Steelers News

Ray Fittipaldo On Kevin Dotson Lacking Conditioning: ‘I Haven’t Heard That From Anyone’

Even though DK Pittsburgh Sports originally posted an article on Thursday that contends that Pittsburgh Steelers second-year offensive lineman Kevin Dotson has drawn the ire of his coaches, it didn’t start doing the rounds until he covered the same story in a brief podcast posted earlier this week.

The reporter maintains that he has been told through an impeccable source (his word) that the coaches grew so frustrated with Dotson that they initially brought in Trai Turner, essentially as a fallback option. He wrote the following in the original article, which is behind a paywall:

I’m told, by an impeccable source, that the initial motivation for summoning Turner was a general dissatisfaction among the coaching staff with the offseason regimen of young Kevin Dotson and that, as a result, there was a very real worry that he’d be a viable candidate to start at left guard.

Dotson, apparently, could — and did — wait to take his offseason seriously, in the eyes of management. I wasn’t told any specifics, other than that it had to do with conditioning. And that management, with all the other uncertainty on the offensive line, was in no mood to wait for Dotson to get set straight.

It was only a matter of time before others would start commenting on the story, and we did hear from Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday, who appeared on 93.7 The Fan to discuss Dotson and the report from the local subscription site.

“I haven’t heard that from anyone that I talk to at the Steelers”, he said in responding to the report that the team was ever upset with him over his conditioning. “I’m not saying there’s not any validity to it, but I haven’t heard that, to be honest with you, if a guy is a little bit out of shape and he plays the offensive line, I’m not too concerned about that either”.

The Steelers’ offensive line is already a string of question marks this year, including the recently-signed five-time Pro Bowler Trai Turner. Dotson has actually been viewed as one of the closer candidates to a ‘sure thing’ with his four quality starts last season as a rookie.

That’s why it’s generated such a buzz that a report surfaced suggesting the team is so unhappy with him that they actually resorted to bringing in an outside free agent—whom they eventually signed after cutting David DeCastro anyway.

“As far as the offensive line goes, I would think Kevin Dotson is probably the least of their worries”, Fittipaldo offered for his own part. “They’ve got to worry about who’s gonna be the center. Is Trai Turner gonna be healthy? There’s a lot of question marks about that line right now”.

It should be noted that Fittipaldo does not specifically refute the report, but offers that he has not heard anything similar, and it appears that nobody else has, either. One would expect that if there were any fire behind the smoke, the sky would be a bit more cloudy, yet it’s only come from one source, which seems to have everybody else wondering where it came from, including those who were on-site.

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