B.J. Finney on starting for Steelers: Mike Tomlin said fate is in my hands

NFL: DEC 22 Steelers at Jets
Getty Images

Offensive lineman B.J. Finney is back with the Steelers after spending last season with Seattle and Cincinnati, but his position group doesn’t look the same.

Four of the five starters from that season — Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, Maurkice Pouncey, and Ramon Foster — are either retired, unsigned, or on other teams. There’s also a new offensive line coach in Adrian Klemm and an opportunity for Finney to play a new role.

Finney was a reserve for most of his first stint with the team, but the team has an open starting spot at center and Finney said head coach Mike Tomlin told him he can play his way into the job.

“They just painted it with a broad-brush stroke,” Finney said, via the team’s website. “Coach Tomlin told me my fate is in my hands and we will see where it leads. We always have control over it. It’s just a matter of opportunities rolling our way. It’s nice to be in more control than I had prior to. If that is where they want me to play, at center, I will accept the challenge. That is a legacy that is hard to live up to in Pittsburgh with all of the great centers we have been fortunate to have as an organization. To throw my name into the ring, to have the opportunity to be one of those centers, is amazing in itself. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and I am not. I want to do the best that I can, and the best I know how to do it is how I have been raised to do it. Coach T knows that and sees that, and we will see where it leads.”

J.C. Hassenauer is also on hand at center and the Steelers could add other options in the draft or later this offseason if they don’t think the current choices assure them of the level of play they’re looking for in the middle of the line.