The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a new starting center for Monday night’s game vs the Cincinnati Bengals, but it won’t be the man who stepped in for Maurkice Pouncey. Once the Pro Bowler went down in the first-quarter of Sunday’s opener, Kelvin Beachum proceeded to come in and get dominated by the Tennessee Titans’ defensive line, and the Steeler offense was held to one of its lowest outputs in the Ben Roethlisberger-era.
That was enough to make the team go with another option in just one week, as newly-signed Fernando Velasco will be getting the starting nod Monday night. Velasco faced the Bengals once this preseason while played (ironically) for the Titans, and didn’t fare well in that game while going against a Bengals d-line that was without most of it’s best pass-rushers.
Velasco started 16 games for the Titans last season, and can play center and guard. He ranked 11th last season in ProFootballFocus.com’s rankings for all centers, one spot ahead of (more irony) Maurkice Pouncey. He was released 10 days ago after Rob Turner won the center job.
Velasco originally signed with the Titans in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia.