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How should the Steelers handle the return of Zach Banner?

Steeler Nation

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When the Pittsburgh Steelers activated Zach Banner to the 53-man roster, it began the discussion of how the man ear-marked for the starting right tackle position before suffering a knee injury setback should be integrated with the offensive line. While he was inactive to play vs. the Seattle Seahawks, the expectation is that Banner will resume the starting right tackle position, or does he?

At his afternoon press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin responded to the question of where Banner stands on the depth chart with a response that certainly did not provide certainty:

“He’s in a good position, we’re in a good position, that’s just something we wanted to look at on the other side of the bye. That was the decision that was made last week, it has no reflection on or bearing on the decision that we’re going to make in the upcoming weeks.”



The offensive line has shown signs of improvement as the season has progressed, evidenced by RB Najee Harris accumulating 203 rushing yards with a 4.32 average over the last two games. With his 136 touches currently the second most in the NFL, it’s evident that Harris is quickly becoming the focal point of the Steelers offense. As his carries increase, it is only prudent to ask the question of how wise it is to tinker with the chemistry of a young line that is just starting to gel for the insertion of a player with only 1 career start. Does Banner bring enough to justify disrupting the rhythm that just began building? And if you do go with Banner at right tackle, who do you choose to play at left tackle?

Rookie Dan Moore Jr. has done a solid job at left tackle, starting far earlier than anyone expected and has become a fan favorite. Responsible for protecting the back side of Ben Roethlisberger, Moore has exceeded what could have been hoped for. Still, when taking an objective view of his play, he is still a rookie and it does show. Chukwuma Okorafor has been roundly criticized for his inconsistent play at right tackle, but is it fair? The Okorafor struggles of 2020 do not seem to have carried over into 2021 and he has played with more confidence and fewer mistakes. While not a powerful tackle, he does have good footwork and is quick, which has been an asset as he is able to pull and consistently block outside when the Steelers run the pitch play to Harris. His performance of shutting down Von Miller was exceptional and a career highlight. However, he still does have weaknesses in his game, most notably not being particularly strong and it has led to him being exploited in pass rush. Asking him to flip back to left tackle after getting into a rhythm at right tackle would make things even tougher and could be a set back.






What Banner brings on the field is sheer strength and power befitting his nickname of “The Hulk” that neither Moore or Okorafor possess. It was demonstrated it in the 2020 opener before injuring his ACL and in the preseason. What he brings off the field is something that Roethlisberger referred to as “fire and passion” in assuming the leadership role of the offensive line despite not playing. While he shares the longest tenured OL honors with Okorafor, Banner is clearly more vocal than his reserved counterpart and won’t hesitate to speak up, when necessary, as the leader. He demonstrates precisely that on the Steeler Nation Vidcast in addressing the unfair criticism of Okorafor and the challenges of flipping from left to right tackle, as well as his displeasure of Roethlisberger not being helped up by teammates after being knocked down vs. the Green Bay Packers. In camp, he told the media that “My house is the host house” as he has played host to his teammates on the offensive line for “porch talks” and team building in the same way Maurkice Pouncey did before his retirement. These intangible factors are extremely important, but the performance has to be there too.

While the choice may be made up for the Steelers already, given the recent injury to Dan Moore on Sunday night, it’s certainly a viable question on what the best decision is.



What do you think the Steelers will do or should do? Leave a comment below.

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FSF

The Agile Financial
throw him out there and see what happens
And who would be your preference at LT: Okorafor or Moore?

I would go with Okorafor first, nothing against Moore as he'll likely inherit the position next year. It's just a lot to ask of a rookie 4th round pick to start at LT and he'll still be involved as T eligible. Heck, Leon Searcy was a #10 overall pick and he wasn't full time starter until year two.
 

