With offseason programs wiped out, and the chance to look at multiple options taken away from them, it seems likely that NFL coaches are going to lean toward known commodities when making decisions.
That appears to be the case in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers consider replacing retired left guard Ramon Foster.
Via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he planned to move right tackle Matt Feiler to that spot, at least for the start of training camp.
“With the lack of opportunity and learning in the offseason and teaching, we’re acknowledging as a staff that we have to make some quick decisions and roll from there,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers signed veteran guard Stefen Wisniewski this offseason, giving them an option at the position. But Feiler has been in their system for five years, and began his career at guard.
Tomlin said Chukwuma Okorafor and Zach Banner would compete for the right tackle job. Okorafor started one game at right tackle each of the last two seasons. Banner has been with them three years, and was used as a blocking tight end last year.
“You’ve got to give the benefit of the doubt to the people that have been here at least as a basis to begin,” Tomlin said. “Knowing the process is going to be an abbreviated one, those that have experience and have been a part of this thing probably are going to have a leg up.
“Those young tackles, . . . have been here and have played. A combination of those guys provides the most experience for us.”
And with OTAs and minicamps taken away from them, that’s probably going to sway such decisions for many coaches across the league.