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Report: Willie Colon Moving To Left Guard


If you have followed this site religiously for a while you know that I have been a strong proponent of tackle Willie Colon kicking inside to guard for some time now. Several naysayers over the years have stated that it would never happen and they included Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, who stated just last May, “The move is not going to happen. Cheerleaders on the sideline at Heinz Field will occur before Colon is moved to guard in this offense.”

Well it seems that Colon will now indeed kick inside and play left guard according to Mike Prisuta of DVE radio on Twitter. Prisuta reported today that Colon made it official today as he was quoted as saying, “I\’ve made the transition to left guard. I like it. It\’s just a matter of learning the verbiage.” Prisuta reports that Colon said the Steelers called him right after draft to tell him about a possible switch to left guard. Colon reportedly told the Steelers at that time, “My only issue would have been \’don\’t move me midway through camp.”

With first round draft pick David DeCastro slated to start at right guard now, Colon told Prisuta that both he and DeCastro will be pulling quite a bit as he said, “You should expect both of us pulling. I think we\’re going to be a lot more balanced.”

Glory, glory, halleluiah!

Colon has struggled to stay healthy the last two seasons after tearing his Achilles prior to training camp in 2010 and tearing his triceps in the week one game against the Baltimore Ravens just last year. He has played a total of just one game the last two seasons after being a picture of health the years prior. His move now inside means that there is a vacancy at right tackle. Marcus Gilbert started there last season after Colon went down, but was told heading into the offseason he should be prepared to move to left tackle in 2012. This of course was way before the Steelers drafted Mike Adams in the second round of the draft last month. Adams looks to be the long term solution at left tackle for the Steelers, but the big questions is whether or not he can be NFL ready by week 1 to protect the blindside of one Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers could very well still have plans to bring back veteran Max Starks prior to training camp to start the year at left tackle. This assumes that Starks will be 100% recovered from his ACL injury that he suffered in the AFC Wild Card against the Denver Broncos by then. Starks says he is ahead of schedule in his recovery, but time will tell. The Steelers also still have Jonathan Scott and his $2 million plus salary on the roster in addition. While Scott surely should not be considered at left tackle again like last year, he might be able to keep the right tackle spot warm until Adams is ready to start at either spot.

Gilbert is best suited for the right tackle spot, but he just might have to hold the left side down if Starks is not brought back. We will surely get a better idea of how the first team might stack up next week when the Steelers report for their first OTA session.

I guess the new Steelers cheerleaders will be on the sidelines at the OTA session as well. Right Gerry?

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Hunter/1201103297 Michael Hunter

    There is also a chance that Foster may compete for that RT spot to start the season.

  • zbluez1

    Dave,

    Seems like your wish/prediction has come true. But it may leave more question marks then answers along the offensive line at the Tackle positions. Is Gilbert the right or left tackle? Will Adams be NFL ready? Is Max coming back? Is Foster the number one backup at guard or the odd man out? Is Legursky now considered just a backup center? Where does Essex, Scott, Scott, and the rest of the younger draftees ( Beechem ) and UDFA’s ( Lee )fit into the long term plans? Does this move clear up the O-line picture or just make it much more murky? There is no doubt the Steelers needed to get younger, faster, and more cohesive on the O-line and mix experience with youth. I will have to trust Coach K. has a plan that he believes will work, but I can’t say I don’t have questions about it.

  • JayBirdDC

    Wow. DeCastro, Pouncey, Colon down the middle. I would not want to be a ILB in the AFC North. Or a Safety/CB for that matter cause Isaac Redman is going to destroy people.

  • Guest

    Dulac said “. . . in THIS offense,” which clearly meant the Arians offense. This is now the Haley offense, so actually Dulac was 100% correct.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    I REALLY hope this doesn’t mean Scott gets moved up the depth chart on either side. He is a career backup, and barely that.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Great move to start the transition now. Worst case. Colon moves back to tackle if needed there and Foster steps in at guard. Long term, I’m guessing Colon will need to take a pay cut, but 2013 is not important.

