Chuks Okorafor knows his gang in the 2020 racing game “was mediocre”, has to figure it out this year
The Pittsburgh Steelers have two main tasks to do on the offensive end of the ball above all others, and they are interrelated. One is to revitalize the racing game and turn it into something that can be considered competent. The other establishes a new offensive line, not just with new faces, but a new attitude.
At the heart of both efforts is the projected starting left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, and he understands he has some ground to catch up. “Watching my movie last year the passing game was ok but the running game was poor so that’s definitely the main thing, I have to figure out how to get the ball to run this year,” he said. told reporters on Sunday. .
Drafted from western Michigan in the third round in 2018, Okorafor was an inexperienced young lineman the Steelers viewed as a talented athlete with the attributes of a potential future left setter. They are closer than ever to knowing whether they are right or not after having installed it in the place occupied by Alejandro Villanueva for six years.
But he’s absolutely right when he assesses his playing strip, in the disparity between his play in pass protection and as a run blocker. While he is certainly able, when he has both body and mind working together, to deliver solid running block, that has never been a strength of his.
But that’s something the Steelers are prioritizing this year after finishing the 2020 season with the 32nd running game. This process involves the promotion of Adrian Klemm to head coach of the offensive line, which imports his own philosophy at the table, which differs from his predecessors and is built around a more aggressive and physical approach to the position.
Okorafor, however, is only one piece of the puzzle. With Matt Feiler, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro also joining Villanueva as offseason starts, continuity will be impossible. Zach Banner could potentially be a strong race-blocking presence in the right tackle, but we still have almost as much to learn about him as Kevin Dotson, let alone Kendrick Green.
Despite having 18 starts in his career, including 16 last season, none of them are an intended start, and they all came on the right tackle. Maybe with the shift to the left side and a full offseason working and training as the left tackle of the first string, a position he’s more comfortable in, he’ll finally show he’s the player the Steelers thought they’d drafted for three years. since.