Connect with us

Steelers Analysis

Here’s One Critical Thing Steelers Will Find Out Quickly



Dan Moore Jr. looks on as the Steelers face the Ravens on Jan. 1, 2022 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)
Dan Moore Jr. looks on as the Steelers face the Ravens on Jan. 1, 2022 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers will find out something significant on Sunday. Or, at the very least, they will start to find out the picture of Dan Moore Jr.’s third year in the NFL. With Nick Bosa officially into the starting lineup, Moore will likely see a heavy dose of Bosa. While he may have help from Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, and others on the edge with chips, Moore has to prove he can hang with one of the NFL’s best edge rushers.

But the gauntlet for Moore does not end at Bosa. His first three matchups are Bosa, Myles Garrett, and Maxx Crosby. That covers haymaker after haymaker thrown the way of Moore. He had a fantastic training camp working against the deep rotation of edge rushers the Steelers boast. But when you face three straight Top 10 edge rushers in the NFL, it is prime proving ground.

Moore has something to prove this season. The Steelers doubted him. Yes, they did. Otherwise, they would not have drafted Broderick Jones in the first round. But one thing is that Moore never doubted himself. On his merit, he started working at right tackle in the offseason. Moore hired a personal chef to help his diet and bulked up significantly with six solid pounds of muscle. When Jones entered the building, Moore became an open book for the rookie, helping him out after practice each day.

“Dan’s great. We don’t look at it as a competition because at the end of the day, we both have a job to do. It just comes down to the best man…no hard feelings between me and him,” Jones said.

Steelers LT Dan Moore Jr.

Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. at training camp, Aug. 1, 2023 — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

On Tuesday, Mike Tomlin likened Jones to a young Cam Heyward, who sat for the first two seasons of his career before hitting a rocket launcher into stardom. There is nothing inherently wrong with Jones. The Steelers mixed him in with the first team at parts during training camp and have a plan for him to start at left tackle at some point. But Moore won it, fair and square. This is not a situation where they planned to ease Jones into this thing. Moore was better and outright earned the job.

Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff recognized that. Moore has played over 1,000 snaps in the NFL and has seen a lot of football over his first two years. Often, with tackles that came into the league rough around the edges, such as Moore, they can take a bit to gain a foothold and breakout.

“I thought he played really well [in preseason],” Tomlin said. “I thought he showed the growth and maturation that comes with the thousand or so snaps that he’s played over the last two years. And so, really comfortable there…I feel really good about Dan’s growth and development.”

Related: ‘Nothing Wrong with Broderick’: Tomlin Sees Dan Moore Winning LT Job as Big Positive for Steelers

All of that is fine and dandy. Moore proved himself. But now, it’s time to show that jump is not some summer fad. It’s happened before, and Moore would not be the last to have an impressive summer and flame out. The Steelers should approach this situation like they did with Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett a year ago. Moore should have a short leash, and if he struggles, Jones is better off taking those rookie lumps and learning.

But Moore has more here in the future at stake. We are talking about someone who could easily be in contention for the starting right tackle job as early as next year. The Steelers have a future investment in the development of Moore. That makes this situation a little different than the Trubisky and Pickett situation as a result.

Moore will not pitch three perfect games against those three significant edge rushers. But no one should expect to do that. But he must look like a left tackle that has taken a massive step forward. If he does that, the Steelers will know they have something in the future with Moore, too. And if his summer holds up, they just might.

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Subscribe Today!