Now that training camp is over with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Pittsburgh and gearing up for what they hope will be a much more productive season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of training camp and the preseason and the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: Dan Moore Jr.
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The second-year starting left tackle has been gradually improving his game, and thus his results, over the course of the year. It culminated Sunday into one of the best games of his career against the New Orleans Saints.
Don’t look now, but maybe Dan Moore Jr. really isn’t so bad after all. I know that might be tough for some to hear—and let’s be abundantly clear about this, the jury remains very much out—but the second-year pro has shown indications that there may be more to him overall than what we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe.
It’s worth reminding that Moore has had three different offensive line coaches already since being drafted in the fourth round in 2021. Adrian Klemm, who spent the prior two seasons as the assistant line coach, was promoted to the head role that same year. He left for another job in-season, and first-year assistant Chris Morgan took over.
Neither returned in 2022, and Pat Meyer was hired to take over. A veteran line coach, his technique varies from what the group was being taught under previous regimes. Alex Kozora has talked about this in a lot more detail, but a prime example is a focus on using your hands independently.
While that change in technique caused a learning curve, it appears to be yielding positive results, as Moore has been adapting to it better and better as the year has progressed, and if he can continue to build on it and other techniques, he may have some staying power.
There is no prediction here that he is going to become the next great left tackle in the league. There is no claim that the Steelers couldn’t, or shouldn’t try to, upgrade the left tackle spot next year in the 2023 NFL Draft.
But if they don’t acquire an alternative option next offseason, it may not be as dire as we thought it would be two months ago. Virtually everybody has progressed individually along the line as they have better come to grips with the system Meyer is implementing. I’m trying not to paint too rosy of a picture here because the line still remains a significant concern, but I think it would be a significant omission not to acknowledge the progress made.