By: Chris Brumfield
Hello Chinstrap Sports fans! My name is Chris Brumfield, and to steal a phrase from Tim Tebow, I’d like to say that “I’m excited!” to be covering the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Marshall University Thundering Herd Football for this site.
About me, I am a recent graduate of Marshall University, where I studied civil engineering, and rarely missed a home football game. I have been a Huntington, WV resident all my life and have a great amount of pride in the program. Aside from being a fan of The Herd, I have always rooted on the Pittsburgh Steelers in good times, and bad; fortunately most of those times have been good, and look to continue to be so. That all being said, I jumped at the opportunity to cover these two teams. I hope that all of the followers of this outlet find my articles informative and entertaining. And now for some sports news!
It doesn’t take a seasoned football fan to notice that Ben Roethlisberger has spent much of the past few seasons running for his life. Some of this is just Ben being Ben, buying time in the pocket to make the gutsy play for his team; other times he’s lucky to have time to glance down field before he has Terrell Suggs busting up his grill. Whichever the case might be it was a relief to see how the team progressively addressed the o-line issue with an overhauling of the unit that was among the league leaders in starting combinations from a season ago.
This offseason saw the team release veteran guard, Chris Kemoeatu, and bring in rookies David De Castro, from Stanford and Mike Adams from Ohio State. I personally, was glad to see Kemoeatu be sent packing, as I feel that no single player cost the team more wins over the past three seasons than he. If it wasn’t a blatant holding call at a pivotal point in the game, it was a total lack of effort from his part. To replace him, the team made one of the best value picks in the draft when they selected the All-American guard De Castro with their first round pick. Big things are expected of De Castro, but his work ethic and football IQ will bring him a long way. He will be a big upgrade at the position, and be a force to be reckoned with alongside center Maurkice Pouncey. Adams is a physical specimen at the tackle position where he dominated at times in college. He had all the tools to be a first round pick, but was his own worst enemy at times, allowing himself to hurt his reputation and draft stock. If there is anybody in the league who could handle such a job as polishing this talent, Mike Tomlin would definitely be on the list. With coach Tomlin he will succeed or find himself looking for work, I have a feeling Adams will be up to the challenge and become a stalwart on this line.
It won’t hurt that Adams will be tutored by a true pro in longtime Steeler tackle Max Starks, a two-time Superbowl Champion with the team, and personal friend of Roethlisberger, who recently resigned with the team, after being cut after suffering a torn ACL. It was Roethlisberger who lobbied for his old buddy’s return, wearing Starks number 78 jersey during practice to show how he felt about bringing Starks back. The tackle position forecasts to be a much deeper position than in the past, with second year man from Florida, Marcus Gilbert returning after an impressive rookie season.
These developments led to the often injured tackle Willie Colon being moved to the guard spot opposite of De Castro. Colon, if he can remain healthy could be a very good guard for the Steelers, and at the least an upgrade at the position from last year. That shapes up the starting front of Adams/Starks, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro, and Gilbert, with versatile role players like Doug Legursky also figuring to see the field. All of this should have Roethlisberger with more time to do what he does best, and that is make big plays and win games.
I don’t know about you, but writing this article has me all fired up for some Steelers football! If you enjoyed what you read here, please be sure to tune back in with the site as I will be periodically posting updates as news breaks with the team, but until then keep those Terrible Towels twirling!