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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Steelers position battles

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here is a look at key position battles for the Steelers:

StarksColon

Right tackle: Max Starks vs. Willie Colon

The right tackle spot will be an interesting race between Max Starks and Willie Colon. Both players were part of an offensive line that struggled mightily with pass protection in 2007. Therefore, the player that best demonstrates that they have improved in that area likely will win the job.

Intensity index: Hot

TownsendMcFadden

Cornerback: Deshea Townsend vs. Bryant McFadden

Bryant McFadden has been solid as a reserve and part-time starter for the Steelers, and now he believes he's ready to take the next step. The problem is long-time starter Deshea Townsend is in McFadden's way. Townsend, 32, is aging and McFadden, 26, is entering his prime. But Townsend usually plays just well enough every year to keep potential challengers at bay. So expect Townsend again to make it tough for McFadden to crack the starting lineup.

Intensity index: Hot