The offensive line shuffle should wrap up tomorrow night for the Steelers when they host the Philadelphia Eagles in preseason game four at Hinez Field. That position has been a major source of trouble for the Steelers so far this preseason, as new head coach Mike Tomlin has played with numerous combinations trying to find the best starting five to move forward for opening day on September 9th vs the Browns in Cleveland. Some things we do know for tomorrow night are as follows. Sean Mahan will get the start at center over Chukky Okobi, and it looks as if Mahan is going to be the opening day starter at this position. Mahan was grabbed in the offseason from Tampa Bay, while many thought that Okobi would inherit the job directly from Jeff Hartings after he retired after the 2006 season.
Willie Colon will be the teams right tackle for the Philly game. On Thursday, Max Starks played with the first-team offense, but on Friday, Tomlin said that the start would go to Colon. It looks as if Colon has won the spot, and Tomlin pointed out on Friday: “It’s a telltale game for a lot of positions, but, yes, right tackle is one of them.” It will be the third straight start for Colon, and he will likely play most of the first half along with the other starters. Starks will play second string and be rotated in and out with the other backups.
So that leaves the line looking like this at this point – LT Marvel Smith, LG Alan Faneca, Center Sean Mahan, LG Kendall Simmons, LT Willie Colon. At this point unless we have an injury to speak of, I would be willing to bank this is going to be your opening day offensive line vs the Browns. “We are going to leave no stone unturned in allowing those guys to have the opportunity to compete,” Tomlin said. “They are competing their butts off. It’s coming to the end. We are aware of that. It’s taking shape.”
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