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Steelers rookie linemen get a boost of confidence from an unlikely source

Football is a unique sport in many ways. Some call it the ultimate team game, and one of the reasons for this moniker is how it is all about the team. For most it isn’t about individuals, but the team, and this can result in some tremendous team-first players who are willing to put their pride to the side and do what is best for the team.

As it pertains to the Pittsburgh Steelers, you can chalk Dan Moore Jr. into that category of player who is willing to do what’s best for the team.

When the Steelers drafted Broderick Jones in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Moore welcomed him and wanted to help him be the best he could be.

When the team drafted Troy Fautanu in this year’s draft, Moore was one of the first people to reach out to the guy who will likely end up taking his job.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone when Moore gave a huge vote of confidence to the team’s rookie linemen, not just Fautanu. But let’s start with Fautanu, and how Moore sees him progressing through Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

“I think Troy’s doing a really good job with his transition,” Moore said of Fautanu, who has been working on the right side after playing left tackle at Washington. “I definitely wouldn’t compare him to me because he looks a lot better at right tackle than I did (last year), for sure. He has good feet, he’s got long arms, he has a lot of tools that are going to make him a really good player, for sure.

“I guess the biggest thing for Troy (in adjusting to the NFL), with tackles, is just snap count. That’s the hardest thing to grasp. Edge defenders are so much faster off the ball. ”

Moore didn’t stop his assessment of the rookies with the team’s top pick, but also talked about Zach Frazier at center.

“Playing center you have so many things to memorize, snap count, IDs.

“So just trying to calm him down a little bit, take a little bit of the anxiety away from him and just ease his mind a little bit.”

And, yes, he even spoke about Mason McCormick playing the interior, guard, positions at the early stages of OTAs.

“I think Mason, he’s gonna be a really good player,” Moore maintained. “I think he has some good tools, he’s football smart. You could just tell he kinda moves like a vet just with his routine and everything. I think Mason’s gonna be a good player.”

When it comes to the new offensive approach of coordinator Arthur Smith, Moore loves what he’s seen so far. And how could an offensive lineman not like it when it comes to a punishing, run-first style of offense?

“Obviously, a run-first offense,” Moore emphasized. “Offensive line, we love it, so looking forward to it. No offensive line likes to drop back in pass protection 45 snaps a game. Those guys on the other side of the ball, they get paid millions to do that (rush the passer). We want to keep them away from doing what they want to do and being aggressive and attacking teams on the ground.”

People love to bash Moore for his play on the field, and there is plenty which can improve in that area, but off the field he is a tremendous asset to the Steelers as they transition to their new look offensive line.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2024 regular season.


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