There will be so much to watch for tonight in the Steelers vs Buccaneers game and only 60 minutes of game action to do so (which is why I typically go back and watch the games two or three times each). We all need to see Kenny Pickett and the first-team offense come firing out of the gate and we obviously want to see Pittsburgh avoid any injuries.
While the 2023 rookie class will be exciting to watch in NFL action for the very first time, they aren't the only ones. The Steelers have a few versatile players still trying to find their future roles on this team. With a compelling performance against the Buccaneers, they could do just that. Here are three players searching for their niche for the upcoming season.
3. Kendrick Green, Center/Fullback
Is Kendrick Green a center or a fullback? Maybe the answer is a bit of both. After getting manhandled at the center position as a rookie, the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to move Green to guard. Unfortunately, his inability to anchor in pass protection was even more noticeable there and he couldn't earn a hat last year.
Now Green is back at center -- backing up starter Mason Cole. But in order to make this roster, he needs to prove that he can wear multiple hats. In terms of backup centers, you could probably do better than Green. I'm not sure if he's a player you can count on in a pinch. If he can be a fullback in addition to offering depth on the offensive line, that becomes intriguing.
Pittsburgh has been experimenting with Green at fullback during training camp and we are expecting him to find some snaps here against the Buccaneers tonight. If he can clear some alleyways and crack some skulls to help the rushing attack like he has been during practice sessions, the Steelers could find value for him here during the season.
Green is a nimble-footed athlete who lives to hit somebody, so perhaps fullback is his best role in the NFL. From a size and athleticism standpoint, he compares favorably to four-time Pro Bowl FB, Patrick Ricard of the Ravens. Whether or not he could have remotely close to the same impact remains to be seen. Keep an eye on his usage tonight against Tampa Bay.