The Steelers will start rookie Broderick Jones at right tackle over incumbent veteran starter Chuks Okorafor for their game against the Tennessee Titans, according to reports and confirmed by sources to Steelers Now.
The move was first reported by Steelers Now’s Zachary Smith yesterday.
The move comes on the heels of a short week. The rookie’s strong performance against the Ravens gives Pittsburgh confidence in him. It’s the second change the Steelers will make for this game, with offensive coordinator Matt Canada coming down from the booth to the sideline. In addition, Joey Porter Jr. has officially earned the starting job across from Patrick Peterson on the outside.
As noted, Jones has played significant action in two games. He stepped up in relief of Dan Moore Jr. after he suffered an MCL sprain against the Houston Texans. Moore would miss the team’s following game against the Ravens, putting Jones out there for his first career start. In that game, he allowed just one pressure. Moore returned after the bye week and remained the starting left tackle. Jones mixed into the lineup against the Jaguars as the tackle eligible.
Meanwhile, Okorafor has played average for most of the season. In 269 pass-blocking snaps, Okorafor has allowed two sacks, including one where he got bullrushed against Travon Walker of Jacksonville. He allowed two pressures. Meanwhile, Moore allowed five pressures against Josh Allen and the Jaguars.
The Steelers will get an extended look for Jones against Harold Landry and Arden Key. He will face Landry for most of the game, with Key playing over Moore. The team will look to allocate more resources towards slowing down Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons, the two potential game wreckers on the interior defensive line for the Titans. Tennessee’s soft secondary without Kevin Byard should allow the Steelers to make some plays through the air if they have the protection. Pittsburgh hopes that Jones can help do just that.