Steelers Sign Free Agent Tackle, OL Depth An Issue

Brandon-Walton

Mark Brown/Getty Images Brandon Walton #73 of the Florida Atlantic Owls celebrates with the Don Shula Trophy after defeating the FIU Golden Panthers at FAU Stadium on November 09, 2019.

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have signed offensive tackle Brandon Walton to their practice squad. Walton played both left and right tackle in college at Florida Atlantic University, the same school that produced Steelers rookie cornerback James Pierre, an undrafted free agent who made the team’s 53-man roster out of training camp.

In essence, Walton takes Derwin Gray’s spot on the practice squad, as Gray has been elevated to the 53-man roster for this weekend’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Walton was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He was added to Buffalo’s practice squad but then released last week. Since then he has had tryouts with both the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks.


Brandon Walton’s Career at Florida Atlantic

Brandon Walton started 12 games for the Owls at left tackle in 2019 and earned first-team All-Conference USA honors. After the season came to a conclusion he participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Pittsburgh has been looking to shore up its offensive line depth this week. Both Stefen Wisniewksi and Zach Banner were placed on injured reserve this week, with Banner out for the season with a torn ACL. In addition, All-Pro guard David DeCastro has already been ruled “out” of the Broncos game.


Home Opener at Heinz Field

As for tomorrow’s home opener at Heinz Field, the Steelers organization insists it’s going to try to mimic the normal game day atmosphere, at least to the extent possible with no fans in the stadium.

“We’re gonna do as the best we can. We are going to try to run and replicate as much of the traditional elements of our game presentation that we do under normal circumstances,” said Ryan Huzjak, the Steelers’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing, in an interview with CBS TV Pittsburgh. That will include showing replays and having the PA announcer relate down and distance.

Most notably, Huzjak says the stadium operations team will have “Renegade” cued up and ready to go.

“I think our guys would be disappointed if we didn’t,” he said. “It’s definitely a big part of our tradition…. It’s got a little bit of mystique and it’s got a little bit of power over hopefully driving some positive outcomes for us so we like to keep it a little bit coy in terms of when we’re gonna play it.”


Notable Tryouts, Visits

In other recent news, the Tennessee Titans recently had former Steelers DB Breon Borders in for a tryout, and the Arizona Cardinals had long snapper Colin Holba in for a visit.

Holba was Pittsburgh’s sixth-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he was cut by the Steelers prior to the 2017 season. He has since spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants and recently had a workout with the Cardinals.

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