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: G Kevin Dotson
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Dotson is primed to enter the starting lineup this year, now fueled by seemingly erroneous reports about poor conditioning habits that have gone uncorroborated, and which have drawn him lots of support.
Since a local reporter claimed that he had been told the Steelers were so unhappy with Kevin Dotson this offseason that their frustrations were the initial source of their pursuing Trai Turner, the second-year lineman has only received tremendous support—and yet another chip to rest on his shoulder—as he heads into his first year as a full-time starter.
If anything, the ‘report’ has served as a positive for the young man, not just because it likely will motivate him even more to make sure everybody knows just what kind of worker he is, but also because it certainly seems as though it has only resulted in drawing people to his corner and defending him.
To the best of my knowledge, to date, the claim remains entirely unsupported by any other reporter. Multiple others have come out to say that they have never been told anything similar, though of course they can’t specifically say that this reporter hasn’t been told something that they haven’t been told. The broad impression that has been created, though, is that it seems like quite a stretch.
Of course, that was a transient story that will come and go. The real meat of this chapter is what lies ahead, which is an entrance into the starting lineup, which he certainly seems ready for. Whatever jitters he might have had as a rookie, he’s largely gotten out of his system.
That’s not to say that I suspect he’s approaching this opportunity with a sense of entitlement, or that he’s taking it as a given that he’ll be able to hang with professionals for 1,100 or so snaps per season without some trials and tribulations, but there has never been anything to suggest that he will not be prepared when his name is called.