Just a quick conversation starter about how the Steelers might shuffle their personnel along the offensive line. Firstly, I have no idea if the Steelers are considering anything like this. It may be too soon to abandon what they identified as the best option in the wake of Max Starks being placed on Injured Reserve. That would be starting Jonathan Scott at left tackle in place of Starks, and keeping Flozell Adams at right tackle. Presumably Chris Kemoeatu will be ready to play next week, or at the latest, against the Buffalo Bills in two weeks time. He'd re-occupy the left guard position, which would return the Steelers' offensive line back to its original starting five to begin the year minus Starks.
However, I'm wondering if one small change might make a world of difference. I've been thinking about what dividends it might pay to slide Adams back over to left tackle, the position he played for over a decade in Dallas, and then trying J. Scott, Chris Scott, or Tony Hills at right tackle.
It just seems like a tall order for any of the aforementioned options being able to hold down the left tackle position adequately or consistently enough for the Steelers to make a push towards the playoffs. Are the consequences of poor left tackle play potentially greater than mediocre play at right tackle? Might one of the Scotts or Hills be more likely to play decent enough RT than they might at LT?
Also worth considering is this: Ben Roethlisberger is better than anybody in the league at making the first guy miss in the backfield, but even he can't do much if he has guys breathing down his neck from the blind side. I saw Big Ben look skittish and unsure of what might be coming from his backside on more than one occasion. We're just not used to seeing that from the fearless Roethlisberger.
If the pressure is coming at him in his line of vision, Roethlisberger at least has the visual information to adjust on the fly and keep plays alive. Adams seems like a better bet to keep Roethlisberger upright from the all-important left tackle position. Finally, by putting Adams on the left side, the Steelers might be able to shake things up in their running game. I don't have the specific stats handy, but the Steelers are running a disproportionately high number of their running plays to the right side behind Adams and Essex. With Adams on the left side, perhaps the Steelers improve their run blocking on the left side, and ultimately make defenses be more honest.