Friday, October 07, 2011

A Study in Contrasts: The Offensive Lines

The Tennessee Titans' starting five on the offensive line has played together for five consecutive years.  Five years. 
By contrast, the Steelers' offensive line has been together for maybe five minutes. It's in shambles.

Across the line, from left tackle to right tackle, Tennessee's offensive line has combined for 344 straight starts. That is consistency and continuity personified.

Maybe that's one reason why the Titans have allowed just four sacks over four games. The Steelers allowed five sacks last Sunday and 14 this season.

Compounding the Steelers' woes, Ben Roethlisberger is hobbling around with by an injured foot that required a walking boot this week. We probably shouldn't anticipate many rollouts or "boot"legs on Sunday.

Maybe, just maybe, the Steelers will go back to the running game, and it looks like Isaac Redman will get most of the carries vs. the Titans. No definitive word yet on the availability of either Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) or Mewelde Moore (sprained ankle), but neither practiced on Thursday. Jonathan Dwyer is the other running back.

“You can’t do too much dancing in the backfield,” said Redman on “That is how we lose yards. I would rather have a zero yard run than a loss. Our line is beat up, there is some inexperience. We have to establish the run. We need it. We need to shut people up. We have Max Starks back. Hopefully he can add some spark to the offensive line and we can get some movement.”

For the record,Tennessee's starters are:
  • Left Tackle Michael Roos, a seven-year veteran
  • Left guard Leroy Harris, a five-year veteran
  • Center Eugene Amano, an eight-year veteran
  • Right guard Jake Scott, an eight-year veteran
  • Right tackle David Stewart, a seven-year veteran
In terms of year's experience across the line, that's 7, 5, 8, 8, 7.
The Steelers show 5, 7, 2, 3, 1
That's according to today's depth chart on, which shows 5, 7, 2, 3, 1 years of experience for Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeautu, Maurkice Pouncey, Doug Legursky and Marcus Gilbert across the line from left to right. Max Starks is in his eighth year -- but still in his first few days with this group. There's a chance he will start on Sunday.