Steelers 2013 Training Camp Battles: Guy Whimper Versus Joe Long Versus Mike Golic Jr.

July is finally here, and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers will report to Latrobe for training camp later this month. We have already looked at a few training camp battles that will take place, and today we will look at the battle for the backup tackle spot on the 53 man roster. Leave your comments below and make sure to cast your vote in the attached poll in addition.

Training Camp Battle Setup: The Steelers know who their two starting tackles will be in 2013 as both Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams will man the left and right spots respectively. Being as veteran Max Starks was not resigned during the offseason, however, the team has depth issues at the tackle position heading into training camp that must be answered. By the looks of things, second-year offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum could very well be the first player off the sideline should either Gilbert or Adams go down injured, but he is also being groomed to be the backup to Maurkice Pouncey at center in addition, so the team will likely need another tackle on the roster just in case. That leads us to look at the upcoming training camp battle between Guy Whimper, Joe Long and possibly even Mike Golic Jr. for a spot on the 53 man roster.

Guy Whimper – The Steelers signed Whimper back in early May following his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 6 foot, 5 inch tackle has a history of sorts with new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., as he was coached by him for one season in 2009 as a member of the New York Giants. Whimper, however, was not a starter for the Giants that season and played all of 32 snaps that year before being released just before the 2010 season.

During his two and a half seasons with the Jaguars, Whimper started 22 games with most of his work coming at right tackle. During that span of time, he allowed 21 sacks as his pass protection was pretty much atrocious. As far as his run blocking goes, Whimper was perhaps at his best in 2011 as a member of the Jaguars, but in 2012, he regressed in that area. He is no longer as mobile as he once was when he was drafted in 2006.

Whimper is a one position player and would be a huge liability on the left side of the Steelers line. Reports during the offseason practices stated that he did receive some second-team reps at the left tackle spot in addition to the right tackle spot, but I can\’t see him being a serious contender to play on the left side in a real game. He is a right tackle or bust out of training camp.

Joe Long – Long was signed to the Steelers practice squad late last year, and that\’s where he finished the 2012 season. Like Whimper, Long measures in at just over 6 foot, 5 inches, but appears to be much more mobile than the former Jaguar at only 23 years of age.

Long played left tackle at Wayne State, where he was accustomed to running both the inside and outside zone. During the Steelers offseason practices he played on the second team at both the left and right tackle positions, so it will be interesting to see if he indeed gets work at both of those spots during the preseason to test his position flexibility.

Originally signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Long only played in four preseason games before being released prior to the start of the season. Being as he failed to make a practice squad until he signed in November with the Steelers, however, should be a concern.

Until Long puts the pads on at training camp it is just too hard to give an honest assessment of him as all we have up until this point is just his college tape and limited snaps last year during the preseason.

Mike Golic Jr. – Golic Jr. really is a dark horse to make the 53 man roster after only starting 13 games at Notre Dame where he mostly played right guard and center. Since being signed as an undrafted free agent, Golic Jr. has received most of his reps as the Steelers third team tackle, so that should give you an idea as to where he is at on the depth chart.

Being as there is so much competition between several bodies at the interior line positions, it is hard seeing Golic Jr. getting many reps anywhere else on the offensive line outside of right tackle, so I suspect he will see very few snaps during the preseason as a result of that. In reality, he will more than likely be competing in training camp for a spot on the practice squad.

Prediction: This battle, in my opinion, is really only between Whimper and Long as Golic Jr. is a long shot at this point. I don\’t think we can entirely rule out another veteran being brought in at some point, so there is a tiny chance that none of these players will make the roster should that wind up being the case. Until the pads go on you have to think that Whimper is the favorite, but that could change quickly and my hope is that Long can show enough during camp and the preseason to win the job as Whimper\’s best days, of which he didn\’t have many, are way behind him.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Luke Shabro

    Some people fantasize about winning the lottery or dating a supermodel. For now I will be fantasizing about getting Eric Winston. I know it’s highly unlikely to get him at all especially since he would be the no. 2 right tackle as long as Mike Adams recovers ok but a guy can dream! Don’t go bursting my bubble Dave Bryan!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I believe that Whimper because of his exp. will make the roster over Long and Golic but that Long has a chance of making the roster as well as Whimper. I hope that Golic and Long can stand out because the 2nd coming of Scott(Whimper) can not be tolerated.

