WEST PALM BEACH, Fla –
Any questions about Willie Colon’s future with the Steelers were answered last month when the team restructured his contract and gave Colon more guaranteed money from the five-year, $29.5 million deal he signed last August.
The question with Colon that always seems to persist is when the Steelers will shift him from right tackle to guard. Such a move has long been an intriguing one since Colon doesn’t have longest arms for a tackle and seems to have the temperament and skill set to dominate as a guard.
When asked if there is any talk about a position change for Colon, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said, “That’s a question for coach (Mike) Tomlin, but I think if we were to start the season today Willie Colon would line up as a tackle.”
Colbert, talking at the NFL owners meetings, left plenty of wiggle room in regard to Colon and with good reason.
The offensive line may look a lot different when training camp opens than it does now.
The Steelers could use their first- or second-round draft pick on a tackle even though they think Marcus Gilbert has a future at left tackle and are happy with Colon at right tackle. The Steelers also haven’t ruled out bringing back last year’s left tackle, Max Starks, after he works his way back from an ACL tear.
What does all of this mean for Colon? Probably nothing.
Offensive line coach Sean Kugler know as well as anyone how injuries can scramble a line. That has been his reality since joining Mike Tomln’s staff in 2010.
The Steelers need to be flexible and open-minded when it comes to their offensive line. That is probably the biggest reason why they have never completely closed the door on the Colon-to-guard questions.
– Scott Brown