Steelers training camp: Early winners and losers before the pads come on

  • A fan-favorite rookie struggles with mental errors
  • Edge defenders steal the show so far
Steelers, Anthony McFarland Jr.
Steelers, Anthony McFarland Jr. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Loser: Dan Moore Jr.

If Dan Moore Jr. is trying to hold onto his starting job at left tackle, he's not off to a great start. Over the first four practices, there might not be a more lopsided one-on-one matchup than Moore vs Alex Highsmith.

After getting paid the big bucks just before training camp by inking a four-year, $68 million extension, Highsmith isn't taking his foot off the gas pedal, and he has been relentless early in camp. Numerous clips from fans in attendance show multiple plays where Highsmith easily and quickly made his way to the quarterback for a would-be sack, but he let simply tagged the QB and allowed the play to continue (as they are instructed to do).

Almost all of Highsmith's wins so far have come in first-team reps against currently-pegged starter, Dan Moore. However, if these struggles continue, it won't be long before rookie Broderick Jones is earning all of the first-team reps at left tackle.

Jones isn't guaranteed to be any better right from the gate, but we do know that the plan is for him to be the long-term solution at the position. Moore must do better when the full pads come on next. A few more practices like the ones we have seen so far and he will be out of a starting job in no time.