In Pittsburgh, if you’re an offensive lineman, you should fall into one of two buckets.
2. Versatile Backup
If you’re not either of those things, you’re probably not on the team. Fourth round pick Dan Moore Jr. isn’t likely to be starting when the Steelers travel to Buffalo for Week One. So new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is focusing on making him a more versatile player.
Speaking with reporters Thursday, Klemm said Moore has received work at left and right tackle.
“He’s having to do a lot of thinking,” Klemm said via Zoom. “I’m also putting pressure on him too…I put him on the right and left side. He’s playing both sides. You have to settle down in terms of what spot to play ideally but I want him to learn it all. Become comfortable on both sides…you gotta be ready to play both sides.”
Moore has a bit of versatility, playing right tackle early in his career at Texas A&M, but spent most of his college days on the left side of the line. That’s probably his best place in the NFL, he’s similar to Chukwuma Okorafor in background and playing style, but the more hats you wear, the more value you bring to a team.
Okorafor has had to learn right tackle while Banner has played both spots. Offseason signings like BJ Finney, Joe Haeg, and Rashaad Coward all bring versatility to the Steelers’ offensive line while third round pick Kendrick Green can play left guard or center.
Like most rookie tackles, Moore has reportedly taken his lumps during OTAs and minicamp. But Klemm isn’t worried about any early struggles.
“There are a lot of different variables. He comes from an offense running RPOs and sometimes the ball’s getting out a little bit quicker…so it may be uncomfortable a little bit at times because he’s learning something new.”
Klemm did go on to say they “ask a lot” out of their tackles and believes Moore will get better with time and reps. Ideally, 2021 serves as a redshirt season for him. If Okorafor hits free agency after this season, Moore could be in the mix to be the 2022 starting left tackle.