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.
After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?
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, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Dan Moore Jr. start a game at tackle this season?
The Pittsburgh Steelers did something rather rare this year, at least for them, in using each of their top four draft picks on one side of the football. After starting off the draft with a running back and following that with a tight end, they bookended Day 2 and started off Day 3 with offensive linemen.
Texas A&M tackle Dan Moore Jr. was the pick in the fourth round, and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm seemed to be pretty emphatic about his expectations, rejecting the notion that he is a “project” and stating that he will be thrown right in there in terms of competing for starts.
The Steelers have some uncertainty at the tackle positions this year. They failed to work out a deal to keep Alejandro Villanueva. Zach Banner, who won the right tackle job a year ago, is coming off of an ACL tear after playing just one game. The pre-draft projection was that they would move Chukwuma Okorafor to left tackle, where he hasn’t played in the NFL.
Moore, Klemm said, can play on both the left and right side, but they haven’t locked him into one spot yet. Of course, if he doesn’t end up starting, that’s pretty important, that he should be available to play on either side.
The Steelers already have potentially one rookie starter along the offensive line in Kendrick Green, who could play at center, with Kevin Dotson and his four career starts entering the lineup as well. Moore would make this a very inexperienced line. Even if he is a reserve, there is still a chance he ends up starting at some point, due to injury or other factors.