The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: How good of a chance does Kendrick Green have to open the regular season as a starter?
The Steelers drafted Kendrick Green last year to be a starter. He was a starter last year. Now he’s competing to be a starter, alternating with Kevin Dotson at left guard, at least through the very early portions of OTAs.
While many were very quick to write Green off, he struggled as a rookie to play in a position in which he was not comfortable. With a year under his belt and the possibility of moving to a position at which he has more familiarity—and with a better grouping of linemen around him—it’s reasonable to believe that he can raise his game to a higher level.
Dotson looked like he could be a starter during brief starting cameos as a rookie in 2020. He didn’t quite ever look the same during his half a season of starts last year, but he also didn’t ever appear to be fully healthy.
One can only hope that at least one starting-quality guard emerges from the competition between the two, but at least this year we have some comfort in knowing that the Steelers have James Daniels on the other side. Both Green and Dotson have some talent, but can either of them put it all together and be a quality 17-game starter? This is a conversation that must include health, as well.