Steelers' Hills vying to start at right guard

Posted Aug. 26, 2011 @ 1:57 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

For all intents and purposes, the Steelers opened the summer with an open competition for a starting spot at one position: right guard. And in a major surprise, fourth-year pro Tony Hills, who never has started a game at guard on the collegiate or professional level, has become one of the contenders to win the job. The way we hear it, Hills' movement skills are a major asset at his new position, though his physicality bears watching. Before Hills, who had not impressed as a backup tackle before being tried at guard, second-year pro Chris Scott seemed a threat to win the ORG job, but Scott (who started for the injured Chris Kemoeatu at left guard in the first preseason game) likely figures as a reserve should he make the club, we're told. The Steelers also could turn to Doug Legursky, who can play both interior line spots and started for C Maurkice Pouncey in Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers also could go with Ramon Foster, who ended the 2010 season as the starter at right guard.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear Hills was still auditioning for a starting role at right guard on Aug. 25, two days before Pittsburgh's preseason game vs. Atlanta, in which Hills was slated to start at his new position. Noting that Hills was pressed into service at left tackle in the second preseason game vs. Philadelphia because of injuries to Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert, Tomlin said: "We are going to stay with the commitment of giving (Hills) the opportunity to show what he can do at right guard. He's earned that and we are anxious to see what he is capable of doing. That battle by no means is over."