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Willie Colon confirmed what has been speculated since the NFL draft — the Pittsburgh Steelers intend to have two rookies start on their offensive line this year.
Colon told WDVE in Pittsburgh that he is officially moving from right tackle to left guard. “I like it,” Colon said. “It’s just a matter of learning the verbiage.”
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.
The end result is the Steelers are much stronger with this lineup as long as Adams shows he’s strong enough to start right away. There’s no doubt that DeCastro, the best guard in the draft, is ready to start from Week 1. The key to keeping this offensive line this way is the development of Adams. I’m in favor of not waiting to make the switch. The Steelers drafted these linemen to add stability and get away from what happened last season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Steelers used a league-high 25 different offensive line combinations in 2011.
In making the move, Pittsburgh is bumping two formerly undrafted guards (Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster) in favor of its top two picks in this year’s draft (DeCastro and Adams). That’s a major upgrade in talent level.
The Steelers showed their commitment to making this move by how long it took for them to make it. The team called Colon right after the draft to inform him of the change. “My only issue would have been don’t move me midway through camp,” he said.
Colon also revealed more about the scheme with him and DeCastro at the guard positions. “You should expect both of us pulling,” Colon said. “I think we’re going to be a lot more balanced.”