  • stan

    That’s really exciting news. I’ve been among those clamoring for Colon to be moved to guard but the reasons for him not being moved are still there: who’s going to play tackle if he’s at guard? Are we really going to count on Adams as a starter? Are we really going to count on Gilbert playing LT? or on Starks to ride in and save the day again despite his injury?

  • Broderick Wallace

    I think this is a good indication that the Steelers will bring Starks in for training camp and see if he is healthy. If so, goodbye J. Scott and his 2 million dollar salary. Until Adams is ready to start at LT, keep Gilbert there and let Starks play RT. Max is getting older and returning from injury, Gilbert should have advantage of youthful athleticism. Who knows, Adams may surprise and seriously compete for starting RT position.

  • Danpio1217

    Why not post under your name Gerry?

  • Daveb1952

    Well put me on the list of “I shouldn’t have opend my mouth. I’m still not so sure this is a good idea, but all I can say is, go get ‘em Willie.

  • Danpio1217

    Flozell Adams anyone?? Lol I have to think this means the Steelers have Starks in their plans, whether as a starter or as an insurance policy. Really excited to see this group up front perform this year.

  • Jvukic

    It just makes sense. Willie is/was an ok OT, but will hopefully be a much better guard. I will still root for Foster. He was an undrafted, rookie free agent, and he just keeps starting, doesn’t get hurt and was playing solid football.

  • Cols714

    Holy crap!
    I’ve been against this move for a while just because Colon was such a good RT. However, with drafting Adams and Gilbert, I’m totally on board with this move.

    Good work Steelers!

    Also, good work Steelers Depot, I guess if you write enough articles about something and it finally happens you have to feel good about yourself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXON22FQSDCCSA2WHZIRTHQWTU Greig

    Fantastic news. Colon at RG should provide Adams a nice safety blanket, should he perform well enough at camp, to win the starting LT job.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXON22FQSDCCSA2WHZIRTHQWTU Greig

    If Adams is the starting LT, Colon will be able to bail Adams out of a lot of rookie mistakes, which should make Adams transition easier. Pouncey and Colon should be good enough, and experienced enough, where Adams only needs to concern him self with not getting beat on the outside. Colon and Pouncey can clean up any defender who tries to get inside of Adams.

  • William

    ^ Talk about ‘splitting hairs’ sheesh!

  • dgh57

    IT”S ABOUT TIME!!!! I’ve been wanting this for a long time and figured this might happen after the drafting of DeCastro and Adams!

    I thought they would move him to RG just one slot over and move DeCastro over to LG since I kept hearing how DeCastro was a plug & play type O-Lineman. O well, at least Colon is playing Guard now!

    Adams/Colon/Pouncey/DeCastro/Gilbert looks GOOD to me! The question is will it be sooner rather than later?

    Can’t wait till this season starts!!!!!!!!!!

  • mokhkw

    Colon will be at LG, DeCastro at RG.

    I’m excited by this news & it clears up some things imo.

    I expect it will now go either 1 of 2 ways –

    1)Starks resigned, plays LT until Adams beats him out ( hopefully by mid-season) and Gilbert stays at RT.

    2) Gilbert moves to LT, Scott plays RT ( where he’s actually decent, not anywhere near as bad as LT imo) until Adams beats him out ( starts week 1).

    I prefer the 1st scenario tbh. Starks can back up both OT spots effectively whereas I don’t trust Scott at LT.

  • mokhkw

    At least we’ll see if he can pull effectively or not. :)

    All eyes are going to be on the OL in pre-season. I can’t wait!

