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New Steelers C Zach Frazier ‘will be exactly what they want’ in Run Game, says WVU OL Coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers strengthened the trenches this offseason with draft selections like Troy Fautanu and Zach Frazier. Of all the team’s picks, Frazier has the most obvious and direct path to a starting job. Simply put, he plays center, and they barely have a center, so they rely on him to play.

Not only that, they are counting on him to deliver big time in the run game. They are known to want to turn the ball over to the running backs under offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. And Frazier comes into the league with a reputation as a road grader from West Virginia. His college offensive line coach agrees.

“I think he’s going to be exactly what they want in terms of the run game,” Matt Miller told Joe Starkey Paul Zeise on 93.7 The Fan yesterday. He talked about Frazier’s exceptional playmaking ability and highlighted one play in particular that we highlighted yesterday.

The problem, which is one, is that he still has to prove himself to some extent in pass protection. Blocking pass rushers is usually the biggest leap for linemen going from college to the pros, and Miller understands that.

“He just has to show them on third down that he can support an athletic pass-rush situation,” he said of Frazier, “where they bring a d-end or a three-technique and put him over the middle, and show that he can handle that.”

Frazier is a hard-working player who is always looking for work when he is on the field. That said, he could benefit from some NFL coaching when it comes to dealing with pro pass-rush concepts. Of course, you hope Steelers offensive line coach Pat Meyer will provide that.

But the line as a whole should have a more immediate impact in the run game. Besides Zach Frazier, this is also probably the stronger aspect of Broderick Jones’ game. Isaac Seumalo is also a plus run blocker, but he also really knows what he’s doing in pass protection. James Daniels offers more in the passing game than in the run game.

But playing alongside a physically imposing player like Frazier can help not only Daniels, but the entire line. We probably won’t see Arthur Smith riding very often, but he is more than capable of reaching the second level.

As some have suggested, the happiest people in Pittsburgh about Zach Frazier are probably the running backs. Both Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will enjoy running behind a center with that kind of physicality.

Especially after dodging defenders in the backfield their entire careers, every now and then they might finally make it to the line of scrimmage unscathed. That’s one of the reasons why the Steelers have worked to improve the offensive line in recent seasons. But this could be the year when it all finally starts to bear real fruit.