Steeler Nation is in a bit of tizzy this evening after WDVE’s Mike Prisuta tweeted out that Willie Colon would be moving to the left guard spot for the upcoming season. Colon would later confirm things with comments directly out of his mouth stating the Steelers had actually spoken with him about the move immediately after the draft.
So what does this mean for the Steelers offensive line as we sit here in May of 2012? Let’s discuss…
- What it suggests is that Rookie David DeCastro will be at his natural right guard position next to center Maurkice Pouncey. A move that many fans felt was going to happen anyway, although some felt the team might move him to the left side since the Steelers love to run to the right, using the left guard to pull and get out in front of the ball carrier.
- It also means, and this is speculative at the moment, that Rookie Mike Adams will start at left tackle and 2nd year man Marcus Gilbert will start at right tackle.
- If all of this holds true, would this be the Steelers best possible lineup to start the season? In my opinion yes, with a couple of minor caveats.
- To throw another option in there, Adams could start at RT and Gilbert at LT, a position that Mike Tomlin has said is more his natural side. Having dual 2nd round picks as bookends for the next 10 years wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world that’s for sure. If I’m Big Ben I’d probably prefer the rookie on the right side where I can keep an eye on him, at least somewhat.
About the only thing we are sure of this year is that Maurkice Pouncey will be at Center, hopefully for longer than a game or two at a time thanks to his successful surgery this offseason.
If Adams is indeed the man at left tackle, this mean the Steelers will have a rookie protecting franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blind-side. I still believe that Gilbert will be the opening day starter at left and Adams at right simply to give Ben some assurance of his health. Ben has talked in previous years about how the idea of having a rookie or inexperienced player on the offensive line is not exactly an idea that he’s thrilled about. As good as Adams is projected to be, and he was a potential first round pick after all, a rookie is a rookie and there are growing pains to work through. Can Roethlisberger hold up until things start to click for Adams? It remains to be seen.
There’s also the possibility that the team could bring back free agent Max Starks. While Starks is still recovering from his ACL surgery, they may look to bring him back closer to training camp or depending on how things unfold, even after the season starts. That’s assuming of course that someone hasn’t picked him by that time, still though I ‘m sure that’s an option they are keeping in the back of their minds for future reference.
In regards to Colon, finally moving him to guard is something the Steeler Nation has been screaming for. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Terrible Towel Twirl in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday after this news broke. You think I’m joking but we Steeler fans know how important our offensive line is. The fact that, potentially, there is a lineup waiting to emerge that might actually be able to keep Ben from getting sacked 40 times this season is cause to toss back a few Iron City’s and wave our towels.
So, what of this new regime on the offensive line…what might it look like? The interior of the line is basically set now with Colon at LG, Pouncey at C, and DeCastro at RG. The tackles right now are anyones guess. There is still months of offseason work to decide how Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams will fit on the line.
If Adams is the eventual LT do you put him out there now? Gilbert is more of a natural left side player so why not just leave him there? Or do you flip them both this year and then flip them back next year? All these issues and more will reveal themselves as the months ahead unfold on our way to Latrobe.
All I know is, if I’m Ben Roethlisberger I’m both thrilled and scared to death of this new offensive line. Good thing he’s hell bent on not changing who he is and how he plays…
Matt Pappas contributed to this article.