Steelers Rookie Zach Frazier Explains The Keys To A Good Center-Quarterback Relationship

One of the things the Pittsburgh Steelers prioritized this offseason was securing their next great center, and they believe they have one in Zach Frazier. Their second-round pick, Frazier offers the best combination of talent and experience from the 2024 NFL Draft class. He comes into the league having played over 2,500 college snaps at center, so he knows what the position demands.

“It’s all about communication”, Frazier told Missi Matthews in an exclusive sit-down interview with the team’s website. “The center and the quarterback have to be on the same page. We have to know where the protection is, who’s the Mike [linebacker]. Everyone just has to be on the same page so there’s no miscommunications”.

While NFL teams seem to devalue the center position—only Graham Barton, who can also play center, went in the first round and the Las Vegas Raiders drafted Jackson Powers-Johnson in the second round to play guard—they have unique responsibilities along the offensive line.

The center, ideally, is your most cerebral player, though some of the center’s typical tasks can be shared. They need to know the protections and to set them based on the looks the defense shows. They also have the mechanical matter of needing to be able to snap the ball and quickly block. But for Frazier, so much of it happens in the classroom.

“It’s a lot of film study throughout the week”, he said. “Also studying the game plan for that week, and then it’s knowing the calls and communicating that across the line so everyone can hear me clearly. Even when it’s loud, just so we’re all on the same page”.

Former Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey helped start weekly offensive line meetings at his house. While they socialized, they also studied the offense, their opponents, and the position itself. Frazier has leadership qualities, but there’s only so much you can do as a rookie.

The Steelers’ offensive line now includes considerable pedigree. They have two young first-round tackles in Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu. Veteran guards James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo are both former Day-2 picks. Most of them offer a good combination of intelligence and physicality.

Can Zach Frazier exemplify that in the heart of the line? A state high school wrestling champion and obsessive note-taker, his background reads like a classic center. His college tape also certainly looks the part, but transitioning from college to the pros is always a projection.

One thing I’m confident about is that Frazier won’t fail in the NFL due to a lack of effort or physical or mental acuity. He has the makeup that you look for in an offensive lineman, and a center specifically. That’s always a good place to start, but that’s exactly where we are: at the start.

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