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Steelers Rookie OL Shows Off Versatility in Win Over Buccaneers



Steelers Spencer Anderson

TAMPA, Fla. — Spencer Anderson is a unique player for the Steelers. Coming out of Maryland, he played all five positions, and so far at training camp, he played at four of the positions, with center being the only spot that the Steelers have shied away from letting him get to experience in practice. But the rookie lineman played a lot against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, 37 snaps to be exact.

But he played at three different spots, repping at both guard spots and right tackle. Pro Football Focus has Anderson credited with zero pressures over those reps, and with the highest pass-blocking grade on the entire team coming out of the game with an elite 84.6 pass-blocking grade. For Anderson, that versatility was naturally something he wanted to show.

“Yeah, offensive line coach Pat [Meyer] told me I was going to start the second quarter at right guard,” Anderson said. “He wanted to take a couple drives at tackle and that was on the bomb that Mason [Rudolph] threw to Calvin [Austin III]. I then went back to left guard and he wanted me and Broderick [Jones] to play next to each other. So, wherever I was I didn’t really care as long as I’m on the field showing my abilities.”

Anderson got the whole flavor of the NFL from three different positions as a result. The chemistry between the two rookies, Anderson and Broderick Jones is something that the Steelers have focused on in recent days, playing both of them with one another in practice. They both felt similar emotions at first on the field with butterflies but settled in shortly thereafter.

“The first couple of snaps you kind of got the butterflies going and you’re like OK,” Anderson said. “You just think to yourself, it’s not like college, this is the pros now and stuff I used to do, won’t work now. At the end of the day, it’s all football, so long as I’m on my guard doing my job, it’s all football. I’m just trying to have fun with it, and not take it too seriously.”

Anderson has a climb to make the roster with their guard depth, but his versatility and strong play at tackle in his first game could really allow him to push for the roster spot of someone if he continues to play at the level he has so far in the preseason.

Alan Saunders contributed reporting from Tampa.