View Full Version : Smith, Kemoeatu, ? , Simmons, Colon

08-16-2008, 06:02 AM

The Steelers assemble on the fields at Saint Vincent College for their final training camp practices today and tomorrow, which should feature the long-anticipated unveiling of their starting offensive line.

Four of the five blocks have been in place all of training camp -- without official decree -- and the fifth might be installed this afternoon at center. What coach Mike Tomlin described after the first week of camp as a hotly contested competition could be over.

Sean Mahan, who started at the position last season, started the first preseason game and veteran Justin Hartwig, pictured right, who came over from Carolina, started Thursday night against Buffalo.

The coaching staff's plan was to pick their starter this week and have him open in Minnesota Saturday, when starters will get their most extensive playing time of the preseason.

"Evidently, they're going to try to figure it out after they break down this game," Hartwig said after the Bills defeated the Steelers, 24-21, in Toronto.

Hartwig had the edge coming in because he's bigger than Mahan, and the coaches believe he can handle the bigger nose tackles better than did Mahan last season.

No real competition developed during camp at right tackle, where Willie Colon will hold sway for the second consecutive season. And, no, he won't move to guard. Max Starks never delivered the knockout blow he needed to get the job back that he held in 2005 and 2006 before losing it to Colon last summer.

Not only did Chris Kemoeatu get no competition at left guard for the opening created when Alan Faneca signed with the New York Jets, he has been impressive since he came off the physically unable to perform list. There was never any question that Marvel Smith would play left tackle and Kendall Simmons right guard.

So it looks like we will find out who is going to start at Center this coming week.

It kinda sux that that our million dollar baby Starks couldn't take the job away from Colon. Now our 7 million dollar man will be the richest backup in NFL history for 1 year. Props to Colon though, hopefully he's up to the challenge of RT this year.

Had Starks been able to win that job it might have afforded the Steelers the chance to try out Colon at Guard and give Kemoeatu & Simmons some competition. He did play alittle bit at Guard in camp this year but that experiment just didn't see it's way to becoming reality.

Marvel will play this year and leave in 2009 which means that the team will once again be looking to address the Tackle position if Hills isn't ready or if for nothing else other than depth too.

As far as Center goes, well at this point Im just hoping to God that Mr. Turnstyle doesn't win the job.

08-16-2008, 01:19 PM

This is no contest IMO

Mahan is the reason Hartwig was signed.


08-16-2008, 01:26 PM

This is no contest IMO

Mahan is the reason Hartwig was signed.



Black@Gold Forever32
08-16-2008, 01:42 PM
If the Steelers had a better option at RT then Colon would be moved to OG......Since Starks is complete waste of space and couldn't offer any challenge for Colon at RT it will leave Colon as the starting RT...Which again he will prove this year he isn't an NFL OT.....I like Willie Colon but not as an OT.........Hopefully the Steelers after this season upgrade at OT.....Then they can move Colon of OG....Maybe even ditch Simmons...lol

As for center...So far Hartwig hasn't really stuck out either in the center battle...I have a feeling its going to be another year of poor play from the center position......

Ben will have to throw the ball away and hit his check downs to keep the sacks down since I'm expecting he will be running of his life again....I think the left side of the OL will be fine with a healthy Smith and Kemoeatu.....Both will have their struggles in pass protection to.......

08-16-2008, 04:24 PM
This is exactly what happened last year, neither Mahan or Okobi could win the job outright so Mahan got it because he's got the bigger salary and was a newly aquired player to the team who was brought in specifically to play Center and give Okobi some competition. NOw this year so far atleast, neither player has asserted themselves so it looks like we get another Center by default situation which is not a good thing. I do hope it's Hartwig that wins out though and he probably will in the end because Mahan just might as well stand up and move aside rather than waste the effort of trying to block.

K Train
08-16-2008, 09:15 PM
i think we see huge strides from colon this year....i think he shows that hes a solid RT in this league and he won that spot basesd on his good play and not starks terrible play, hes not prototypical size but hes got "it" imo, we are a better team with him on the field and hes only gonna improve. Starks will be used as a 3rd blocking TE and thats it...which is a damn shame but out guys took a gamble on him and lost....**** happens.

tony hills is gonna be a ****ing monster...you dont even know but im telling you its gonna happen. i like essex at guard but i guess simmons is being handed that spot again and kemoeatevery****ingthinghesees just pisses me off

08-16-2008, 10:33 PM
According to Tunch on the radio broadcast the other night, he's been talking to the coaches and trainers and they all said Chris K has made huge strides from where he was even going into the battles for starting spots last year so I guess we'll see if those cement blocks on the bottom of his ankles are going to actually move this year or if he'll just watch everybody blow right by him as he misses blocks.

08-18-2008, 08:31 AM
:scratch: Well if they were to decide the starting C this weekend in Camp (which I was there) I hate to report but everyone's favorite player Mahan worked with the starters on both Saturday and Sunday :evilshake: where we (Myself, Psycho & SG) were sitting the OLine was holding drills right in front of us and Mahan was doing the majority of the drills with Hartwig watching :duh: I had even made the comment to Psycho that "that doesn't look good" :cursin:

08-18-2008, 11:15 AM

It kinda sux that that our million dollar baby Starks couldn't take the job away from Colon. Now our 7 million dollar man will be the richest backup in NFL history for 1 year. Props to Colon though, hopefully he's up to the challenge of RT this year.

I don't honestly believe that Max was given the opportunity to win the RT position. From everything I've heard out of training camp, Starks only got reps at LT.