TDX27

Well-known member
At LT, I stick with Moore. Chuks sucked at LT in the preseason. This was his 4th preseason (although they had none last year, it is still his 4th year) and they had been teaching/coaching him at LT, he still couldn't do one of the basic fundamentals of keeping his arms extended and not letting the opposition get into his body. He was a revolving door. I know Moore is a rookie and I've said this before, if they are even remotely close, you keep Moore at LT. He has way more upside not just in the future but this year. Chuks probably won't improve much at LT after 3+ years. Maybe he's a late learner but he didn't improve during the preseason. See what Banner can do at RT and use Chuks as the backup T for both positions, hoping he doesn't have to play at LT.
 

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slashsteel

Well-known member
Whoever performs the best gets the nod until they aren't performing the best. Let practice dictate status.
 

steelreeling

Active member
At LT, I stick with Moore. Chuks sucked at LT in the preseason. This was his 4th preseason (although they had none last year, it is still his 4th year) and they had been teaching/coaching him at LT, he still couldn't do one of the basic fundamentals of keeping his arms extended and not letting the opposition get into his body. He was a revolving door. I know Moore is a rookie and I've said this before, if they are even remotely close, you keep Moore at LT. He has way more upside not just in the future but this year. Chuks probably won't improve much at LT after 3+ years. Maybe he's a late learner but he didn't improve during the preseason. See what Banner can do at RT and use Chuks as the backup T for both positions, hoping he doesn't have to play at LT.
Watching the tape on passing plays over multiple games, you see Chuks sucks. He just sucks. And then like 25% of the time the Green/Turner combo sucks. Is Turner injured? Ch & G/T just allow clean licks on Big Ben. That is the pressure Ben cant take these days.

Moore gets bullied like Green. Moore gets beaten and leaning out of position like Chuks but damn if he doesnt stay glued on to his rusher and almost never allows a guy to smash Big Ben clean.

Fuck Chuks - insert Banner. While you're at it replace Dot or Turner & Green with Haeg or Finney & JC at center. When they come off the bench for an injury, the line gets better actually.
 

slashsteel

Well-known member
Watching the tape on passing plays over multiple games, you see Chuks sucks. He just sucks. And then like 25% of the time the Green/Turner combo sucks. Is Turner injured? Ch & G/T just allow clean licks on Big Ben. That is the pressure Ben cant take these days.

Moore gets bullied like Green. Moore gets beaten and leaning out of position like Chuks but damn if he doesnt stay glued on to his rusher and almost never allows a guy to smash Big Ben clean.

Fuck Chuks - insert Banner. While you're at it replace Dot or Turner & Green with Haeg or Finney & JC at center. When they come off the bench for an injury, the line gets better actually.
Dot and Green have improved. Moore is having growing pains but there is some good mixed in. Turner is not what he once was but serviceable. Even Chuks has some good moments not there is enough of them. I like Haeg but hard to know what is there past short usage. Like that Klemm seems to have that line rebounding off of suck. Ok with seeing if that continues to progress.
 

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Cope

Podcast/ VidCast/ Writer
He's only going 2 places:

1) Right Tackle
2) Extra/Swing Tackle

Those are the choices since he's not a LT
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
And who would be your preference at LT: Okorafor or Moore?

I would go with Okorafor first, nothing against Moore as he'll likely inherit the position next year. It's just a lot to ask of a rookie 4th round pick to start at LT and he'll still be involved as T eligible. Heck, Leon Searcy was a #10 overall pick and he wasn't full time starter until year two.


No, .......if MOORE is better than Okorafor, which seems to be the case, you leave him in place. The way I see it is the battle is between Banner & Okorafor and Banner will more than likely win that. Moore for the most part has played well as your article states that. Learning mistakes yes but minimal and his round pick / rookie statis seems to be past as he is handling things and actually looking good.

Now if his injury holds him back then yes, next "BEST" man up


Also that Tomlin quote is nearly senseless but considering the Tomlinism factor I guess we can't expect anything more.






Salute the nation
 

topseed

Well-known member
And who would be your preference at LT: Okorafor or Moore?

I would go with Okorafor first, nothing against Moore as he'll likely inherit the position next year. It's just a lot to ask of a rookie 4th round pick to start at LT and he'll still be involved as T eligible. Heck, Leon Searcy was a #10 overall pick and he wasn't full time starter until year two.
Neither. Haeg is better than either one of them.
 

