There is understandably a lot of chatter over the course of the past couple of days surrounding 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers second-round cornerback Senquez Golson, who was sidelined for the entirety of his rookie season due to a torn labrum. With a player who never even made it healthy to training camp, there are lots of questions looking to be answered.
Is he fully healthy? Is he playing first-team or second-team? Is he lining up outside or in the slot? These are the questions, among others, fueling conversations, both online and offline, among Steelers faithful, and those who cover the team. But those are the questions furthest from Golson’s mind right now.
Asked about where he would prefer to play—either in the slot or outside, the latter of which is where he played in college—Golson told reporters, “that’s far from my mind right now”, Chris Bradford quoted him as saying yesterday for The Beaver County Times. “I think I’m just glad to be out here at this point”.
And he certainly should be glad, since he wasn’t able to get much further than this last season. Golson made it through OTAs and minicamp last year, during which at some point he injured his shoulder, which proved to be a lingering issue that required surgery to correct.
While the second-year cornerback has certainly been in the playbook all year, no doubt, he hasn’t been able to be on the practice field very much, and certainly not in a team capacity, but he now says that he is “100 percent ready to go”.
But that doesn’t mean everything feels normal for him right now. After all, it’s “been a while”, he said, since he has done much in terms of football activities; “just getting my feet under me right now”.
While he did say that he doesn’t “feel like a rookie”, he added, “as far as practices go, I’ve got to make it to Latrobe and get the pads on and see how it goes. Golson started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and never came off it, instead finding himself on injured reserve.
So while everybody else is focusing on where he is playing and against whom—for the record, Bradford highlights him lining up outside against wide receiver Isaac Blakeney in the article, who would obviously not be logging first-team snaps even in the absences of Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant—the 22-year-old still has a lot further to go before he starts worrying about his specific role in the defense.
One thing that Golson does not seem to be worried about is his comfort level with the playbook, saying that he has it “down”, but the next phase is implementing the plays on the field. “It’s just learning the communication from my other players”, he said; “just learning how they talk”.
The 5’9” cornerback isn’t exactly talking a big game as far as making an impact, instead suggesting that he and rookie Artie Burns “can come in and contribute”. But that is a discussion that can be had at a later date, once he has some padded practices and maybe an exhibition game or two under his belt.