While doing some interviews for Steelers TV on the practice field after Coach Tomlin “Whistled it up,” i got a chance to say hello to Trai Essex, the lineman they just signed back in the fold.
Trai was all smiles, as well as he should be. Trai found himself in no-man’s-land after no takers in the chaos of free agency/training camp and the fact that he let his weight go unchecked. The Steelers called him up yesterday and signed him. Good for Trai, good for the Steelers.
After Jonathan Scott got his knee bent and rookie Marcus Gilbert doinked his, left tackle was looking a little thin. And with Tony Hills making a push for the starting RG position, something had to be done.
If you are going to bring somebody in at this point, then you need a guy who’s been there, done that and done it in a variety of positions.
Trai has played every position up and down the line, though i don’t recall him getting any snaps at the center position in a game. But with 25 starts to his credit, Essex could be an excellent “6th man” off the bench.
Trai told me that this was a “humbling” experience and i think he got that right. Maybe looking on from the outside makes one realize that the game is not to be taken for granted. And also puts a fire in the kiln, so to speak, to set things right. Either way i think it’s a good move for the Steelers and Trai.
Marcus Gilbert may be the left tackle of the future, but after a hammie and a tweaked knee all in the pre-season, he’s missed a good amount of time and ground that he may not be able to make up. Trai is a proven commodity and he looks pretty dad-gum good after dropping some pounds.
Maybe Trai should call up Dan Marino and get that Nutri-system stuff…i saw Danny back in the early part of the summer and it worked for him.
Hmmm…i wonder if Trai and i could get a 2-for-1 deal?
Just thinking out loud here…