Zach Banner: Mike Tomlin told me, “You are my answer for 2021”

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers
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Zach Banner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

The former fourth-round pick out of USC is on his third team after the Colts drafted him and the Browns cut him. But he found a home in Pittsburgh, beginning the 2020 season as the team’s starting right tackle.

But then he tore his ACL midway through Week 1, setting up a lengthy rehab.

The offensive lineman seems optimistic about his chances to re-sign with the Steelers, in part because of his conversations with head coach Mike Tomlin.

“Coach T looked at me and said, ‘You are my answer for 2021, so I need you to focus on your knee, don’t worry about anything else.’ That was the best thing that I could’ve heard,” Banner said, via Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com.

Kaboly noted Banner could be a cheaper option to replace left tackle Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle in 2021, since Villanueva may command $16 million in salary. Banner said he’d keep his discussions with his agent on returning to Pittsburgh “hush-hush,” but he’s hopeful to potentially receive a short-term contract that could set him up to cash in later.

“I am betting on myself again some way, somehow,” Banner said.

In four seasons, Banner has appeared in 23 games with two starts. He played 59 snaps in Week 1 before suffering the ACL injury.

7 responses to “Zach Banner: Mike Tomlin told me, “You are my answer for 2021”

  1. I love the fact ownership decided to bring back Tomlin for another year, because it guarantees that Pittsburgh isn’t going anywhere come playoff time.

  2. I love the fact ownership decided to bring back Tomlin for another year, because it guarantees that Pittsburgh isn’t going anywhere come playoff time.

    I am glad Tomlin is coming back too. I think he is a good coach and his record proves as he he second only to Belicheat since he came into the league, but that is a fact and trolls are allergic to facts and dine on hate and prejudice…..the American way.

  3. Tomlin did win a Superbowl in 2009 and his teams are usually great in the regular season. I think the playoff record clouds the picture – that and the fact that his teams tend to play down to the level of competition. He reminds me of a rich man’s Marvin Lewis, who was pretty good in the regular season but playoffs were a different story.

  4. Tomlin no doubt has majorly underachieved for the last 10 years but still very hopeful Big Ben and the defense can steer the Steelers to another championship.

  5. Then they’re in big trouble because he’s about as good at tackle as Tomlin is at coaching. Sure he has won a Super Bowl but they’ve had a ton of talent and he has squandered it bigtime. I can’t stand BB but you know he’d have won several rings with the talent they have. Instead every year they start off strong and collapse in December and in the playoffs. The one year they missed the playoffs they lost to the Broncos and Raider who were both terrible. Does that sound like a good coach to you? If the Steelers are happy sitting at home in December then they should keep resting on Tomlin’s one ring over a decade ago. If they want to be serious contenders for the Super Bowl they need to get someone else. I used to like Tomlin but after the way the last several years have turned out he needs to go.

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