Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Colon moving to LG

In a move that has been talked about for years by fans, the Steelers have told Willie Colon that he will move inside to left guard.

Colon has missed most of the past two seasons with injuries, so the move makes some sense. The team has drafted offensive tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams in the second round of the past two drafts and with Colon being a question mark in terms of his injury past, they've got to get the young guys as many snaps as possible.

If, for example, Adams doesn't work out at left tackle, they can always move Colon back out to right tackle and move Gilbert over to the left side - though he might not have the feet to make such a move. Last year's starter, Max Starks, is also still a free agent, so there is also the possibility that he could be brought back as well if Adams struggles.

The move of Colon to left guard would give the Steelers a potential line of, from left to right, Adams, Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, rookie David DeCastro and Gilbert.

That line certainly has some pedigree, but it would be foolish not to expect some rookie struggles from Adams, who was inconsistent at Ohio State.

38 comments:

kelly said...

Wow, it's finally happening! The infamous, Colon to guard topic canbe put to rest. I actually thought they would put him at RG, but this works too. Should be an interesting camp on many fronts.

Anonymous said...

@ Kelly

It's more natural to pull towards the right for a guard. Since DeCastro pulled left in college it makes sense to put Colon @ RG. They can run Counter Trey/Counter Gap right with Colon or left with DeCastro.

~SBK

Jersey Mike said...

@Anonymous

Does it make sense to start 2 rookies on your franchise QB's blindside?

Jim said...

Colon will be the blindside guard (see article title), so it would only be Adams as a rookie, if he indeed does start there. Dale, are you assuming they're viewing Adams as the LT since that's where he lined up @ mini-camp? Could they still move Gilbert to LT and start Adams @ RT?

Lance said...

It's pretty simple. Adams is a better left tackle than Gilbert, and Gilbert is a better right tackle than Colon. Clearly the organization knows this as well. It is pretty telling when they inform Colon of the move 5 minutes after selecting Adams.

My biggest thing is why so many others do not see it as well. Mike Adams is a better LT than anyone they have on the roster right now and they know it. Pretty easy no brainer for those who have seen the state of our awful O Line for the last 4 years.

Anyway, I called it right after the pick...Decastro and Adams to start, and yes Adams will be the LT, his job lose, but he will not...who would he lose it to? Starks...LOL, Scott LOL, I do not think so.

Adams-Colon-Pouncy-DeCastro-Gilbert

That's the way I saw it then, and that's how I see it now.

Mark said...

Adams may make rookie mistakes, but as other's have pointed out, there were plenty of "veteran" mistakes over the past few years. And with a new offensive coordinator, everyone needs to learn something new.

If it looks like Adams will be able to handle playing in the NFL, then I think getting him in there earlier will pay off during the season as the OL unit gets experience together (hopefully without injuries).

Dale Lolley said...

As I said, if it starts looking like Adams can't do it, they can re-sign Starks.
Gilbert to LT, to me, was not ideal. I didn't think he had the feet to do it.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I think Starks will be brought back if healthy regardless of how Adams plays because they still need a swing tackle, and Starks will come much cheaper than $2M plus that Scott is set to make this year. Regardless of his inconsistencies at OSU, I like the fact that you got one of the best OL coaches in the business bringing him along. Besides Adams and DeCastro, the player I most want to see play in the preseason is Trevis Turner. We know he has RT prototype size. Now, with a year with the team and a full offseason under his belt, could he also handle LT in a pinch if needed? I really hope the reserves for this OL this year will be Starks, Turner, Foster and Legursky.

Lance said...

I think the coaches are hopeful that they will not need to bring Starks back, they know what they have in him and would do it if needed, but I think this is where we turn the page and start with this fresh young O-Line. As long as Adams has his head on straight he should be fine, and I think he does. He has the feet for LT, something Gilbert does not, Adams just needs to get a bit stronger, something I am confident will come.

Whatever happens on the Oline this year I am excited for it, and excited to see more and more talented rookies get there chances sooner rather than later. This team has just the right amount of veteran and young talent and they look to be deep and talented for the long haul. There will be some growing pains, but once the offense gets the new playbook down, this unit could be top notch.

It would be nice to see the O put up some points this year.

Henigin said...

Lance - I see it a little differently than you do, I don't think this necessarily means the think that Gilbert is a better RT than Colon. He might be, but it seems to me that the Steelers are just trying to make sure their best 5 guys are on the field, regardless of position, and want to give their young guys a chance to develop quickly. Colon may or not be a better RT than Gilbert, and at this point Gilbert, Starks, or Scott could actually be better at LT than Adams.

So even if Colon would be the better RT, putting either of the young tackles on the bench just to keep Colon there is a bit silly if they think the upgrade of Colon over Foster/Legursky would be bigger than the dropoff of putting Gilbert at RT.

I am optimistic and think this is going to be a great OL by the end of the season, but it very well may be rough in the early going with the new & moved guys in the lineup.

Lance said...

