The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming back to St. Vincent in Latrobe for training camp.
For the first time since Covid-19 started, the Steelers will be back in my hometown in Latrobe Pa for training camp and I for one could not be more excited. Training camp was always one of my favorite times of the year. It is like an extra holiday for Steelers fans from my hometown. While most people will be excited to meet players and ask for autographs, my favorite part has always been the battles at camp.
There is just a different level of excitement when you get to see new players battle it out. This is where we start to see how many roles and personnel will be set throughout the season. This is where the team is made. With a change at quarterback, a plethora of new weapons, some interesting free agent signings, and a new defensive coordinator all in one season this is sure to be a wild camp. With that being said here are the things I’ll be paying the most attention to.
Despite speculation, the offensive line is far from settled
The offensive line will be improved from last season. That much is certain. However, I personally can’t trust any projections for the starting 5 until we come towards the end of the preseason. While Mason Cole and James Daniels are projected to be starters as new additions via free agency the question is where. Early reports are saying that Cole was at center during OTA’s, Daniels is at right guard, and the competition for left guard is between Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green.
We should be wary of putting the cart before the horse. We don’t know who the odd man out is. Especially when John Leglue came out of nowhere towards the end of the season and earned meaningful snaps in 2021. Kevin Dotson didn’t make the leap forward in 2021 that many expected but has flashed the ability to be an elite guard and he is still only 25.
Green is only 23 and was thrust into the fire his rookie season playing a relatively new position at center while being particularly undersized. There are reports that Green had a great offseason and has shown to be bigger, stronger, and more NFL-ready mentally after spending another spring with the Pouncey twins.
The best-case scenario to me would be Dotson taking a step forward while Green finds a way to beat out Mason Cole for the starting Center position. Cole at his best is an average NFL veteran while Green, even at a smaller size, is the much better athlete with a lot more potential. We also saw injuries play a role and depth will be extremely important considering Kevin Dotson’s injury history.