Dec 23, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Tennessee Titans guard Fernando Velasco (61) helps quarterback Jake Locker (10) get up after he was sacked in the 4th quarter during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers sign former Titans center Fernando Velasco

It didn’t take long for the Pittsburgh Steelers to find a replacement for injured Pro-Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.

According to Adam Caplan of, the Steelers are signing former Titans starter Fernando Velasco to a one-year deal.

Sep 11, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans center Fernando Velasco (61) looks up during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports

With that being said, Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert didn’t adequately replace Pouncey, but under the circumstances he probably did the best he could given what was available.

Velasco started all 16 games for the Titans last year, but lost his job to free agent pickup Rob Turner, as the Titans remade the middle of their line.

The 6’4″, 312 pounder out of Georgia graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 center last year, so at least on paper he should be able to slide into Pouncey’s spot in the starting lineup, especially after Kelvin Beachum was abused by the middle of the Titans defense after Pouncey got injured on Sunday.

Velasco was a second-team All-SEC member in 2007 and went undrafted in 2008 before signing with Tennessee where he spent the next four years. He has played in 49 NFL games, starting 19 of those.

The Steelers did also sign center Cody Wallace before the season started, but I would expect Velasco to be thrown into the starting lineup as soon as he is ready.

His signing does not make things any better as the Steelers’ offensive line is still in horrible shape without Pouncey, but it is a little bit better off than it was at this time yesterday.

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Tags: Fernando Velasco Maurkice Pouncey Pittsburgh Steelers Tennessee Titans

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