelers’ front office from potentially upgrading the group this offseason, whether that’s in free agency or through the draft, depending on how the board falls or the market develops. That’s the correct approach overall, and if the Steelers are able to upgrade on the likes of Dan Moore Jr. or Kevin Dotson, maybe even Chukwuma Okorafor, it would make the depth that much stronger as a guy with starting experience would presumably slide into a swing role as depth piece overall.
We’ll see what the offseason has in store for the Steelers. Sounds like they’ll search for upgrades anywhere they can find them.