  • VaDave

    I’m hoping for a cap casualty to hit FA ala Flo Adams…..Whimper sure was not my idea of that. As for the kids, without them playing in pads, it’s hard to tell just what we got there.

  • steeltown

    I’ll be rooting for Long….. and Golic Jr (with his position flexibility) to the PS

  • TJimmy

    Sounds like Whimper could leave Ben whimpering at an avg of 1 sack per game. Hope someone steps up.

  • emac2

    I would bet the Steelers use Foster as the 6th lineman with someone either beating him out at guard or a pre season signing. Of the three I would probably choose Golic but only if he beats Foster and starts at guard.

  • AndyR34

    Dave – If any of these three make the roster, it says a lot about the state of the Steelers this year. J. Scott was a good bit better than Whimper IMHO. We are forgetting, however, that R. Foster might actually be the 3rd tackle…or definitely the 4th tackle. OTOH, if both Adams and Gilbert go down, that will force Ben to get the ball out faster!

  • steves

    Wassup with Embernasty? He’s my tackle to make the team. Beach can backup everyone else but he’s having snapping issues and never played center before. In the NFL, by game 16 most of your OL are hurt and it is a game of attrition. Golic played guard with the Irish and not tackle. Wimper is too old (30) and the Steelers want young boys,,, so he’s out. So that leaves Long to make it.

  • sgtrobo

    nobody is beating Foster out.

  • sgtrobo

    Between Kemoeatu, Hartwig, Colon, Jonathan Scott, and now Guy Whimper, I will never, ever understand the Steelers’ obsession with rostering woefully inept offensive linemen

  • JohnnyV1

    This makes my eyes tear up knowing that Ben’s backup blindside protector comes from one of these three. Or perhaps they shift the ORT starter to left, and put one of these guys in at RT so Ben can at least see who’s going to sack him. Either way, not good options.

  • steeltown

    Golic has been receiving reps at RT primarily so far, which is why he’s included in the Whimper and Long camp battle for backup OT.. theres really almost zero chance he beats out Foster and/or Beachum for inside spot, he’s probably even behind Malecki and Embernate when discussing interior line, based on reps thus far

  • emac2

    Even if no one on the roster beats him out they need to improve the depth dramatically. Making an investment in an upgrade at Fosters position leaves him available as the backup for most spots on the line. This would not only be the most cost effective but would also lead to the fewest changes both adjusting to the new player and in the event of injury.

  • steeltown

    That’s exactly what they’ll do, Gilbert and Adams will back eachother up at LT (IMO Foster or Beachum will get first crack at RT when/if that occurs) making either Long, Golic or Whimper the last resort ‘swing’ guy

  • emac2

    I think way too much is being read into OTA positions. They have a history of going on strict seniority to start the year and if you were going to take a look at something that is a remote possibility you would do that very early before you get into serious preparation for the season.

    I agree with almost zero chance for Golic. I doubt any of them make the team as starters or backups. My point was that he has to be better than Foster to make the roster. If no one beats out Foster I think they will sign someone who is before the season starts.

  • Dom

    You guys do realise this is a battle for a backup spot, If all goes well neither player should see the field this year, You don’t need to be quite so dramatic

  • VaDave

    Maybe not this year, but the first OG they come across that can run the counter trap, Foster is going to the bench. I’ve read good things about Embernate, but my gut tells me he’s a year away.

  • VaDave

    Embernate is an interior line prospect, not a tackle.

  • emac2

    When is the last time the Steelers didn’t need more than 18 games of injury replacement on the line?

    They need a starter for those minutes. Not an undrafted guy in his first year.

  • VaDave

    RE: Ben
    If Adams and Gilbert both go down, it could result in Ben getting the ball out faster, but more than likely would result in Ben’s premature retirement due to life threatening injuries incurred.

