Hubbard's versatility a key

Chris Hubbard understands all too well the importance of versatility for a young player. Heading into his third season Hubbard can line up at right guard, left guard and center, and when called upon he has also worked at tackle and as a blocking tight end.

If could be a bit overwhelming for some players, bouncing from one side of the line to the other, from position to positon, and even at times meeting with multiple position groups, but that doesn't faze the even-keeled Hubbard.

"It can be a little much sometimes, but I can handle it," said Hubbard. "I think that is one thing they see in me. I can handle it and come through. Being able to play three, maybe four different positions has helped me a lot. I can play tight end too. It's been fun. The learning process is still ongoing.

"I just switch everything in my head, coming from the right side to the left side. It's not hard once you have it down, and know the playbook."

While Hubbard hasn't been called upon to put the skills to the test a lot, playing sparingly in eight regular season games this season and one postseason game and one game in 2014, he feels he has grown considerably since he first signed with the Steelers in 2013 as a rookie free agent and spent that year on the team's practice squad.

He credits that growth to offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

"Dealing with Coach Munchak has helped me tremendously," said Hubbard. "He installed everything for us. He has done a great job laying the foundation for us, and really helping us out.

"It means everything learning from him, a Hall of Fame guy. It means so much to us. We take it serious as a group. We can learn from everything he has been through."

Hubbard, whose uncle is former Steelers defensive lineman and Arizona Cardinals assistant coach Brentson Buckner, said the main area of growth in his game under Munchak is knowledge of the game and the intricacies of the positions.

"Learning the game more has helped me out," said Hubbard. "Coach Munchak has been great teaching me the technique through game film. Even in the weight room, it helps me turn that on when I get to the field. I still have a long way to go and I am going to continue to get better. I have learned so much and want to do a lot this offseason."

Hubbard kicked off that offseason recently by just getting his body ready for what is ahead.

"I want to get more flexible," said Hubbard. "I want to get stronger in the weight room. My workouts are going to be weight room and yoga, do more yoga so I can get more flexible. That is very tough. Sometimes I am in there dying. Whatever to get the job done.

"You don't want to come in next season behind the eight ball. I am always going to stay ready."

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