Zach Banner ‘so happy’ for Matt Feiler’s salary but ‘pissed off we couldn’t hang him’
Zach Banner was not born and raised a Californian boy, but he did become a bit of a USC Trojans player during his college career. Now entering his fifth season in the NFL and his third with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he finds himself becoming a Yinzer. Now born and raised Pennsylvanian Matt Feiler packed his things and headed west.
The former starting goalie and Steelers tackle earned a three-year, $ 21 million contract this offseason to sign with the Los Angeles Chargers, bringing mixed emotions to his friend and former teammate Banner, who spoke out. to Brian Batko this offseason for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“I was so happy for himHe said of the three-year-old former practice squad player for his ability to secure an important long-term contract. “I was so pissed off that we weren’t able to catch it, but that’s the problem, and those are the opportunities that come once.
Originally undrafted at Bloomsburg from all places, Feiler initially signed with the Houston Texans in 2014, where he played custody and tackle, but remained on the practice squad only. For the next two years, he was with the Steelers, but couldn’t break through the 53-man roster until 2017.
Feiler has played little that first year on the roster, but would emerge as a starter in 2018, Banner’s first year in Pittsburgh, replacing injured Marcus Gilbert in the right tackle. He would start 25 games there over the next two seasons.
When Ramon Foster retired in 2020, Feiler’s versatility opened the door for Banner to enter the starting lineup, the first sliding from right tackle to left guard, and the last defeating Chukwuma Okorafor in a camp battle. training for the vacant right tackle position. .
Banner suffered an ACL tear in the season opener and still has a lot to prove. But with the Steelers getting him a two-year, $ 9.5 million contract, he’ll have that chance. But he will also miss not having Feiler around, with whom he trained in the last offseason during the pandemic.
“When he got his daughter Emery, we were training in the offseason. COVID has just arrived, ”he told Batko. “The whole pandemic, we were training together in Schenley [Park] and we were going all over town, or we were in Wexford near his house, going to his house every day and lifting weights in his garage.
Although Banner wished him luck in the next chapter of his life and the lives of his family, he couldn’t help but push it, noting that the boy from Pennsylvania will stick out like a sore thumb on the West Coast. Then again, it seems that a growing number of Steelers fans are growing weary of Banner’s California boy routine, at least based on article comments every time I write about him. As always, the best way to silence people is to prove yourself in the field.