Steelers try another center option
By Scott Brown
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The question isn't who is playing center for the Steelers these days.
Rather, it is who isn't playing center.
Willie Colon took a turn at the position during a voluntary practice at the team's South Side facility Monday, which may come as a surprise for a number of reasons, not the least of which is he has never played it.
"That was the first live reps ever in my life," the second-year player said.
And to hear Colon talk, it won't be the last time the right tackle will get repetitions at center.
He said the coaches have indicated that they are going to give him a look at the position, even though the Steelers already have Chukky Okobi, Sean Mahan and Marvin Philip there.
Kendall Simmons could also be a candidate to replace the retired Jeff Hartings, as offensive line coach Larry Zierlein said last week that the right guard will get some work at center during organized team activity practices.
Said Colon of experimenting at center: "I'm not running from the opportunity, so I'm just trying to do the best I can with it."
The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder played right tackle at Hofstra University and started the final two games of the 2006 season at the position after Max Starks was hurt.
Colon said he prefers playing right tackle but added that he would not object to a move to center.
"Whatever gets me a job," Colon said, "I'll do it."