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    Wow…! Well that kinda goes against what I wrote in a comment earlier, but the coaches know what we never will! I thought Foster would hold down a guard spot this and next year and Colon would be gone after this season but the chips may fall in Colons favor after all. I hope he can pull for real, and I’m glad that Gilbert is staying at RT or at least that’s what I’m assuming. I also think Starks comes back and I guess our line looks like Starks/Adams, Colon, Pouncey, Castro and Gilbert next year

  • Callouswhisper

    Dulac needs to stick to golf.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Has anyone confirmed if Gilbert is at LT and not RT?

  • JAMESH

    Like there’s a chance Casey Hampton will compete for the place kicker spot.

  • JAMESH

    Adams may surprise and seriously compete for starting LT position.

  • @ashaver13

    In Kugler we trust

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXON22FQSDCCSA2WHZIRTHQWTU Greig

    I don’t see Starks coming back, unless there is an injury. There will be a solid enough supporting cast around Adams, that he should be able to start week one. I think it would be preferable to keep Gilbert at RT, because that will most likely be his position long term .

  • Danpio1217

    At this point in his career, Starks will likely be willing to play for the vet. minimum or slightly higher. Hard to pass that by whether as a starter or backup. At worst, he’d be a huge upgrade over J.Scott as the backup swing tackle, plus Scott is a little overpaid right now.

  • Jason White

    I think the idea is that DeCastro is accustomed to playing RG so keeping him there will let him play within his own comfort zone instead of two guys learning new positions its only one who is a veteran and shouldnt have any issues making the transition. Either way the interior O-line is gonna be a beast. All three will make each other better and I’d be happy with a combination of Starks, Gilbert and Adams locking up the tackle spots.

  • mokhkw

    Nothing confirmed afaik.

  • mokhkw

    Jamison Hensley @ ESPN:

    “This move allows first-round pick David DeCastro and second-rounder Mike Adams to start immediately. Based on what Colon said, the Steelers’ offensive line likely will look like this: Adams at left tackle, Colon at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, DeCastro at right guard and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle.”

    Take that with a grain of salt……..

  • mokhkw

    Dug this up:

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Tomlin-on-rookie-orientation/516bf9d4-84d5-41ac-8931-d8e27e7cfffa

    Tomlin – ” Particularly, if you’re talking about the guys drafted early – David DeCastro was a right guard at Stanford and that’s where he starts here, and the same can be said for Mike Adams. He was a left tackle at Ohio State and that’s where he’ll begin here.”

  • Joed32

    Will either DeCastro or Adams be attending next weeks OTAs? I thought they had to stay out until their schools finish up the quarter. I like the move a lot though.

  • JAMESH

    That’s exactly what I was thinking right up to the moment Hemsley reported it.

  • Intropy

    I also read somewhere* that most linemen have an easier time pulling to their main hand. That means it’s easier to find a left guard who can pull right than a right guard who can pull left. DeCastro has proven he can pull left from the right guard spot, so keeping him there makes sense if you want both guards to be adept at pulling, which I think would be quite advantageous.

    *yeah the mysterious unattributed somewhere, so take this with a grain of salt

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    Maybe now Colon will be able to hear and not FS so much…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    I think both have to wait, as OSU and Stanford both end late.

  • Wdmason

    I cant wait to see the cheerleaders.

  • Pat

    Adams will start at LT, he’s an athletic Max Starks.

  • Woodleykills56

    And Limas Sweed tried out for waterboy but kept dropping the water.

  • SteelersBall

    The Steelers have also ways had Cheerleaders. They are called backups and fans :) Come’on people we don’t need any cheer leaders girls wearing short little skirts and tiny little shirts. Who would watch them if we did, I mean if the Steelers are on the field playing then Steelers fans are watching the players, there is no time for pompom girls wearing short skirts and tiny shirts.

    Help me, I feel a little dizzy.

  • JAMESH

    They all look like Gerry Dulac in drag. Believe me, that’s not a pretty sight.

  • Big Al

    Adams will start on the left. There’s no way that they will put two rookies next to each other on one side of the line. If he’s not ready it will be Scott or Starks (if they bring him back).

