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Mason McCormick Hopes to Live up to No. 66 Legacy

The Pittsburgh Steelers are allowing Mason McCormick to play right guard, which is different from his college tape, where he played LG.

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Pittsburgh Steelers G Mason McCormick
Pittsburgh Steelers guard Mason McCormick during rookie minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 10, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — It doesn’t matter where Pittsburgh Steelers’ fourth-round selection Mason McCormick lines up on the offensive line, he just wants to put his hand in the pile and contribute to the team. After playing exclusively left guard at South Dakota State, McCormick got snaps at right guard while at rookie minicamp for the weekend.

“At South Dakota State, they prepared me for everything. They wanted us to be as versatile as possible, and I think that’s something that could help all of us at this level,” McCormick said. “I’m ready for whatever they throw at me, I just want to help the organization in anyway that I can.”

Troy Fautanu started rookie minicamp at right tackle, not left tackle. So it appears that the Steelers are trying to hammer down versatility on the offensive line. That’s something that Pittsburgh is embracing, especially with the players that they have along the offensive line right now.

“Yeah, not sure, you’d have to ask them that,” Fautanu said when asked if the plan was to play him at right tackle. “I’m just doing what they are telling me to do.”

Pittsburgh Steelers OG Mason McCormick

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Mason McCormick at rookie minicamp, May 10, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

McCormick and Fautanu rode with center Zach Frazier in his truck. Currently, the three do not have places in Pittsburgh and are spending as much time together. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith quipped at them, saying that they were already inseparable, according to McCormick. So, while they are learning new spots, the camaraderie is growing among the group, too.

“I mean, offensive line, you can’t play good unless the guy next to you plays good. So being able to be around these guys and develop that relationship is super important,” he said.

“Being around guys like Zach and Troy, who are awesome dudes and they work extremely hard, it’s good to be able to lean on one another and develop together.”

McCormick will wear No. 66 for the Steelers, a historic number among guards in Steelers history as Hall of Famer Alan Faneca and David DeCastro both donned the number. He hasn’t heard from Faneca or DeCastro, but vets and quarterback Russell Wilson reached out. Wilson called him on FaceTime.

“I have heard a little bit about (the history of No. 66 in the Steelers organization), not a crazy amount, but I know I got a lot of expectations to live up to and I’m ready to be who I am,” McCormick said.

The expectations for the rookie offensive linemen are relatively high, but Mason McCormick is just taking it day by day.

“I don’t really think about the future too much,” McCormick said when asked about the rookie offensive linemen starting down the road. “I’m just trying to be where my feet are and try to make the most out of every moment.”

Keep learning about the Steelers’ offensive line at rookie camp, and the more they want to go into the offensive line’s versatility. Fautanu is playing on the right side, and so is McCormick. But they might be looking to play all around the offensive line. There is no concrete plan for anyone there just yet. And that’s fine. McCormick can play three spots, and Fautanu can maybe play five. If you are a team that says they value versatility like Pittsburgh does, these guys are the type of players to scout and hone in on. So, it seems like that philosophy is taking shape.