If I can be brutally honest for a moment – my mouth nearly hit the floor when I read today that Steelers right tackle Willie Colon will be moving to left guard. That paints a pretty clear picture for what this Steelers offensive line will be like, and it’s one that I did not expect to see until another year or two out. If Colon was to move, my bet would have been to left tackle. But is it a good move?
The move to left guard means that 2nd year man Marcus Gilbert will stay at right tackle – a position he filled in at pretty much the entirety of his rookie season when Colon ripped his triceps. Gilbert filled in very nicely except for the behavioral problem near the end of the season when he missed a team meeting and was benched the following Sunday for it. Obviously rookie right guard David DeCastro will start at right guard. DeCastro is known for his ability to pull, and as Colon stated in an interview today, this will help keep the line balanced in who can pull – Colon at left guard or DeCastro on the right. Pouncey will continue to fill in the middle, and hopefully will be able to finish out an entire season from Week 1 right up to hoisting up that Lombardi (yeah I went there).
The move of Colon all sounds fine until you begin to look at who know starts at left tackle. Even after the draft and the Steelers acquiring Ohio State tackle Mike Adams many figured that Colon would take the left tackle spot and let Adams ease his way into the lineup. Now that Colon is no longer an option, who goes there? Adams is a logical choice, but do the Steelers really put two rookies on an offensive line at the start of the season?
The Steelers first three opponents before a Week 4 bye (gag) all have defenses that were ranked poorly in overall defense and under 45 sacks for the season. The Broncos and Jets drafted some defensive linemen in the first round but are they significant enough acquisitions that could add as a threat to the wall around Big Ben? Things look to be on the up and up for Adams having a real shot at starting at left tackle at the beginning of his rookie season. Seems like most of that hinges upon whether the Steelers decide to sign Max Starks for one more season. All of us here at NPC agree that Starks would benefit on multiple levels were he to return – he can be added competition to push Adams during camp, he can mentor Adams, he could be a great backup (if you haven’t noticed injuries on the Steelers offensive line are about as frequent as pimples on a 13 year old boy), AND he can help keep Ben ‘happy’ as the offense transition under OC Haley’s new system.
I think the move is a bold one and a good one at that. It shows that the Steelers have a large amount of confidence in Mike Adams and believe he will be the guy to eventually start this season if not immediately. The idea of having too rooks on the line at the same time makes me a little uneasy, but seriously, could it be any worse than it was the last two/three/four seasons? The stage is set for something awesome. And don’t forget that there are some solid backups waiting on the sidelines in Legursky and Essex. And so long Jonathan Scott!
Gets the heart racing just looking at it, doesn’t it? Expect good no wait great things this season brother and sisters of Steeler Nation. The offense will come to life in a way we haven’t seen in a … well…. perhaps ever. It could even be as early as this season. Can’t you just hear the crunch of those pads already?