    Jonathan Scott is not as bad as some people think. Most of the games he took stick for were when he had a half fit Kemo inside him. With a better guard next to him he hasn’t played as bad.

  • Harold

    Dave might be too noble to say this so I will…

    To all the people who so adimately professed Dave was wrong and Colon would never be a guard. Now is your chance to man up and confess your sins. It’s a very liberating experience.

  • jpbucco

    Dulac also said Haley’s interview for OC was just a courtesy.

    Dulac is a hack and a fool and Bouchette is right behind him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    Big Al, you are right, he is worse. Who he had inside of him had no real effect on his blocking of edge rushers to the outside at OT. Rewatch the Indy game. The only time he even slowed Freeney down was when he fell over in front of him and Freeney tripped on him.

    Scott is barely a decent backup, if we go into the season with him as the slated starter at LT, it makes all the other line investments go for naught.

  • SteelerDave

    I am sure this is their thinking as well. A very formidable middle of the O-line.

  • Mmlspl

    I believe DeCastro graduated in December

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    Allow me to present exhibit A:

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/09/jonathan-scott-ass-block-animated-gif/

    In Dave’s own words, playing Scott is like playing with three year old fireworks, you light it and pray is doesn’t blow up in your face.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    I don’t think it matters. I think they still can’t start until their school graduates.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXON22FQSDCCSA2WHZIRTHQWTU Greig

    The problem with that theory, is that Starks tore his ACL, and will still be rehabing when the season starts.

  • Daveb1952

    Already did my friend. Already did. AND on more than one fan site….Anybody willing to spot me some Sweet Baby Ray’s for this plate of crow????

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5XBK7SSKCWKZ7F6RTJCVHABVI4 Steve Duncan

    He is already running and ahead of schedule, I think he would miss camp, but not the season start if he is as ahead as reports say.

  • Broderick Wallace

    Rookie LT’s are a rarity. That being said, I want the best 5 guys protecting Big Ben.

  • Danpio1217

    Very true, but for a backup spot i’d be willing to take the risk as long as Starks looks to be coming along well by camp. I guess it comes down to how do u feel about Essex & Fosters ability to play tackle in a pinch? If you feel good, there’s no need.

  • Frankthebuc

    Adams, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert. Just like I have been saying. Starks will not be back because no one of his size can recover that quickly from an ACL injury. JScott and Foster will be gone by the end of training camp.

    I cannot tell you who the backups will be.

  • Jason White

    Scott likely with his 2mil salary but Foster will be there. He’s consistent and dependable. You never know if Colon will stay healthy and Foster is a great insurance policy.

  • zbluez1

    Based upon info made available on 5/17/2012, it seems very apparent now that the youth movement on the O-line is on in a very big way. Gilbert, DeCastro, Pouncey, Colon, Adams is now being the predicted starters as of week one and we haven’t hit OTA’s yet. If I were to guess, and that is all it would be at this point, the backups are likely to be Foster and Legursky almost for certain on the interior, though Essex maybe considered as well, and then it gets pretty iffy as far as swing tackle for the last spot. Is it Starks, Essex, Turner, Jolly, Ryan Lee, J. Scott, Beechem or some other youngster that will be picked up off the waver wire at some point ? Essex and Lee can play any position on the line, they are both that versatile, but Lee is totally unproven though he has great measurables. Turner, Jolly, J. Scott and Beechem all have less than great measurables and with the exception of J. Scott and his extremely over valued salary, have no game experience. If healthy, my guess will be Max Starks for possibly one more year. If I were looking at youth and measurables alone however I might be very interested in keeping Foster, Lee, and Essex as the back ups, but it would be a very large risk doing so since none of them are true tackles. It will be an adventure seeing how Coach K. puts the pieces together for backups and practice squad and whom, if anyone surprising, catches his eye as a potential starter in waiting.

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