Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert is still wrapping up his media rounds and on Friday he was a guest on Trib Live Radio, where he answered several questions regarding the Steelers offseason outlook.
During the interview Colbert was particularly asked to weigh in on the progress of tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams, and if one or the other had risen in his mind as a left tackle candidate at this point for 2013.
“I\’m sure it\’s still to be determined, because they both unfortunately missed a lot of time last year with injury,” said Colbert. “Of course Marcus was put on reserve injured early in the season and then Mike, we kind of held him back because of the ankle and he didn\’t quite recover from that. At the time he tried to get ready, but it just didn\’t respond, and he needed more time, and of course we ran out of time. So, both of those guys will come back in and be healthy, and be ready to compete, but what mix of offensive linemen we\’ll have, I cant even venture to guess yet because it\’s too early in free agency, and whether we\’re able to keep a guy like Ramon Foster or Max Starks is yet to be determined.”
Some of the Pittsburgh media have already speculated that Gilbert will get the first crack at left tackle spot should Starks not return next season, but I tend the think that it might wind up the other way around with Adams getting the first crack at the left side instead. The Steelers have yet to hire a new offensive line coach to replace Sean Kugler, who left to become the head coach of UTEP, so until that happens, I truly do believe Colbert when he says that it is a position that is yet to be determined.
Gilbert, who suffered a tendon injury to his right ankle in the Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans, said on Friday via his Twitter account that he was currently headed back to Charlotte, North Carolina to get a checkup on his ankle, which ended up requiring surgery.
Adams, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the Week 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns, should also be good to go by the time mini-camp rolls around.
Starks and Foster, who were both mention in the reply that Colbert gave, are unrestricted free agents. Both will be allowed to test free agency once it begins in mid March according to the comments made by Colbert earlier in the week.