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Monday, March 2, 2009

Kendall Simmons: OG Starter Released from Pittsburg

· It's a head scratcher to me as to why the Steelers would release guard Kendall Simmons when their offensive line remains an area of concern based on contracts, if not on performance as well. Simmons has been a starter, when healthy, since his rookie year. In fact, he had started 30-straight games at right guard before getting hurt last September. Health may be the issue here again, as money doesn't seem to be. The team takes a bigger cap hit this year by releasing him, so that can't be the motivation. Perhaps his torn Achilles tendon will keep other teams from trying to sign him and the Steelers can bring him back under new terms later. Or, perhaps, that injury and other health issues make him expendable. Even that seems strange though, considering the tenuous contract situations surrounding other offensive linemen such as free agents Marvel Smith, Chris Kemoeatu and Trai Essex at the time of Simmons' release. The Steelers always have a plan. I just don't know what this one is.

· For anyone not convinced the offensive line is an issue (all due respect Willie Colon), there is some interesting reading on While guards, centers and tackles are not usually positions evaluated by statistics, has come up with formulas to rate offensive lines and how they run and pass block. For the 2008 season, the Steelers offensive line ranked 24th in run blocking and 29th in pass blocking.


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