John Malecki May Be Wildcard on Pittsburgh Steelers’ O-Line

By Clyde A. Speller
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the potential starting lineup of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line, things look to be solid. The starting offensive front for the 2013 season will more than likely be the youngest the Steelers have had in a very long time.

The oldest will be only 27-years old at the start of the regular season. Four of Pittsburgh’s five O-linemen were drafted in either the first or second round of their respective drafts. In addition, the offensive line is anchored by a three-time Pro Bowler.

As important as the starting offensive line may appear, the most important offensive lineman could possibly be on the bench. Offensive guard John Malecki is on the depth chart as the backup to right guard David DeCastro, but is also versatile enough to fill in for center Maurkice Pouncey or left guard Ramon Foster in the event that one of them goes down due to injury.

It’s apparent that the Steelers believe that Malecki is good enough to be on the team’s 53-man roster for the 2013 season. During this offseason, Pittsburgh chose not to re-sign offensive lineman Doug Legursky, who was a versatile interior lineman over the past five seasons in the Steel City. Furthermore, the Steelers didn’t go after an offensive lineman in this year’s draft.

Malecki, who was on Pittsburgh’s practice squad for the last year-plus, was promoted to the 53-man roster late last season, and now has a great chance of being on the roster for an entire season for the first time in his professional career.

Seeing how injury has plagued the offensive front in recent history, Malecki’s availability and performance will be vital to the success of Pittsburgh’s running game and to the pass protection if his number is called.

Clyde A. Speller  is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+

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