When former Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets offensive lineman Nate Herbig reportedly intended to sign with the Steelers, NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported that Steelers assistant general manager Andy Weidl was a big reason for the move. Garafolo said that Weidl believed that Herbig, who was in Philadelphia at the same time as Weidl, could be a starter. During his introductory press conference today, Herbig was asked about his relationship with Weidl.
“Man, Andy Weidl’s the GOAT man,” Herbig said via the team’s YouTube channel. “He was in Philly when I was in Philly, and had that kind of connection coming here a little bit. Just happy to be here. Happy to be in the same building as him.”
Herbig called former Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro a legend. He praised Tyson Alualu, who like Herbig from Hawaii, as a “stud” and a “legend.” He also shouted out Kenny Pickett for his leadership. Clearly, Herbig has respect for the Steelers organization from top to bottom, including guys like DeCastro, who went to Stanford just under a decade before Herbig arrived on campus.
Weidl’s presence in the Steelers’ front office was clearly important to bringing Herbig in, while Herbig’s respect for Weidl likely led to him being more comfortable with coming to Pittsburgh. Weidl has a reputation for building the trenches. Identifying and bringing in Herbig could be a good way to enhance that reputation if Herbig works out.
Herbig, whose primary experience is at right guard, is expected to compete with Kevin Dotson to play left guard. Dotson struggled with penalties and overall performance in 2022. Those and his inability to stay healthy in 2021 has made his starting spot tenuous. Herbig, who got $8 million over 2 years with $4 million guaranteed, has started 28 games in four seasons. It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see him starting at left guard next season.
It remains to be seen what other offensive line additions are coming. With backup o-linemen Jesse Davis, J.C. Hassenauer and Trent Scott free agents, the Steelers are going to add offensive line depth, either through the draft or free agency. The team is slated to host Minnesota center John Michael-Schmitz for a top-30 visit, and he’s a viable option with the team’s selection at No. 32 overall.
There’s a number of avenues the team can explore to add depth. The addition of Weidl to the front office hopefully means they choose the right ones.