PITTSBURGH — For now, Dan Moore Jr. is still the Pittsburgh Steelers’ primary first-team left tackle, but it seems that all parties involved are begging to prepare for a future where that is not the case.
Moore has still been taking the majority of his reps as the first-team left tackle, but he has also started sprinkling in some snaps behind Chuks Okorafor at right tackle. In fact, Moore already started some of that work on his own, before the start of OTAs.
With the Steelers using their first round draft pick — and trading up — to get Broderick Jones, it seems a matter if when, not if, Jones will pass Moore on the team’s depth chart.
When that does happen, it seems likely that Moore will make the transition to being the team’s swing backup tackle. That means that he’ll need to get familiar with both positions after playing exclusively left tackle since joining the Steelers in 2021.
It also provides an opportunity for Jones to get some work with the first team, even though he’s still mostly playing with the second team right now.
“Once he goes to the right I have to step up and go to first string left tackle,” Jones said. “At the end of the day everybody’s getting reps all around the board. So, we take rep by rep and day by day.”
In addition to getting Moore comfortable at right tackle, letting Jones get some reps with the first team gets him used to playing next to left guard Isaac Seumalo, who will be his partner on that side of the line when he eventually assumes a starting role.
“I like playing next to older guys like Isaac,” Jones said. “I just watch what a guy like he does, so these reps are really valuable. It helps me learn the game at this level.”
That doesn’t mean that the Steelers are going to hand Jones the starting job any time soon, though. Especially at the offensive line position, competition doesn’t really happen until the team puts pads on during training camp at St. Vincent College.
And with the Steelers facing an NFL pass-rushing gauntlet of Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett and Maxx Crosby over the team’s first three games, they won’t rush Jones into that starting slot before he’s ready.
But teams don’t draft players in the first round to watch. Jones will be the team’s starting left tackle eventually, and the club and Moore are taking steps to put him into the best possible position to succeed going forward.