The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense, and multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quote with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Who will primarily line up as the ‘first-team’ right tackle during OTAs and minicamp—if that even means anything?
As outsiders, we have little idea of what OTAs look like this year. According to Brooke Pryor, there won’t be any 11-on-11 drills, and even 7-on-7 drills are a question mark. In other words, it’s hard to gauge where or not there is a ‘first team’ in any meaningful sense right now.
Which means that we don’t know who is lining up at right tackle while Zach Banner is sidelined, if there is no right tackle in drills right now. But I would still be curious to know who it is, or would be, between free agent Joe Haeg and rookie Dan Moore, Jr.
Presumably, the Steelers should run some drills during minicamp a few weeks from now that will require the offensive line to actually line up in formation. At that point, somebody will have to be at right tackle. Whether or not one person plays more than another with a perceived ‘first-team’ unit is yet another question.
But it would be nice to get some idea now, because Banner will likely be ready to get into the practice lineup by the time training camp opens, which obviously means he will be at right tackle. Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said after they drafted Moore that he expected the rookie to compete right away, but we’ve never really heard the team say anything about Haeg at all.