FSF

The Agile Financial
No, .......if MOORE is better than Okorafor, which seems to be the case, you leave him in place. The way I see it is the battle is between Banner & Okorafor and Banner will more than likely win that. Moore for the most part has played well as your article states that. Learning mistakes yes but minimal and his round pick / rookie statis seems to be past as he is handling things and actually looking good.

Now if his injury holds him back then yes, next "BEST" man up


Also that Tomlin quote is nearly senseless but considering the Tomlinism factor I guess we can't expect anything more.






Salute the nation
I’d argue that by saying nothing it’s the smartest thing.

Why tell your opponents what you’re going to do? What benefit is there to tell us anything?
 

topseed

Well-known member
I can’t agree, especially considering he’s 20 pounds smaller than both, so nowhere near as strong and definitely not as quick
I guess I must've missed Moore's strength while he's getting pushed straight back 5 yards on every other play. Haeg knows how to play the position at the NFL level; Moore needs to learn. And Okorafor is inadequate at right tackle...you think he's going to improve when facing better pass rushers on the left side?
 

FSF

The Agile Financial
Watching the tape on passing plays over multiple games, you see Chuks sucks. He just sucks. And then like 25% of the time the Green/Turner combo sucks. Is Turner injured? Ch & G/T just allow clean licks on Big Ben. That is the pressure Ben cant take these days.

Moore gets bullied like Green. Moore gets beaten and leaning out of position like Chuks but damn if he doesnt stay glued on to his rusher and almost never allows a guy to smash Big Ben clean.

Fuck Chuks - insert Banner. While you're at it replace Dot or Turner & Green with Haeg or Finney & JC at center. When they come off the bench for an injury, the line gets better actually.
As bad as Game Pass is this year—and it’s near useless with how much it skips, watched Chuks & OL each week he hasn’t been that bad. Certainly not as bad as as he’s been made out to be & vastly improved over last year.

Moore has beet pushed back into Ben a lot. Not exactly best thing for a guy who can’t move in pocket. Think he’s stronger than Ckuks though, but the fact is neither are particularly great and given the choice now, I’d go with the guy who is at least quick and more experienced. However I wouldn’t begrudge someone for feeling different.

Green is inconsistent—not sure what you expected from a rookie at center. I don’t think he gets bullied, but he does miss blocks. He does have a motor though and likes to hit. He needs experience—man if Pouncey had one more year & he could absorb from him for a year at G….Webster & Dawson weren’t thrust into the fray as rookie starters, so gotta keep that in perspective.

Turner had great game Sunday but he’s likely just a 1 year answer. Don’t think they expected DeCastro to retire.
 

FSF

The Agile Financial
I guess I must've missed Moore's strength while he's getting pushed straight back 5 yards on every other play. Haeg knows how to play the position at the NFL level; Moore needs to learn. And Okorafor is inadequate at right tackle...you think he's going to improve when facing better pass rushers on the left side?
Haeg was moved even easier vs. Seattle. They needed to send him help. When they finally got the running game going, it was all up the middle so neither OT was a factor.

Chuks plays too soft for a guy of his size, and really does seem to lack the ideal demeanor. Still, he hasn’t given up a sack all year and dominated the match up vs. Von Miller. So I’m not sure to what you’re basing your argument on exactly as inadequate. I know he’s not dominant overall. If you want a significant upgrade, I think you’re out of luck.

Bottom line it’s definitely not coming from Joe Haeg. He came into league considered undersized and fell to 5th round. Hovering around 300 pounds at position where 325 pounds is a requirement — he’s not made significant strides there either. The Bucs put him in as stater for 1 game in 2020 and he was brutalized so badly (7 pressures, 3 hits, 1 sack) Tampa barely played him rest of the year.

He’s played 1 game in place of Chuks when he had concussion and surrendered a sack. Moore has played every snap until hurt Sunday and gave up 2 sacks.