I agree that they want the 5 best linemen on the field, but I think they also want the 5 best at each individual position. This would indicate to me that MG is the better RT. Gilbert was projected by most to be a G/RT out of Florida, Guard is a position he has played and could play well, but once again the fact that the Steelers drafted him as a T is telling. Gilbert would have no problem playing LG, but IMO (and it appears the Steelers coaches) he is a better RT. the specultion over the years of Colon playing G is due to his size, he can not be taught to be 6'6 like gilbert or 6'7" and change that Adams stands. Kugler is having the impact we need on decision for the OL IMO, and this unit will be solid. Will the line be Adams-Colon-Pouncy-DeCastro-Gilbert for the whole year? I don't know, but I hope so, it appears it will be there jobs to lose, and I just can't see that.

You don't get talent like Adams in the later rounds very often, and like I said, who is going to beat him out? Scott? we all saw how that worked out, some fans even thought Starks looked like an all pro after Scott's performance, and that is just sad. Adams, to me just has everything you can't teach in a franchis LT, size, speed, quickness, and LT feet, the things he lacks, off field desicions and strength can easily be taught. Guys like that are hard to find, if he would have built on his junior year at OSU (instead of getting caught up in the catastrophe that happened) and not got into trouble, he would have been a top ten pick IMO. Time will tell with him, but I think he has a good group around him that will show him how to be a pro. To say I am eager to see how it all plays out would be an understatement.

datruth4life said...

If the starting lineup is Adams, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert, then they'd at least have everyone under contract for the next 3 years (this year included). That would be some nice consistency for a change.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem whatsoever having Adams compete for the starting tackle job. What I don't like is the idea of just handing him the job upfront. It's more than just offfield issues and strength that were knocks on the guy. His effort and consistency were very real issues as well. Colbert and Tomlin didn't even bother trying to sell the fans/media on the guy because both admit they aren't sold on him either, and won't be 'until the day Adams retires' according to Colbert. The guy has a lot to prove and continue to prove as a player and a teammate. With so much to prove, I don't get just handing him the job without earning it, without an ounce of effort. And I can't see how Scott could possibly be any consideration for competition this year. Not after last season. And I can't see how a still rehabbing FA can be counted on to bail them out if all goes south. Starks finished the last two seasons in the tub, and faded fast down the stretch last season. And due to benching or injury, has just one full season in the past 6 to his credit. Adams and Gilbert may end up being the two best OTs on the team and might end up deserving of their jobs. But there's a lot of hope and prayers hedged in there, and I hate the idea of just handing the job to Adams right out of the gate without fighting, proving, earning it first. Which on first blush is what appears to be happening. I have no problem giving DeCastro his starting guard job. His character/work ethic/play demeanor/effort/consistency are without issue. Not the case with Adams. He has much to prove, and it's kinda looking like he won't have to.

TarheelFlyer said...

I think we are forgetting that Adams was considered first round talent...the only reason he wasn't in the first round was the pot. That is it.

I think this allows them to go into camp with the middle of the line pretty well set. Colon/Pouncey/DeCastro. Foster, Legursky and Essex can all be backups/2nd string.

Now they must figure what to do at the tackle spots. We know that Gilbert and Adams will be on the team. J. Scott, C. Scott, Jolley, Turner, and potentially M. Starks all may make the team as well. Essex may also get a shot at a tackle spot. He may end up being the swing tackle with Legursky being the swing guard on game day.

If Starks is ready to play, I think he comes back and battles Adams at camp to start. He will teach the young kid a bunch.

marc said...

i don't think we will see starks on the team unless there is injury or significant underperformance from the tackle position.

Lance said...

It is not about someone being handed a job and not deserving it. The front office drafted Mike Adams to start at left tackle, just like they drafted DeCastro to start at right guard, just like they drafted Pouncy to start at center. The FO knows what they are doing and no one is being handed anything. The Steelers drafted a guy to play a position they have a need.

One does not have to read so far into this. It is really quite simple, as it stands, Mike Adams is the best LT on the roster. We just do not have anyone better. Further, with having Colon at LG, Pouncy-DeCastro-Gilbert the whole line as a unit will be much improved, giving Adams help and time to get where Kugler will expect him to be, keeping these guys together for a few years and sarting day one is the best way for them to be a solid unit...If you do not believe me...see the last 4 years as exhibit "A"

If Mike Adams at LT is our biggest concern for our O-Line, it's gonna be a solid year

Anonymous said...

I would be shocked if Adams starts and finishes the season at LG. No way a rookie can hold up the best LB's in the league. Starks will be on the team by week 4, if not before (assuming his ACL is healed)

Trevor said...

I think part of the move of Colon to the left side is to shore up the interior of the left side. A veteran next to a rookie will certainly help the interior so that Adams can focus on outside rushes. Gilbert knows what he's doing on the right side and DeCastro will be solid interior. Pouncey can finally do his job instead of trying to cover up the mistakes of both guards. I think Colon ends up mentoring Adams, shoring up the line, and we move forward.

I'm pretty excited that they made this call early and will have OTAs and camp to begin the gelling process so important to OLine. Let them get to know eachother while playing next to eachother all preseason. Solid line for the first time in a long time!

