The Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the early stages of the 2021 offseason, but with the 2021 NFL Draft over the attention now turns to the regular season. There are steps along the way, mandatory minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and training camp, but the position battles which will take shape throughout the offseason are worth discussion.
Sure, things could change between now and the start of training camp. Injuries, acquisitions and players emerging can alter the outcome of these battles, but there will be several key battles taking place. In this series, myself and Dave Schofield will be giving our analysis and prediction for each training camp battle which will unfold at some point this offseason.
Today we take a look at a position/battle for the Steelers’ offense. This battle pits veteran free agent acquisition Joe Haeg vs. rookie from Texas A&M Dan Moore. Haeg can play tackle and guard, but what if Moore is the future at the position?
Who wins the battle? Dave and I give our predictions below, but be sure to let us know what you think in the poll below, and be sure to explain your vote in the comment section!
Analysis: When I first thought of doing this camp battle, I thought this would be a slam dunk. A no-brainer. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it might not be as easy of a decision as I once thought. There are a lot of moving parts here. The versatility Haeg brings to the roster shouldn’t be tossed aside, we know how Mike Tomlin loves versatility. But if Kendrick Green wins the job at center, B.J. Finney becomes the backup guard. In that scenario, Haeg wouldn’t necessarily be needed in that capacity. Again, a lot of moving parts here with this decision, and it only makes things more complex.
Prediction: As I stated above, if Green wins the job at center, it changes this camp battle completely. I believe Green will win the job, and this will make it a pure battle at tackle. Nothing less, nothing more. The better man wins. Haeg is the veteran, but Moore is the draft pick, and that matters. I viewed the Haeg signing, and still do, as nothing more than an insurance policy. When they drafted Moore, they don’t need that insurance anymore. Haeg will be in camp in case of injury, but I don’t see him making the team. On top of that, cutting Haeg will help the Steelers’ compensatory pick formula, which is nice. I see Moore being the Steelers’ swing tackle in 2021.
Analysis: I haven’t made it a big secret, but I haven’t talked much publicly about how much I did not like the Joe Haeg signing. I didn’t like the fact that Steelers spent enough money on a player to count against them in the compensatory formula for someone who did not appear to handle starting responsibilities very well in Tampa Bay. I don’t feel that Haeg was brought in to be a starter, and I felt his $2.3 million average over two years was too much for someone who you ultimately don’t want to put on the field. If the Steelers were going to spend money at tackle, I wanted them to get better quality in return.
Prediction: Based on my analysis, you should be able to tell that I believe Dan Moore Jr will be the Steelers swing tackle for the majority of the 2021 NFL season. I believe they could go ahead and put him in that role right away but could hold him back a little if they feel he’s not ready. Being the eternal optimist, I say he’s ready Week 1 and the Steelers roll with Big Dan.
Who will be the Steelers’ primary back/swing tackle in 2021?
This poll is closed
Dan Moore Jr.