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Matt Canada Hints Both Steelers Tackle Jobs up for Grabs



Steelers LT Broderick Jones

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ battle at left tackle went through the preseason heated as Dan Moore Jr. and Broderick Jones continued to show what they could do. But what if the battle is not just at left tackle but at both tackle spots? Well, offensive coordinator Matt Canada may have revealed that the spots could be up for grabs. Speaking with the media on Saturday, Canada dove into the tackle battle and his impression of the talented rookie.

“I really like him,” Canada said. “He plays super hard, and I think he does everything you would want to see a guy like him do. He’s trying to get better every day. You know, we’re in a situation where we’ve got three really good tackles competing for those jobs. Chuks and Dan have played a lot of football for us, Broderick is coming in and battling. Credit to him for coming to work every day; Broderick gets better every day. He just has to continue to grow, and he has a huge, huge ceiling as he evolves into an NFL player.”

That is the first public mention I have seen from anyone near the Steelers saying that both jobs were up for grabs. Okorafor will start week one at right tackle, no doubt, but Dan Moore Jr. has played there with first-team starters and got some action against the Falcons second-team with Jones on the field there. Jones has worked with either Moore at right tackle or one of the many depth options, such as Le’Raven Clark, Spencer Anderson, or Dylan Cook.

The veterans will hold onto those starting jobs to start the season. But they will naturally need snaps to grow when a young, high-pedigree tackle gets drafted. Tackle is a heavily experience-based position when it comes to growth. Jones needs tape he can work with to improve his game. That signals why the Steelers played him so much during the preseason, even against threes. It directly ties to how he grows as a football player.

But that statement by Canada signals that Okorafor should not get too comfortable. If Moore’s third-year jump proves real, if Jones is ready to play, Moore could always be the guy who slides over and plays right tackle. He has earned that right, given a strong training camp and preseason. Though, if Jones starts, I still believe it to be far likelier that Okorafor holds onto the job. This offseason, who knows what will happen, but shaking the floor might not happen for the year.

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