Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: C Kendrick Green
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Quarterback Mason Rudolph praised rookie center Kendrick Green’s work ethic, highlighting the Illinois product’s desire to keep working after practice to get more center exchanges down as he prepares to battle for a starting job.
As we don’t have access to OTAs and minicamp, there isn’t a lot to go on for this section. Anything new that pops up is merely driven by comments that players or coaches might make, sometimes even off-hand, about another player.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph spoke to reporters yesterday, and they asked him for his thoughts on some of the rookie class, which leaned heavily to the offensive side of the ball in the first four rounds. Among those he mentioned was third-round center Kendrick Green.
“Kendrick’s been a pleasure to work with”, he told reporters. “He’s a hard worker. He’s always asking questions, wanting to get extra snaps after practice and build that chemistry”.
It’s more important for Green than for most rookie centers to get those reps in, because he is not a natural center. Aside from the fact that he started out on the defensive side of the ball, most of his playing time in college came at guard, with a handful of starts at center.
Not that it’s impossible for a guard to learn the center position. While he didn’t have to do it as a rookie, Dermontti Dawson became the team’s starting center in his second year after having never played the position in a game in college—and wound up in the Hall of Fame.
But it’s encouraging to see Green taking such a proactive approach to his learning, wanting to get in as much work as he can, especially given how long Maurkice Pouncey had been the Steelers’ center. It’s not just him adapting to a largely new role, but the quarterbacks, particularly Ben Roethlisberger, learning a new center.