Steelers News

Taylor Lewan ‘A Great Leader’ But ‘Don’t Know What He Is’ As A Player Due To Injuries, Titans Beat Writer Says

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line took some meaningful steps forward over the course of the 2022 season. It would be foolish to think that they’ve become a finished product already, however. Or even that the personnel tinkering phase is done, or should be done.

Do they have the left tackle that will take them into the future, for example? Is Dan Moore Jr. that guy? Well, former Tennessee Titans tackle Taylor Lewan decidedly isn’t—he’s already talking retirement—but would he be a better option for the Steelers in 2023?

Titans reporter Jon Burton may be uniquely qualified to comment on that, because before joining the Tennessee beat and covering Lewan for the entirety of his NFL career, he used to be up in Pittsburgh covering the Steelers’ beat. That’s why 93.7 The Fan had him on the show recently.

He was a great player”, Burton said of Lewan in speaking with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller, describing him as physical and mean. The only problem is he hasn’t played much lately. “I don’t know what he is because we didn’t get to see him last year”, he admitted.

The former All-Pro played just 64 snaps in 2022, going down with a torn ACL at the start of the second game of the season. It was the same knee in which he tore his ACL two years earlier in a season in which he played just five games. And he admitted in 2021 that he wasn’t properly healed from that injury, causing him to miss another four games.

Burton made the ultimate point in saying that if Lewan “was 100 percent healthy he would still be a Tennessee Titan”. The Titans have been doing some major cash and cap dumps lately, but players like Lewan and inside linebacker Zach Cunningham were released with failed physicals.

In addition to the knee injuries—two ACLs in the same knee—Burton also mentioned shoulder injuries as plaguing the 31-year-old, who has not played a 16-game season since 2017 and never hit 1000 snaps logged in any single year.

The question of how much playing time the Steelers could get out of him is critical, obviously, as is what kind of playing time they would get when he was on the field. But Burton wasn’t too concerned about him in the Steelers’ locker room, describing him as “a great leader”, even if he felt head coach Mike Tomlin might have to reign him in at times.

“He would fit in. He’s a little quirky, he’s a little out there”, he said, but he’s a passionate player and ambassador for his fellows in the locker room. He would be an instant team leader—which would be expected for any team that were to sign him.

But how much could he play? What would he look like while he played? And what would it cost to find out? These are the questions Burton conceded he couldn’t answer. He doesn’t believe, as Lewan himself has already stated, that he wouldn’t play for cheap, even to play somewhere he wants to play like Pittsburgh. To tell the truth, at this point I’m guessing he’ll decide to retire.

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