  • steeltown

    They have Foster, Beachum and Malecki to cover any initial blow to the starting OL (all with some position flexibility) if multiple “serious” injuries occur, then I assume they’ll bring in some more help

    They need to see what Long, Golic and Embernate bring to the table, one of these guys might be a solid ‘cheap’ backup

  • cencalsteeler

    When I look at Guy Whimpers stats, my face looks like I just ate sour grapes. With that said, Bicknell must see something in this kid that he may be able to fix. I don’t want to pass judgement on him until Jack has some more time with him. This will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’ll go with the Dark Horse Golic Jr to win a spot on the 53. This Whimper guy looks like he’s not even NFL material anymore and prob never really was with those 21 sacks allowed. Long I hope surprises as well but we’ll see when the pads are on. I really think the battle is between Long and Golic Jr. Also i’m impressed with the interior lineman battles going into camp. Embernate looks like an intriguing prospect.

  • walter mason

    Its too bad Starks will not be able to ride in on his white horse this year and they need to get Adams into a better/safer section of town. We can only pray Gilbert will not fall on any of our own linemans limbs with his full weight.

  • walter mason

    Colon was considered our best lineman when he payed RT. Kemo could pull.

  • hergieburbur

    Colon was never considered our best OL by anyone outside of the Steelers PR machine.

    Kemo was a solid pulling LG when called upon to run block, but he was poor in pass protection and did not fit the new offense at all.

  • hergieburbur

    It could be between whimper and a parking cone, and I would bet on the parking cone…

  • emac2

    I agree they “should” look but “need” is way too strong.

    They “need” better back up options than Beacham and anyone else on the roster (minus a surprise) and even Beacham and Foster as 6th and 7th isn’t great considering the health of the starting line.

  • VaDave

    You and me both Walt

  • Kolie Oak

    Exactly what I was thinking….

  • Kolie Oak

    If any of these 3 were to play, imagine the scenario that hopefully will never play out…
    I’m feeling good about the health of our new young line this year, the injury bug is so controlled by a higher power…

  • Matt Lipner

    Foster is without a doubt going to be the starter in Week 1. Not sure what you have against him but there’s no way he is losing his job after performing well last year and resigning.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Long bends Golic over and makes him Whimper!

  • emac2

    I don’t have anything against him. He’s a pretty good player but not great, is versatile enough to back up several positions and is paid like a good back up.

    The team would be better if they signed someone who is a better guard and used him as a back-up. I hope we can agree that this is the case with everyone.

  • steves

    Kemo had tooo many penalities and Colon was alway done!

  • steves

    Gilbert and Adams both cannot keep James off Ben. He’ll deck one and run over the other.

  • steves

    What you been smokin Willard?

  • LucasY59

    Whimper is way too much like Jonathan Scott, Whimper looks to be a guy Bicknell wanted, Scott was brought in because of Kugler. Scott proved that castoffs from teams (Bills, Jags) that are at the some of the worst in the NFL are not worth picking up, even if they are cheap depth (there’s a reason they are cheap and only considered depth)

  • Frank Balistreri

    They’re testing Golic for 3rd team tackle. He is fighting for 2nd C/G. If it is close at Center in particular and he has position flexibility at T, he should make the 53.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    This song goes out to the lineman…..azz n tittiez…azz n tittiez and big bootied bitches!

  • sgtrobo

    Saying Colon was our best lineman (at the time) was like saying, “that pile of turds is the least smelly of the bunch”. Kemo could pull, sometimes, but was a penalty machine who got beat constantly, but who would, once per game, land a block on the move that made people forget how wretched he was.

  • sgtrobo

    that’s a good point Dom. Our backup offensive linemen rarely see the field because we rarely have injuries on our offensive line.

  • sgtrobo

    sure, but Golic, Joe Long, and Guy Whimper will not beat Foster out, which is what I was saying. Perhaps next season, Long, Golic, or Embernate get starting reps, but it isn’t happening this season

  • Kolie Oak

    Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Klondike Bars..

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