Much anticipation and hype continues to surround Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie center Kendrick Green, who has looked rather strong in the initial phase of 2021 training camp at Heinz Field.
So strong, in fact, that veteran defensive tackle Tyson Alualu heaped praise on the young third-round draft pick following Friday night’s practice, stating that Green seems to be a “great fit” for the Steelers’ offense and the transition along the offensive line following the retirement of center Maurkice Pouncey, the release of David Decastro, and the departures of Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler in free agency.
Alualu knows better than most, considering he’s gone against Green in the trenches each day and has seen the athleticism, power and nastiness up close and personal. What stands out the most to Alualu so far is Green’s athleticism, which fits well into the center position in Pittsburgh’s new-look rushing attack.
“Oh, well, he’s very, very athletic; very fast,” Alualu said. “You know, he can get to our edge quick. So, you know, that’s definitely a plus for him. So I think he’s a great fit in this and this offense and just, you know, for this team. I think he’ll definitely do what’s right by playing his position.
“He made it here. He belongs here, everybody that’s here on this field worked to get to this point,” Alualu added. He’s definitely put himself in the position to get drafted by the Steelers and, you know, be our center. So, he definitely belongs here. He has all the talents and abilities to the play center and we’re just excited for his growth in this league. He’s only going to get better.”
That’s high praise coming from a the 11-year veteran with 172 career games under his belt.
The excitement for Green should be high, considering the athleticism and overall nastiness he brings to the center of the offensive line, along with the number the is sporting in Pittsburgh. Though he wears the 53 of Pouncey a few months after the longtime Steeler great retired, Alualu would not compare the two when prompted by reporters, stating that they’re not comparable, and that it’s not fair to try and compare any young center to Pouncey.
“It’s not fair. It’s not even fair to compare to Pouncey, a Hall of Fame player, all around great player both on and off the field,” Alualu said. “So, you know, now I’m happy I got the chance to play with him, but, it’s kind of unfair to compare it to Pouncey. But, you know, he [Green] has so much in store for him. This is just the beginning. So, only time will tell.”
Only time will tell if Green is the right man for the job post-Pouncey, as Alualu points out. So far, the returns have been good on the young Illinois product.