So much of the talk surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game against the Cleveland Browns on Monday has focused on the matchup between the Browns’ right tackle and the Steelers’ edge rushers. But the same could be said for the Steelers’ right tackle versus the Browns’ edge rushers.
Depending upon what news we get today, Pittsburgh could also be starting a rookie at right tackle in Broderick Jones as the Browns are starting rookie Dawand Jones. While Dawand Jones is a fourth-round pick and Broderick Jones is a first, however, at least the former had been working at right tackle prior to this week.
Starter Chukwuma Okorafor remains in the concussion protocol, and until he is cleared, we won’t know what the plan is. But Jones is prepared and looking forward to going up against Myles Garrett, should he be called upon to play.
“I feel like it’s an opportunity for me to showcase what I can do, just being able to get to work with somebody as good as him, and the whole front of the Browns”, he told reporters on Friday, via the team’s website.
“They have a lot of good talent up front. They don’t spend all that money for no reason. There’s some talent up there on both sides. I feel like it’ll be a good challenge for me and a way for me to showcase my athleticism and what I can do”.
Speaking of money, there is a bunch of it in that front. Garrett himself is making $25 million per season, while they added DT Dalvin Tomlinson as a free agent this offseason at $14.25 million. Their other starting edge, Za’Darius Smith, is making close to $12 million per season.
The Steelers are hoping that Jones shows he is worth paying that kind of money in a few years’ time by mitigating what the Browns’ big-money defensive front is able to do. While Jones’ in-game experience is nearly entirely situated at left tackle, he has said that he practiced at right tackle frequently in college.
But for as talented as Georgia may be, he is not used to playing against a player like Garrett. He’s gotten a crash course this week working against the Steelers’ own elite edge rusher, T.J. Watt, of course, who recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles on Sunday.
All I can say about the potential for Jones starting at right tackle on Monday against the Browns is that it will be interesting. More interesting than watching Watt working against Dawand Jones for the Browns. Because at least Cleveland had been working him where he now has to play.
Prior to this week, it was assumed that LT Dan Moore Jr. would slide over and start at right tackle in the even that Okorafor were to miss a game. The evidence for that was the fact that the Steelers didn’t play Jones on the right side at all. Now they want him to get ready to start against Myles Garrett in a week.
Like I said. Interesting.