While he might be entering just his second year in the NFL in 2021, Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson sure sounded like a veteran on Wednesday when he talked to the media following the team’s OTA session.
At one point during his Wednesday media session, Dotson, who played just 360 total offensive snaps as a rookie in 2020, offered some advice for this year’s crop of Steelers rookies, which includes two young offensive linemen that the team drafted in the form of center Kendrick Green and tackle Dan Moore Jr.
“The main thing I wanted to tell them is, once you take your first snap in the league, you’re no longer a rookie,” Dotson said. “So, people are gonna hold you to that high expectation, even in practice. No, it’s, if you get plugged in, you need to be able to compete. We can’t slow up for anybody. So, I feel like they’ll be able to do this, I feel like they’re ready to compete with NFL guys. So, if you’ve played a game, even if you haven’t played a game, once you’ve made it to the league, you’re really not a rookie anymore. People don’t have any, you know, sympathy for, ‘oh, this is his first year.'”
Dotson’s message is straight forward and to the point and once again, it sounded like he came from a grizzled veteran and not just a second-year player that is yet to play even 500 total snaps. The Steelers figure to have a few rookies contribute quite a bit in 2021 on both sides of the football and especially the offensive side as running back Najee Harris, tight end Pat Freiermuth and Green, the team’s first three draft picks this year, all could start right out of the chute in Week 1.
As for Dotson, it’s important that he leads by example in 2021 as the starting left guard might just become the new leader of the team’s offensive line starting as early as Week 1. Outside of veteran guard David DeCastro, who is not the most vocal player on the team, the rest of the expected starters on the Steelers offensive line 2021 don’t have much experience at all. For whatever it’s worth, Dotson seems perfect to be a co-leader on the Steelers offensive line in 2021 with tackle Zach Banner.