Steelers Testing Troy Fautanu at New Spot

The Pittsburgh Steelers already have a position set for first-round pick Troy Fauntanu.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) against the
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- One of the most attractive parts of Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick Troy Fautanu's game was his positional versatility but the coaching staff appears to have a clear plan for him as he begins his rookie year in the NFL.

On the first day of rookie minicamp, the Steelers coaching staff had Fautanu working at right tackle alongside fellow rookie lineman, Mason McCormick, who was at right guard. He said that's the plan "for now'' and that means both players are flipping sides from where they played in college.

Fautanu started 29 consecutive games at left tackle to close out his college career at Washington. He was protecting a left-handed quarterback then, so schematically his pass-protecting process will look largely the same as he moves to the right and protects right-handed quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, who currently sit atop the Steelers depth chart.

But flipping the footwork and hand placements can be challenging for some offensive linemen. But he'll have to fit himself around a position group that includes 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones, who played all of his 635 snaps at right tackle last season, but figures to move over to the left side according to Steelers general manager Omar Khan said during the NFL Combine and veteran Dan Moore Jr., who filled the starting left tackle spot all season for the Steelers and is limited in his own versatility.

For Fautaunu, a clear plan is emerging and it includes him manning the right tackle spot to begin his professional career.

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Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.