Now Everybody Wants to Move Colon to Guard

Hey all, hope everyone’s having a fancy summer. Thanks to Gretz, Steelers Lounge hasn’t completely shuttered its doors, but things have been pretty slow. Hopefully, the owners and players are close to working out the details on a new CBA and we can all get back to the business of worrying about crap grown men have no business worrying about.

Like, say, the Steelers offensive line.

Depending on your perspective, that unit is somewhere between adequate and awful. By September, some combination of Starks, Kemoeatu, Pouncey, Foster, Legursky, Adams and Gilbert will make up the five fat bodies tasked with protecting Big Ben and opening running lanes for Tiki. (That’s a joke. I think.)

And whatever form free agency takes could mean the return of Jonathan Scott, who last season proved to be way more important than anybody expected. What’s less likely to happen, at least to hear his agent tell it, is Willie Colon’s return to Pittsburgh. I’m not sure how to feel about it. Partly because I never bought into the “He’s one of the best right tackles in the league!” hype after the 2009 season. But also because, like almost every other Steelers fan, I thought Colon would make a great guard. It’s just that, until earlier this offseason, I was under the impression that neither Colon nor the team thought of him as anything other than a tackle.

I wrote in February about Tomlin saying he wasn’t against the idea of trying Colon at guard. Of course, the Post-Gazette‘s Gerry Dulac wrote a few months later that there was absolutely no way it would happen, at least not while Bruce Arians was offensive coordinator. Something about Colon’s plodding nature not fitting what the Steelers like to do with their interior linemen.

Ted made the case for why it very well could — and should — happen, and most folks agreed with the sentiment.

Now, roughly a month before the start of training camp (assuming the lockout magically resolves itself), the Tribune-Review‘s Scott Brown writes about the state of the Steelers o-line, and specifically where Colon, who will be a free agent in the coming weeks, might fit.

Even if Colon returns to the Steelers, he could be on the move.

Coach Mike Tomlin and offensive line coach Sean Kugler have said they are open to the possibility of Colon playing guard in 2011. That is something that could be particularly intriguing to the Steelers if left tackle Max Starks makes a healthy return from a neck injury — and if the coaches are confident they can coax another good year out of the 36-year-old Adams.

Perhaps the biggest factor working against such a move is the Steelers did not have the luxury of experimenting during the offseason since all practices were a casualty of the lockout.

So Tomlin and Kugler have stated publicly that they’re not against the move and BA, according to Dulac, is. Make of this what you will (My guess: Arians told Dulac it wouldn’t happen and Dulac believes him. Doesn’t mean it’s gospel, although it becomes moot if the Steelers aren’t making any real efforts to re-sign Colon. Which might also explain Dulac’s steadfast refusal to even consider it a possibility. Like most everybody not named Gerry, I remain skeptical.)

But what about Colon? Allegedly, he had been against the move in prior years. How does he feel about it now?

“I’m not against it,” Colon said of moving to guard, “but nevertheless, I feel like I’m a right tackle. We pull (left guard) Chris (Kemoeatu) so much that if I was to move to guard, I know I could add some balance. However, my heart is at tackle. I love the challenge of playing out there.”

There’s also the issue of the huge paycut Colon would take moving inside. Rotoworld says that “Colon is willing to take a large hometown discount to re-sign”, although I have no idea where they’re getting that. Colon’s agent told the Post-Gazette that the Steelers “…haven’t called about Willie in three years. I’m not expecting them to call because they haven’t yet. That’s the way they do business, and that’s fine. But if they do call we’ll pick up the phone.”

I eagerly await Arians’ Dulac’s response.

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  • t1mmy10

    i do think it’s funny they claim the steelers “washed their hands” of colon. they never did that. the steelers typically don’t sign ppl to long term contracts if they have another year as a restricted FA or if they have more than a year left on their current contracts. this is the case with colon. now (depending how the current labor situation works out) he could be another RFA (thus tendered) or a UFA. and i’ll bet money the steelers pursue colon in free agency…regardless if they end up getting him or not.

    colon & his agent are just pissed that he was gonna get a big contract then that chance was robbed due to the labor situation…then he tore his achilles tendon (almost worse case scenario in that situation) basically killing his chance of getting a big contract even if he’s a UFA.

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