Lance said...

So let's say Adams is one of the bottom 5 LT's in the league (which I do not think he will be)

You suggest we replace him with one of the bottom 5 LT's in the league who is older, slower, and prone to injuries...LOL.

Our O-Line has been so bad the last 4 years Max Starks looked good on it...LOL!

Trevor said...

You replying to me, Lance? What I'm saying is that the line should look like: Adams - Colon - Pouncey - DeCastro - Gilbert.

Having a veteran in Colon play LG will help shore up the left interior which will only help Adams' development at LT. Adams can focus on the left outside while learning the ropes and reduce his learning curve. Colon can solidify the interior while giving Adams pointers since he has experience in the Tackle position. That way we have veterans next to both rookie lineman. A TE lined up left side also helps Adams, or perhaps some designed roll outs to the right.

Lance said...

No Trevor, I was replying to anonymous post above you. I agree with what you wrote. I think people concerned about a rookie on our O-Line makes me question if they watched the veterans we have play there over the last 4 years...

Dale Lolley said...

They likely won't open with Adams at LT. They'll put Scott there first and let Adams beat him out.

Anonymous said...

I am always confused by the way that Max Starks is handled. Is it is agent? Why not just sign the guy and get it over with? He's a solid left tackle and that is a rare commodity in the NFL. Why not sign him now? Even if he's a backup it's not a bad move.

I must be missing something, maybe he won't play for less than starter salary even though the Steelers are the only team that has any interest in him.

Anonymous said...

why not sign him NOW? well, his injury for one thing. It's been only 5 months since he tore his acl

that coupled with the steelers cap issues means he won't sign until at the very least the first week of training camp

Lance said...

Dale-I just do not buy Scott as the starter. All indications are that Adams is the starter and it is his job to lose. Sources inside the organization have reported as much to the PG, and Colon's words indicate the same. Why else would they call him to tell him about the switch? To start Scott? That just does not sound right.

And as for why not sign Starks now, I can think of many reasons...he is injured, injury prone, not a very good LT, He can be had at any time (no other team wanted him last year either), because he is not very good, he gained 40#s last year after an injury, and the organization has never been a big Starks fan.

Anonymous said...

Lance - dumb statement saying the organization has never been a big Starks fan

they franchise tagged him twice homey

Lance said...

They used the transition tag once and a franchise tag once. They also franchised Jeff Reed. The Franchise Tag is a tool for the organization to use so they can manage their roster. I did not say he was awful or unliked, just that they were not a BIG fan.

And that was only one of 5 reasons he will not be signed right now.

emac2 said...

One thing the makes me pause is that Decastro didn't give up any sacks last year and Colon hasn't played in years.

Would it be easier for Adams and safer for Ben to have Decastro on the left side?

I think you can make a good argument for either but Decastro is so consistent that he might be a better bet on the blind side then Colon who is probably more likely to have a big miss here and there simply because he hasn't played for so long.

Anonymous Brian said...

Starks is the wind-beneath-their-wings MVP of last season.

Not that we should necessarily sign him. If he's healthy in the summer, and he would upgrade over J. Scott as the backup (or if Adams isn't ready), I'd love to have him, sure. With those "ifs" I mentioned. Just because, as average as he is, he's better than J. Scott.

I like DeCastro on the right because he'll be closer to Ngata most of the time.

Incidentally, I know nothing about college football but Rainey sounds like Stefan Logan to me. Just trying not to get myself too worked up, b/c I love the idea of a little Sproles in space, etc.

Joe Jones said...

I think other teams should be afraid at the lack of holes on this Steelers team.

Other than corner, which I don't see as a problem, I'm having a hard time finding a weak spot.

Running back could still use a franchise starter, IMO.

Anonymous said...

backup safety is the main hole

and it's only a hole if one of the two get injured

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone going gaga over Colon? He's a marginal NFL OL on his best day regardless where he plays.

bruinmann77 said...

i sorry but Scott should not be any where close to the LT spot period. The Steelers should have learned their lesson from last season.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not saying Scott is going to be the starter. I'm just telling you the way the Steelers do things. I've covered this team for 19 years and they have never handed a job to a rookie in mini-camp. Not once.
They will open with the vets at the positions and ease the rookies in.

Mark said...

Dale, what you said about Adams not being handed the first team starting position makes sense. But in the past, there have been times where promising rookies were kept on bench, no matter how badly veterans were playing in the games.

I think a lot of us are hoping Adams shows enough that the coaches are willing to give him a shot after preseason, rather than stick to the idea that veterans will make fewer mistakes than rookies. They might now the game plan better, but less talent means they will have more trouble executing.

bruinmann77 said...

dale that fine i guess that right but at long Scott there in Shorts only.

alexrkirby said...

After the beginning of last year I don't want to see Jonathan Scott starting at LT EVER AGAIN. Starks really bailed out the Steelers FO and coaches last year when he came back. Not that he gave them much choice but to cut him.

Tim said...

Who will open at first team RG?