Thursday, February 15, 2007

Perhaps Chukky Isn't the Answer?

In our preview of the Steelers' offensive line we pointed out that Chukky Okobi is an unproven commodity who is also going to be well compensated, despite not having played very much during his tenure with the Steelers.

No comes an article on SI.com in which it is reported that new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians "would . . . like to try right guard Kendall Summons at center as a possible replacement for the retired Jeff Hartings." During the 2006 season, when Mr. Hartings was ruled out of the two games he missed, it was widely reported that the same approach was being considered, but in the end Mr. Simmons remained at guard and Mr. Okobi started at center. The obvious question is if the coaching staff has doubts about Mr. Okkobi then why is he still on the roster? Furthermore, if such a move was made (i.e. Mr. Simmons to center) is Chris Kemoeatu (who is officially listed as the only backup offensive guard), Trai Essex, or Willie Colon ready to step in?

Or would the Steelers dip into the pool of free agents -- which includes well-regarded Eric Steinbach (unrestricted free agent), Reuben Brown (unrestricted free agent, out of the University of Pittsburgh, but turned 35 years old a couple of days ago), Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack (unrestricted free agent), et al -- and if they did so what would that mean for Mr. Okkobi's future in Pittsburgh?

On a related note, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the "Steelers start their final evaluations of free agents today.

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