The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 offseason practices concluded last week, and next up for the team is their annual training camp, which should get underway in the latter part of July at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Ahead of Steelers’ training camp getting underway, we will preview the team’s offseason roster three players at a time for you as part of a 30-post series. This Steelers’ roster preview, which includes outlooks for each player, will be done alphabetically by last name to make it easy to follow along with.
The next three players we will preview ahead of Steelers training camp are Ulysees Gilbert III, Kendrick Green, and Joe Haeg.
ILB Ulysees Gilbert III: Originally selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Akron, Gilbert managed to play in all 17 games for the Steelers in 2021 and that was the first time in his career he has been able to do that. In total, Gilbert logged 36 regular season defensive snaps in 2021 to go along with a whopping 337 special teams snaps. That was the most special teams snaps played by a Steelers player in 2021. Gilbert registered 15 total tackles in 2021 with 13 of those coming on special teams. 27 of his 36 defensive snaps played in the regular season came in Week 17 and that was due to the team having a few inside linebackers out on the COVID-19 list.
Outlook: Can Gilbert make it a fourth season with the Steelers? We’ll see and he’ll certainly have a lot of competition when it comes to a roster spot this summer. The Steelers might keep five total inside linebackers again in 2022 so Gilbert will likely be working hard this summer to be the fourth or fifth on the depth chart. After playing not even 100 defensive snaps in his first three seasons in the NFL, Gilbert will need to prove himself as a core special teams player again in training camp and the preseason to make the roster.
G/C Kendrick Green: The Steelers selected Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Illinois and that was a bit of a surprise. Green then proceeded to become the Steelers new starting center as a rookie and after mainly playing left guard during his college career. His transition to a starting NFL center unfortunately did not go well at all in 2021 for Green. He was on the ground way too much for starters. In total, he allowed three sacks, four hits and 11 hurries in pass protection as a rookie. He also was penalized nine times. Green was ultimately and effectively benched late in the season in favor of J.C. Hassenauer and that move was very much warranted.
Outlook: This offseason, the Steelers added veteran center Mason Cole via a free agency and he is expected to be the team’s starter in 2022. As for Green, it sounds like he’s moved back to left guard, the position he mainly played in college. Green and another former draft pick of the team’s, Kevin Dotson, are reportedly set to battle the remainder of the summer to be the starting left guard for 2022. The loser of that battle will likely be the team’s first backup off the bench at both guard spots. Green could likely wind up being the Steelers backup center in 2022 should Hassenauer fail to make the 53-man roster. Here’s to Green not having to log nearly as much playing time in 2022 as he had in 2021. It’s hard to imagine him becoming a viable NFL starter at any position moving forward.
T Joe Haeg: 2021 was Haeg’s first season with the Steelers as part of him signing a two-year, $4.6 million deal last March that included a $1 million signing bonus. In total, Haeg played 320 snaps in all games in 2021 and that includes the playoff loads. He played four different positions on the offensive line in 2021 and even logged a few tight end snaps as well. The only position he did not play on the offensive line was center. He allowed three sacks, three hurries and a quarterback hit in 2021. Haeg was an above average pass blocker in 2021 and a slightly below average run blocker.
Outlook: Haeg is veteran and player that his versed at playing several different positions. He is merely a backup quality player at this stage of his career and thus could potentially be out of a job later this summer. With mandatory minicamp now completed, Haeg certainly appears to still be inside the roster bubble as one of up to as many as nine total offensive linemen the team is likely to keep on their 53-man roster later this summer. Should Haeg ultimately make the Steelers 53-man roster come Week 1, the hope should be that he isn’t asked to play nearly the number of offensive snaps that he was asked to play in 2021.
Previous Posts In Series:
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Montravius Adams, Marcus Allen, Tyson Alualu
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Daniel Archibong, Calvin Austin III, Genard Avery
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chris Boswell, Miles Boykin, Devin Bush
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chase Claypool, Mason Cole, James Daniels
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Jake Dixon
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Kevin Dotson, Mataeo Durant, Terrell Edmunds
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Trey Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pat Freiermuth
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Zach Gentry, Nate Gilliam, Chaz Green