Okay, so 330 pounds of “educated Big Nasty” otherwise known as Willie Colon is out for the season. Couple that with Santonio in New York, and Big Ben is a no-go for at least the first four, if not six games. Yikes!
Hunker-Down-Dawg is a saying I’ve heard players and coaches mumble when times get rough. And its appearing more so as if the first month of the NFL season for the Steelers is already looking like BP was managing the team as one disaster leads to another. Yet there is always the silver lining to look for when unexpected circumstances seem to pop up from nowhere to ambush the hopes of a team on the hunt.
I’m not talking about researching to find which team started the season with the most adverse situations, and then running some corollary statistics to prove my theory. I’m talking about the fighting spirit of the men who have to step up and shoulder a greater responsibility. And who makes the most of the opportunity presented to them.
While the line looks to be troubled, Steelers line coach Sean Kugler has to have a comfort level with Johnathan Scott, who started 8 games in Buffalo for him. Trai Essex has shown the ability to play tackle, and he could get the job done. The addition of Maurkice Pouncey, and his athleticism coupled with intelligence, gives me hope that his adjustment time will be quicker than normal. And last years free agent gem Ramon Foster is fully capable of flipping the switch and lining up at right guard in the event Trai goes to tackle.
Yeah, it ain’t pretty but it can be done. As long as those 5 guys believe in each other, stick with each other and the coaches help out with schematics that put them in the best position in their personal matchups, it can be done. I’ve been in similar situations and while there where some potholes, 5 guys with a “Hunker-Down-Dawg” fighting spirit can still go a long way to overcoming the odds.
Offensive line play is as much attitude as it is “athletic-tude.” The willingness to play with a “Thick Face, Black Heart” which refuses to listen to critics and concentrate on the only thing you as a player can control, your effort between the white lines whistle-to-whistle is still very much a part of today’s game. The upcoming Steelers Training camp is getting more and more interesting by the day.
Related Story Link:
Early Take On Hiring Of Sean Kugler As O-Line Coach of the Steelers – Nice Work Gentlemen (Link)