Steelers Expected to Keep Ramon Foster over Willie Colon for Left Guard Position
When the Steelers were put on the clock during the 2012 NFL Draft they were ecstatic to see that the top guard in the draft, David DeCastro of Stanford, was still on the board. They wasted no time making DeCastro their selection and added him to a young core of players on their improving offensive line. DeCastro, a right guard in college, is expected to play on the right side for many years to come and the Steelers hope he will help improve a struggling running game.
On the left side the Steelers have been looking for a replacement sine Alan Faneca left via free agency. Chris Kemoeatu gave the Steelers four penalty filled, but decent years at left guard. Kemoeatu was never the player the Steelers hoped he would be however, and they are still looking for their guy. In 2012 they moved Willie Colon from right tackle to left guard and he played well at times, but doesnít seem to fit the position.
The Steelers are looking for young athletic offensive lineman. Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro fit the bill as do Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert, who project as the offensive tackles of the future. Pittsburgh would like to use their guards to pull and get to the edge, but Colon is unable to move well enough to do so. Ramon Foster may also struggle to pull due to his size, but a lighter more athletic Foster could be the perfect answer at left guard.
Foster just turned 27 and hasnít had any injury issues during his career. He was the Steelers second most consistent lineman in 2012 behind Max Starks and the Steelers will try and lock him up this off-season. Willie Colon, on the other hand, will turn 30 in a few months and hasnít played a full season of football since 2009.
Colon is still under contract for the 2013 season, but cutting him is a very likely option for the Steelers as it would save them around $1.2 million in total. However, it would save them around $5.5 million in 2013 and cause a cap hit of around $4.3 million in 2014. Therefore, the Steelers would open up the space to sign Foster as well as save some extra cap space, but they would have to deal with that cap hit in 2014.
So the Steelers best bet would be to cut Colon and resign Foster to a long-term deal. One thing they must do this off-season, however, is to get Foster into a training regimen. Foster should look to lose around 10-20 pounds, add strength, and improve his agility this off-season. If he can do that the Steelers should have a very strong interior on the offensive line with Foster, DeCastro and Pouncey; of course that all depends on if they can stay healthy.
Both Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have said this is the scenario that they expect to see play out this off-season. Willie Colon is a talented football player, but bad luck and not fitting into the scheme that Todd Haley is looking for will force him out of Pittsburgh. When Haley was in Kansas City as the Chiefs head coach he had one of the lightest offensive lines in the NFL, but he also led the league in rushing.
If Foster and other Steelers players are looking for a good training system to get into better shape they may want to talk to Ziggy Hood. During the 2012 off-season Hood trained with Outer Limits Sports and cut his body fat percent, dropped weight, added muscle, and got more athletic.