Offseason Program

Just getting started

If guard/center B.J. Finney is correct in his assessment that all of the positions up front except David DeCastro's starting right guard spot are up for grabs, then the Steelers are no closer to sorting out who'll eventually play where along the offensive line today than they were at the outset of OTAs.

That may begin to change next week at Mandatory Veteran Minicamp, but it hasn't yet.

"Right now it's more just having to learn the offense, the techniques, 'Indy' (individual drills) and all that stuff," offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor observed. "We haven't really gone against the defense so there isn't really much you can tell. Everyone can go punch a bag or can go block a coach, so you don't really know how good or how much work someone might need yet.

"Next week when we actually play against a defense, against (defensive tackle) Cameron Heyward, (outside linebacker) T.J. Watt, (outside linebacker) Alex Highsmith, (defensive end Stephon) Tuitt, all of them, that's gonna really tell how much we need to improve on or what we need to do better.

"We'll see next week. It's kinda hard to tell now."

Okorafor, a third-round pick in 2018, is at least first in line to establish himself as the starting left tackle.

Head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged Okorafor was first on the depth chart at the position in advance of the draft, although Tomlin added in the next breath that the designation meant nothing.

It may yet mean something that the Steelers didn't address the tackle position in the draft until the selection of Dan Moore Jr. of Texas A&M on the fourth round, but Okorafor isn't putting any stock in that, either.

"Honestly, I feel like I still have to come in every day and kind of show the team, show the guys, show everyone what you can do," he said. "I don't really see it as, 'Oh, we didn't draft a tackle in the first round so my job is somewhat safe.'

"It's not safe; everything is open."

The Steelers participate in day 9 of the 2021 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex

About all that can be said regarding the offensive line upon the conclusion of OTAs is the manner in which the group will go about its business has absolutely changed.

The message sent by new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm as it relates to demeanor has been received.

"This year we have to kind of go downfield," Okorafor said. "Last year we'd shuffle and we'd kind of hold people. Now, it's like 'attack, attack, attack.' If it's inside zone, outside zone, gap scheme; it doesn't really matter what the play is, we have to go.

"We'll see how it plays out. It's gonna be a good year, for sure."