The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green are your future leaders on the offensive line.
Explanation: Though they don’t often get the glory, it is often the case that offensive linemen develop into leaders on their teams, as Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster were. Now both retired, the Steelers’ offensive line is looking for its next group of leaders, and the gregarious duo of Dotson and Green may have the personality for it.
Just listen to either of them talk and you can tell that their makeup is that of future leaders. While it might not come right away, as Dotson said yesterday, it will reveal itself over time, and as they grow more comfortable, it will come naturally to them to take the mantle.
The center position also most naturally lends itself to a leadership role, as they are the captain of the offensive line, the quarterback, so to speak. He holds the greatest responsibilities and issues the commands, typically, which you know Green is going to embrace.
Both of them also have the playing demeanor that corresponds to their personality in speech, the sort of energy that sets the tone for others. They are going to play physical and lead by example and provide the groundwork for others to succeed, on the field and in their ears. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be the two best linemen in the long run, but they will lead the group, in time—perhaps sooner rather than later.
This is all rather premature, to state the obvious. Green has to start out by winning a starting job. Though you don’t technically need to be a starter to be a leader, it certainly helps, especially when you’re a young player. And while Dotson is more or less locked into a starting role for now, he also has to prove that he can man it for a 17-game season.
Being a leader consists of more than being gregarious and extroverted, as well, and the group already has a leader in David DeCastro. He has a reputation for speaking softly and carrying a big stick, but that really hasn’t been the case since early in his career. He’s actually quite thoughtful when he speaks, and doesn’t pull punches. I’m sure he’s more upfront behind closed doors. And like it or not, Zach Banner has the market cornered on leadership personality, so assuming he’s actually starting this year, he is likely the next person to step into a ‘leadership’ role, insofar as those roles are distinguished.