Steelers biggest OTA disappointment is not Dan Moore starting

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Kevin Dotson (69)
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Kevin Dotson (69) / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers opened organized team activities this week, and the early buzz has been on the look of the offensive line. The team seemingly has their initial depth chart set, and that includes Dan Moore (to some people’s anger) and doesn’t include Kevin Dotson.

I want to tackle two inherent issues with the early reports from camp. The first, and most basic, is the protest of having Moore come out as the early starter at left tackle. The Steelers moved up to draft tackle Broderick Jones in the first round, and some fans are upset that he hasn’t been given the first-team reps at left tackle.

The odds of Moore remaining as the starting left tackle for the remainder of the season is slim. Jones is clearly the future at the position. That said, Moore isn’t rolling over and giving up. He as apparently added quite a bit of mass in the offseason. He figures to give Jones a run for his money.

The Steelers are doing the right thing

I have zero issues with the Steelers starting the offseason program with Moore at left tackle. He is a steady, albeit lackluster option that knows the role and is safe enough. Jones has a really high ceiling, but he is also extremely raw as a prospect. I’d rather see him earn the role outright as opposed to being handed the job.

The only reason backlash I could feasibly give to this is I want Moore to get some right tackle snaps, something he hasn’t seen since his rookie camp (and even then, he was playing mostly on the left side). Ideally, Jones earns the job sooner than later, but Moore can and should still see playing time on the right side.

More than likely, he becomes the swing tackle for the offense, but if he finds his stride during his third season, I would be all for him moving to the right side. Chukwuma Okorafor has likely hit his ceiling as a professional, and his time with the team is likely coming to an end after this season or next, and I wouldn’t be opposed to Moore playing over there.

Moore isn't giving up

I have no issue with an established starter showing up to camp in the best shape of his career even though his replacement is hot on his heels. What I do have an issue with is a player giving up. That is just what Dotson did if his interview was any indication.

Dotson detailed how the offseason went, from the team informing him about the Nate Herbig signing and now seeing the writing on the wall with the Isaac Seumalo deal. To me, it wasn’t a great look. For starters, Dotson seemed to take offense that this team looked to upgrade from him. While I wouldn’t imagine being happy with the move if I were in his shoes, you can’t blame the Steelers given his streaky play.

Compare that to Moore, who is likely equally unhappy, but his response was short and sweet. He knows what is in front of him, but he has stated his focus is just on getting better every day. That appears to be true given the shape he arrived in, and he seems to have the right headspace despite the obstacles in front of him.

At the end of the day, overacting to anything this early in the offseason is unwise, but you have to like the stance Moore has taken. He plans on competing for his job, and while Jones will eventually see the field, he will have to earn it.

Next. Early 53-man roster predictions for Pittsburgh Steelers. dark

Equally, the Dotson response was disappointing to me. He seems to have taken offense to the offseason, and he doesn’t want to try and earn a role and is focused on where he will play next. I get it, it can’t be easy being replaced in the NFL, but to so easily roll over and give up is a bad look, and it is arguably my biggest takeaway from the Steelers early practices.