There is no measurable or quantifiable argument for Haeg over either man.
 

topseed

Well-known member
Haeg was moved even easier vs. Seattle. They needed to send him help. When they finally got the running game going, it was all up the middle so neither OT was a factor.

Chuks plays too soft for a guy of his size, and really does seem to lack the ideal demeanor. Still, he hasn’t given up a sack all year and dominated the match up vs. Von Miller. So I’m not sure to what you’re basing your argument on exactly as inadequate. I know he’s not dominant overall. If you want a significant upgrade, I think you’re out of luck.

Bottom line it’s definitely not coming from Joe Haeg. He came into league considered undersized and fell to 5th round. Hovering around 300 pounds at position where 325 pounds is a requirement — he’s not made significant strides there either. The Bucs put him in as stater for 1 game in 2020 and he was brutalized so badly (7 pressures, 3 hits, 1 sack) Tampa barely played him rest of the year.

He’s played 1 game in place of Chuks when he had concussion and surrendered a sack. Moore has played every snap until hurt Sunday and gave up 2 sacks.

There is no measurable or quantifiable argument for Haeg over either man.
That statement sounded like bullshit, and indeed it was. They helped Haeg on exactly two plays, the very first two, when he came in ice-cold off the bench. Not once the rest of the game. He played just fine in the run game and pass protection. And I have to question your fundamental knowledge about football, if you honestly think that the play of the tackles has no influence at all on running the ball inside.

Moore has needed help all year -- you've already admitted that he's been pushed back into Ben a lot. The only reason he's "only" allowed two sacks is how fast Ben gets the ball out, with his sickening array of short passes. And, psssst....Dan Moore only weighs 7 pounds more (not 20 like you said) than Haeg does...so he doesn't meet your "requirement," either. Haeg hasn't made significant strides, yet here he is, still in the NFL for 6 years and counting. We'll see if Moore can say the same thing by 2026.

There are other arguments for tackle play besides sacks allowed. Like the eye test. And the bullshit test. And you seem to have failed both.
 

FSF

The Agile Financial
That statement sounded like bullshit, and indeed it was. They helped Haeg on exactly two plays, the very first two, when he came in ice-cold off the bench. Not once the rest of the game. He played just fine in the run game and pass protection. And I have to question your fundamental knowledge about football, if you honestly think that the play of the tackles has no influence at all on running the ball inside.

Moore has needed help all year -- you've already admitted that he's been pushed back into Ben a lot. The only reason he's "only" allowed two sacks is how fast Ben gets the ball out, with his sickening array of short passes. And, psssst....Dan Moore only weighs 7 pounds more (not 20 like you said) than Haeg does...so he doesn't meet your "requirement," either. Haeg hasn't made significant strides, yet here he is, still in the NFL for 6 years and counting. We'll see if Moore can say the same thing by 2026.

There are other arguments for tackle play besides sacks allowed. Like the eye test. And the bullshit test. And you seem to have failed both.
Per no less than Steelers website:
Moore: 6’ 5” 315 pounds.

Haeg: 6’6” 298 pounds.

Psst: You’re an imbecile. Fucking hell, in a world where you literally have calculator access on your phone everywhere you go and you still can’t get basic math right.

4th Qtr & OT: Harris has 9 carries for 48 yards with 7 going up the middle and off the left guard. Take out your damaged brain cells and try to understand that none of the runs broke containment on the outside. In fact, it was the most success Harris had all night (15 carries/33 yards) as the Seahawks went for pressure and Steelers exploited the pass rush taking edge rushers out of the play by attacking inside. This included a 5 yard run by Harris behind Dotson while Okorafor had literally no one in his zone to block.

I know this because I used my EYES to watch the end zone replay view that clearly showed it you complete fucktard.

Stick to your bull shit test as you obviously couldn’t pass a math test and your head is firmly entrenched up your ass.
 

steelreeling

Active member
As bad as Game Pass is this year—and it’s near useless with how much it skips, watched Chuks & OL each week he hasn’t been that bad. Certainly not as bad as as he’s been made out to be & vastly improved over last year.

