Since the departure of Hall of Fame player and coach Mike Munchak the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to find an offensive line coach worthy of keeping around. After Munchak’s departure to the Denver Broncos to be closer to family, the Steelers promoted Shaun Sarrett from assistant offensive line coach to the offensive line coach.
Sarrett lasted just two seasons before the team decided to let him go by not renewing his contract. As Sarrett found a new home with the Chargers, the Steelers again promoted from within and made then assistant offensive line coach Adrian Klemm the main man for the 2021 season. Klemm didn’t even last a season as he chose to leave Pittsburgh to go to the University of Oregon. The team promoted Chris Morgan to handle the offensive line for the remainder of the season, but didn’t bring him back as the offensive line coach for the 2022 season.
With Morgan gone to Chicago, the organization finally chose to go outside their walls to hire the next offensive line coach. They did so by bringing in Pat Meyer to mold a very young offensive line into something formidable.
Meyer hasn’t been on the job long, but even in the early stages of Phase 3 of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) players are noticing the difference between 2021 instruction under Klemm and 2022 instruction under Meyer.
Here is a quote from second year tackle Dan Moore Jr. on the difference between the two coaches/philosophies:
“I think last year we tried to have an aggressive mindset. I think the best way to describe it this year is controlled aggression. We just don’t want to run off the ball with our heads down and no technique. We really want to be technicians. We want to be grounded in what we do.”
As I read this quote, I couldn’t help but think back to our own K.T. Smith’s conversation with Bryan Davis on the Here We Go Steelers Show podcast this past Friday. It was on the show, which was focused on the offensive line, where Smith spoke about how the Steelers’ focus on aggression, and a lack of technique, doomed the unit from the start in 2021.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below:
Meyer, the newest offensive line coach, is known to be more of a technician than Klemm. This isn’t to suggest Klemm couldn’t do the job, or didn’t know the intricacies of the position, but clearly Moore’s quote from OTAs suggests there is a stark difference between this upcoming season, and last season.
As it pertains to the Steelers’ offensive line, fans have every right to be skeptical. Since Munchak’s departure the line hasn’t come close to what fans expect from their offensive front. It is important to note the change over at the position during the transition from Munchak to others. Gone are the household commodities like Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster and Alejandro Villanueva.
The Steelers now deploy an extremely young offensive line, but after some key free agent additions, the hope is the organization has at least found its new core to build around. The next question which will only be answered with time is whether Pat Meyer is the coach to orchestrate this foundation, or if the coaching carousel will continue.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of Phase 3 in OTAs and mandatory minicamp.