Steelers Notebook: Colon set at tackle
Willie Colon believes his possible move from tackle to guard could be a figment of the media's imagination, but said if that is what his coaches want, he will do that.
Colon resumed practice for the first time since the 2009 season, his third as the Steelers' starting right tackle. A Post-Gazette report this week said it was possible the Steelers could re-sign Flozell Adams, who started in place of the injured Colon last season. If that were to happen, Adams, released on the second day of training camp when he declined to accept a cut from his $5 million salary, could return to right tackle and the Steelers could move Colon to right guard.
"I've heard nothing," Colon said. "Me and coach [Sean Kugler] talk all time. I saw a depth chart; I'm at tackle. Until then, my mind is set at tackle, and I'll prepare to go to war as such."
Colon said he never has played guard except for "playing around on the scout team."
"We'll see. I'm not against it. Whatever's best. I'm happy to be at tackle."
The inability of the 15 free agents to practice until Thursday delayed the competition for some jobs to be won at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Among them:
• Backup tight end, open after Matt Spaeth signed with the Chicago Bears. Competing will be newly signed free agent John Gilmore, formerly of Penn State and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and rookie free agent Weslye Saunders, among others.
• Starting right guard. If Colon is not moved there, it appears it comes down to Ramon Foster, who won the job at midseason, and Doug Legursky, the team's top backup at center and guard. Legursky ran with the first team at left guard in his first practice Thursday because starter Chris Kemoeatu (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list and cannot practice.
Legursky, who started at center for the injured Maurkice Pouncey in the Super Bowl, said he has not been told he is competing to start at right guard, but "it kind of goes unsaid."
"I know every year I go out there I'm trying to compete for a starting job and I know if I play well enough and show I can go out there and compete and protect Ben [Roethlisberger] and get our backs into the end zone, I'll get that job done. They don't need to tell me I'm competing. I'm competing for a starting job every time I go out there."
• Starting left cornerback. Bryant McFadden, the incumbent, returns but William Gay and Keenan Lewis, at the very least, would like to challenge him, and now Gay can get going on it.
• The pecking order behind Rashard Mendenhall at running back. Mewelde Moore just returned to get back into the mix with Isaac Redman, rookie Baron Batch and others. One who did not join the mix is Tiki Barber, 36, retired for the past three years.
"I didn't entertain that," Moore said, offering a slight laugh at the many reports that the Steelers were interested in signing the former New York Giants back. "A couple of my friends might have asked me about it, but I didn't even entertain them with that."
Hines Ward's return from the PUP list may take a bit longer than this weekend.
"It's still day to day," said Ward, who had surgery to repair an injured thumb ligament. "I'm in no hurry. I don't think Coach Tomlin is in a hurry. I expect to be back very soon, I just don't know when."
Ward had said earlier this week he would like return sometime this weekend.
The Steelers had to release some players to reach the 90-man roster limit. They cut offensive tackle Joshua Harrison, quarterback Chris Dierker, long snapper Derek Chart and punter Aaron Bates. Guard Dorian Brooks quit the team, and linebacker Erik Clanton was waived injured. ... The Steelers signed offensive lineman John Malecki of Pitt and Franklin Regional High School. ... Troy Polamalu was given his second day off from practice, and Lewis missed another practice with a migraine headache. ... The Steelers will hold a practice at 7 p.m. tonight at Latrobe Stadium. There will be no afternoon practice.
First Published August 5, 2011 12:00 am