Steelers OG Kevin Dotson certainly doesn’t look ‘out of shape’

Chase Claypool #11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Chase Claypool #11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

A report circulated that Steelers coaching staff was upset with Kevin Dotson for being “out of shape.” He certainly doesn’t appear to be. 

Recently, Steelers second-year offensive guard Kevin Dotson has been making the news for the wrong reasons. Dejan Kovacevic of DK Pittsburgh Sports reported that a reliable source said the team was upset with the shape that Dotson was in when he showed up at Steelers Minicamp.

Kovacevic notes in his podcast that coaches were “plenty angry” with Dotson over apparently “not having done anything” over the offseason. While I don’t mean to question the validity of the report, I would like to ask: what?

Kevin Dotson has been posting videos of himself working out all offseason, and if he’s not in shape, I don’t know what “in shape” looks like. Recently, Barstool Yinzers (the official Pittsburgh affiliate of Barstool Spots) poked fun at the report – posting some rather convincing photos that suggest that Dotson is not out of shape at all:

Barstool Yinzers weren’t the only ones questioning this whole report. Offensive line scouting and development expert, Duke Manyweather – who apparently worked with Dotson during the offseason – recently posted videos of the peak physical condition Dotson was in as he trained over the past several months.

Kovacevic insists that this report was true and from a very trusted source within the organization. While the Steelers very well could have been upset with Dotson for some reason or another, was it really because he wasn’t in shape?

What shape did Steelers expect Dotson to be in?

Physically, Dotson appears to have the physique of a professional wrestler. This isn’t a bad thing. According to Relative Athletic Score, Dotson measured in at his Pro Day last year at 6’4” and 310 pounds. However, it appears he has put on muscle mass since then.

With offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and offensive coordinator Matt Canada wanting to move to more of a ‘wide zone’ offense, they may not exactly be upset that Dotson showed up “out of shape.” Rather, perhaps they simply wanted him to cut weight this offseason.

The Steelers drafted two very athletic offensive linemen this year in Kendrick Green and Dan Moore. Both players are fits in Canada’s new zone-blocking offensive gameplan and they are very good at moving in space and reach blocking.

Dotson certainly didn’t lack movement skills on tape as a rookie, but it’s quite possible the team wanted him to cut weight in an effort to be even more mobile for Canada’s new-look offense. Instead, Dotson apparently bulked up. To the Steelers, adding core strength may not be as important as sacrificing foot quickness as a blocker. The coaches may have instructed him to cut and were upset to find out that he was not doing that at all.

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Again, this was just speculation, and I understand why the Steelers would be hard on a young player they have high hopes for. Dotson still has plenty of time to cut weight if that is indeed what the Steelers want him to do, but to say that he is “out of shape” simply doesn’t appear to be true.