Steelers’ Mike Tomlin Showing Lots Of Interest In Fixing Team’s Worst Position

The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering the 2024 offseason with a ton of holes all over the roster. In fact, Steeler Nation has accused the team of repeatedly neglecting one of them in particular. In the initial stages of the offseason, the Steelers look like they are already taking steps to end their constant neglect and fix their ongoing hole once and for all. There is still a lot of time to go before the team can take action, but this already looks like a great start.

Steelers' Mike Tomlin Showing Lots Of Interest In Fixing Team's Worst Position

Steelers Look To Finally Fix Big Hole

During Senior Bowl practices, Mike Tomlin spent some time with Jackson Powers-Johnson of the Oregon Ducks, who is one of the top center prospects in the 2024 draft class. After practice, Tomlin exchanged a handshake with Powers-Johnson after a supposedly intriguing practice. Many mock drafts have Powers-Johnson going in the second round, although some of the mocks have him being drafted before Pittsburgh’s second-round pick.

It also helps that Isaac Williams, the Steelers’ assistant offensive line coach, will be coaching the offensive line for the American team at the Senior Bowl. While he would be able to help out in practice, he unfortunately will not coach Powers-Johnson during the game, as he will play for the National team. Williams should still get a good look at Powers-Johnson during practices, and Tomlin is already getting his own look at the young center prospect.

Why Should The Steelers Focus On Powers-Johnson?

Ever since Maurkice Pouncey retired, the Steelers have struggled to find his replacement. In the 2021 NFL Draft, they had an elite center prospect in Creed Humphrey fall into their laps in the second round, but they passed on him. Instead, they drafted Kendrick Green and expected him to transition from guard to center immediately. Now, Humphrey is the key piece of the Kansas City Chiefs offense that has suddenly turned into a quality rushing unit.

In 2022, the Steelers had another chance to draft a high-end center prospect, but they chose to sign Mason Cole instead. Cole had a decent first season, but his production fell off of a cliff in 2023. Cole was not a highly touted lineman in the first place, and the attempt for a cheap, quick fix has backfired on the Steelers. That drop in production is what made Tomlin focus on Powers-Johnson in the first place.

If the Steelers could land Powers-Johnson, that could help boost the offense even further. The run game was already dominant, and adding a run-first offensive coordinator could help with that. Getting that extra push right in the middle could just open up more space for Pittsburgh’s elite running back tandem of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.

Of course, snapping the ball is one the most important things in the game. Cole’s issues with snapping constantly hurt the Steelers throughout the season. As long as Powers-Johnson can get the ball to his quarterback without a problem, he would be an immediate upgrade. If he can develop as a blocker for both the pass and the run as well, there should be no hesitation on drafting him if he’s available, especially in the second round.

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