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 Zach Gentry, Nate Gilliam, and Chaz Green.
TE Zach Gentry: Gentry, the Steelers’ former fifth-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2019, rebounded nicely in 2021. After having his 2021 cut short by a knee injury, Gentry wound up playing in every game for the Steelers in 2022 on his way to logging 473 regular season snaps on offense and 139 more on special teams. For the season, Gentry recorded 19 receptions for 167 yards, with a long of 25 yards. Gentry showed improvement as a blocker in 2022 as well, which was likely a result of him playing a lot more snaps. After his first two seasons in the NFL, it didn’t look like Gentry would make it to a third. He did, however, and he looks destined to play out his rookie contract in 2022.
Outlook: Gentry should be the Steelers’ second tight end in 2022 behind starter Pat Freiermuth. That should mean that most of his offensive snaps in 2022 come with the team using two-tight end personnel groupings. We could see quite a bit of that in 2022, especially early in the season. It’s important that Gentry improves even more as a run blocker in 2022. While he should see some targets in the passing game as a tight end, they’re sure to be few and far between as long as Freiermuth stays healthy. That said, it’s plausible that he could best his 2021 receiving stats by a little. Gentry will also be asked to play on a few special teams units once again in 2022, as well. A nice season for Gentry in 2022 could warrant the Steelers re-signing him to a modest contract next offseason.
G Nate Gilliam: The Steelers signed Gilliam to their practice squad late last season, and he remained there the final few weeks. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers out of Wake Forest in 2020, Gilliam was a practice squad player for them his rookie season. He was back on the Chargers’ practice squad again in 2021, but ultimately cut from that unit last October. He has yet to play a regular season NFL snap to date.
Outlook: The fact that Gilliam was re-signed to a Reserve/Future contract early in the offseason shows that the team saw enough from him late last year to warrant them taking a longer look at him. Even so, Gilliam will face exceptionally long odds in training camp this summer when it comes to him possibly making the 53-man roster. He’ll have a much better shot at making the Steelers’ initial practice squad this summer, especially if he can show that he can play both guard spots. He’s likely to get a nice amount of playing time in the Steelers’ first preseason game.
T Chaz Green: Originally selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida, Green was signed to the Steelers’ 2021 offseason roster last July. After failing to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster to open the 2022 regular season, Green landed on the team’s practice squad. While Green was activated to the main roster three times during the 2022 regular season, he did not see any playing time on offense. The few snaps he did play in two different games came on special teams. After the 2021 season ended, the Steelers re-signed Green to a Reserve/Future contract.
Outlook: Green is likely to make to training camp with the Steelers again this offseason. Assuming that happens, he will be battling for spot on the 53-man roster as a backup tackle. He will have plenty of competition, and the odds are against him getting a spot for Week 1. He might need an injury or two ahead of him on the depth chart for that to ultimately happen. A more realistic outlook for Green in 2022 is him once again landing on the team’s practice squad. That’s not guaranteed to happen either, however. Should he ultimately have to play offensive snaps for the Steelers in 2022, it would probably be a result of the offensive line experiencing multiple injuries.
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