Pittsburgh Steelers: Willie Colon Out for Season, What Options Are Left?
Another harsh blow materialized for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. Just a season removed from a Super Bowl championship, they've now lost underrated right tackle Willie Colon for the season.
While not official, MRI results are all but to confirm that his torn Achilles tendon will sideline him for the 2010 season. Colon has been the constant on the Steelers' line for the past three seasons, performing well while playing 48 straight games.
Since the Steelers' last Super Bowl title, their starting quarterback is now sidelined for the first six games due to violating league policy, their Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes has been shipped off to New York, and Willie Parker has signed with Washington.
Replacing these three are the additions of quarterback Byron Leftwich, receiver Antwan Randle El, and rookie running back Johnathan Dwyer. While the additions are far from the caliber of the losses, the returns of Aaron Smith, Bryant McFadden, and Troy Polamalu to the defensive side of the ball eases the pain.
Pittsburgh's plan this season in drafting Georgia Tech's Dwyer was to return to the power running version of smash mouth football they've made a living on. This blow to the offensive line now could make them sway from their game plan.
Replacing Colon could potentially be Kraig Urbik, a third-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Wisconsin, or a pair of late round picks the Steelers have groomed in Tony Hills and Jonathan Scott.
The bright side of all of this is getting to test the unknown, but highly praised Urbik.
While at Wisconsin, Urbik started his career as a right tackle, and at the end of the season earned second-team Freshman All-American honors. The next season he moved to offensive guard and had a breakout year with 83 knockdowns, eight touchdown-resulting blocks, and was only charged with one sack.
The following year, he received All-Big Ten Conference second-team honors while notching three games at left tackle, and the remaining games at guard. He put up 104 knockdowns as well as leading all Big Ten guards with 15 blocks resulting in touchdowns.
In all, Urbik started 50 games while at Wisconsin. He was lined up at guard 34 starts and added 16 more starts at tackle, the entire time allowing only three sacks and two pressures on 680 passing plays.
While Colon will be greatly missed on Pittsburgh's offensive line, the potential of Urbik should be a welcome thought to the members of Steeler Nation.
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