Kevin Dotson was not on the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. He was, however, a Steelers fan during his senior season in college, and he surely was well aware of what happened between his favorite team and the Cleveland Browns last year in the 11th week of the season.
While the Browns handily won that game, it proved to best costly, as it resulted in their best player on either side of the ball being suspended indefinitely, which proved to be for the remainder of the season. Very late in the blowout victory, Myles Garrett got into a confrontation with Mason Rudolph, and eventually, after ripping the quarterback’s helmet off his head, struck him on said head with it.
There was a lot of talk leading up to the game about what it would be like in terms of the atmosphere with Garrett on the field against the Steelers for the first time since that incident. All in all, it turned out to be something the media built up a lot more than either side of the ball did—to nobody’s surprise.
Dotson started the game at right guard in place of the injured David DeCastro, who helped retrain Garrett last year after the helmet-swinging incident (while Maurkice Pouncey punched and kicked him). The rookie was asked after the game about what it was like lining up across from him.
“It was way calmer than everybody expected”, he told reporters, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on Twitter. “It wasn’t like we were out there brawling, fighting, thinking about last year. Last year’s last year. We can’t do anything about what happened last year”.
Steelers rookie G Kevin Dotson, making his second start today, vs. Myles Garrett: “It was way calmer than everybody expected. It wasn’t like we were out there brawling, fighting, thinking about last year. Last year’s last year. We can’t do anything about what happened last year.”
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) October 18, 2020
Garrett did finish the game with a sack, his seventh on the season, and now with at least one sack of Ben Roethlisberger in every game against which he has played him. He had four total tackles, including one for a loss. But overall, the offensive line handled him.
The former first-overall pick entered the game as a front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, but all anyone was talking about was whether or not he would be able to restrain himself and not go into a violent rage on the field, which frankly was ridiculous.
That incident is in the past now, and hopefully will never be brought up again, unless it’s to talk about how he finally reached out directly to Rudolph, which as of the time of the game, had not happened yet. There is no report on whether or not the two spoke today.