Well, well, well. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s Scott Brown writes what a lot of us have been thinking since the Steelers drafted Willie Colon in 2006.
In a piece looking at the organization’s draft needs, Brown notes:
The Steelers want Flozell Adams, who proved to be a revelation at right tackle last season, to return for 2011, and the 13th-year veteran has given every indication that he intends to do so. Max Starks and Willie Colon, the team’s starting tackles for most of ’08 and ’09, are expected to make full recoveries from their respective neck and foot injuries.
“If all three are with the Steelers next season it could give the team the flexibility to experiment with Colon at guard — or simply make it harder on the coaches to settle on the top five linemen.
I’d happily welcome Flozell back in 2011. He was the second-best o-lineman on the team after Maurkice Pouncey, and as JJ pointed out at various points last season, probably more important. The falloff from Flozell to Trai Essex is more pronounced than Pouncey to Dougie Legursky. While Essex played well in a reserve role, given the choice between having Pouncey or Flozell on the field, I’ll begrudgingly take Flozell.
Brown’s contention that this could be an opportunity for the Steelers to kick Colon inside to right guard is … well, also the same stuff fans have been screaming for years. A couple problems with that: every time the subject is mentioned, the Steelers say it ain’t happening. Maybe they have finally changed courses, or maybe Brown is spit-ballin’. Either way, I don’t think it’s the worst idea ever. In fact, I fully support it (just like you!).
I can’t even remember the reasons the Steelers would trot out whenever the “Hey, when are you moving Colon inside?” questions started but I think it had something to do with him being the team’s best option at right tackle. Well, that’s no longer true.
Another issue, and this is something JJ and talked about on a previous podcast: depending on how the labor deal plays out, Colon could be a free agent. Assuming the Steelers try to re-sign him, Willie will probably want tackle money over “Guess what? You’re moving to guard!” money. That could be a problem. And if Colon walks, the problem grows. A 2011 starting lineup of Starks, Kemoeatu, Pouncey, Colon and Flozell would be remarkable. And even if Colon signs elsewhere, Pittsburgh has plenty of options to play right guard. But god forbid Flozell gets hurt next season, not to mention what will happen to the line in 2012 when Flozell’s contract expires.
Brown, who seems to have solid Steelers sources, doesn’t attach the “Colon could play guard” sentiments to anyone in the organization, so for now we’re just speculating.
“If you’re looking for a cornerback at the end of the first round, you might have a problem.” Duly noted.