Moore has beet pushed back into Ben a lot. Not exactly best thing for a guy who can’t move in pocket. Think he’s stronger than Ckuks though, but the fact is neither are particularly great and given the choice now, I’d go with the guy who is at least quick and more experienced. However I wouldn’t begrudge someone for feeling different.

Green is inconsistent—not sure what you expected from a rookie at center. I don’t think he gets bullied, but he does miss blocks. He does have a motor though and likes to hit. He needs experience—man if Pouncey had one more year & he could absorb from him for a year at G….Webster & Dawson weren’t thrust into the fray as rookie starters, so gotta keep that in perspective.

I've seen Green pushed back into Ben's lap a few times this year.

But i agree with what you've generally said. Moore & Green need to learn how to sink their hips, bend the knees and reset instead of being manhandled - so that Ben can get that extra 1.5 yards off cushion in the pocket.

I think after the Seattle game that it's apparent Canada is killing this offense. These OL are so much better in space than 1-on-1 driving forward.

If Canada ever figured that out - the Steelers might have a chance for the playoffs. Hell Ben knows it's his last ride. Why not tell him to get on his horse a bit here and there and buy himself some more time on a couple of throws during the game?!!
 

SteelerFan448

Well-known member
Per no less than Steelers website:
Moore: 6’ 5” 315 pounds.

Haeg: 6’6” 298 pounds.
I need to go back and read the rest of the thread, but you do know the Steelers always use a player’s weight from their rookie year, right?
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
I’d argue that by saying nothing it’s the smartest thing.

Why tell your opponents what you’re going to do? What benefit is there to tell us anything?


I hear what you're saying FSF but even us O'l diehard STEELERS fans get tired of hearing nothing from a Tomlinism statement.






Salute the nation
 

topseed

Well-known member
Per no less than Steelers website:
Moore: 6’ 5” 315 pounds.

Haeg: 6’6” 298 pounds.

Psst: You’re an imbecile. Fucking hell, in a world where you literally have calculator access on your phone everywhere you go and you still can’t get basic math right.

4th Qtr & OT: Harris has 9 carries for 48 yards with 7 going up the middle and off the left guard. Take out your damaged brain cells and try to understand that none of the runs broke containment on the outside. In fact, it was the most success Harris had all night (15 carries/33 yards) as the Seahawks went for pressure and Steelers exploited the pass rush taking edge rushers out of the play by attacking inside. This included a 5 yard run by Harris behind Dotson while Okorafor had literally no one in his zone to block.

I know this because I used my EYES to watch the end zone replay view that clearly showed it you complete fucktard.

Stick to your bull shit test as you obviously couldn’t pass a math test and your head is firmly entrenched up your ass.
Hey shithead, Haeg is also listed elsewhere at 304, and Moore at 311. Look it up. That's where I got 7 pounds from. But even using the current numbers per no less than the Steelers website, Moore is 17 pounds heavier. YOU SAID 20. And, psssst....315 is still 10 pounds less than the 325 pounds which YOU SAID WAS A REQUIREMENT AT THE POSITION. Guess what, Einstein? At 320, Okorafor doesn't meet your prerequisite, either. My math is just fine, but apparently simple number comparisons elude you. Let me help: 17<20. 315<325. 320<325. See how easy it is, shit-for-brains?

You like to pretend like you know football, but you don't. When they run off the left guard, or up the middle, the left tackle still has to seal his man to the outside, you fucking idiot. Haeg does this well, because he's not getting dominated and pushed off the ball like what happens consistently with Moore. Of course there's going to be some zone blocks where offensive tackles aren't directly involved (it's cute how you're so proud of yourself in finding one play that supports your otherwise flawed argument), but YOU SAID OTs ARE NOT A FACTOR IN THE INSIDE RUNNING GAME, which is simply fundamentally not true.

Did you use your eyes when you spit out that bullshit out about Haeg needing help and being easily moved? Get some fucking glasses, asshole.
 

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