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Mike Tomlin Says Kendrick Green Will Start Against Jaguars Saturday

During his press conference today, Mike Tomlin announced that Kendrick Green would start at left guard in the Steelers’ second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, per a tweet from Teresa Varley from Steelers.com.

Green, who moved back to his natural guard position after playing center last year. He’s been locked in a position battle with Kevin Dotson, who played well as a rookie but struggled with injuries last year and has been dealing with injuries throughout training camp. 

Tomlin admitted that Dotson’s availability has impacted the competition.

“It has impacted it. Both guys are performing well, but obviously KG has had more exposure, more work. So it has been a factor. Availability is a big component of sorting out some of these battles. And that’s just the reality of it in this game,” Tomlin said via a video posted to the team’s YouTube channel.

Green didn’t look great against Seattle last week in the preseason opener, and his performance will be something to watch. If he struggles again and Dotson manages to play well, Green could cede some major ground in the position battle. Preseason games have more stock than training camp due it being live competition, and if Dotson can perform better on the bigger stage, he could surpass Green on the depth chart.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line is at a crucial juncture this season. The team made an effort to improve it in the offseason after a dreadful 2021, but if the group struggles again, more wholesale changes could occur this offseason. With a young offense that looks a bit different from last year, the line is going to need to play better to give Pittsburgh a shot at competing in the AFC. 

With Green’s struggles last year, he’s someone who really needs to show that he can compete at the NFL level. He was primarily a guard in college, and if he can’t improve at the position he has more experience playing, he might not be cut out to be a starter in the NFL. Dotson showed promise as a rookie, took a step back due to injury problems last year, and needs to get back to the level he showed as a rookie if he wants to stick as a potential starter. 

As this will be Jacksonville’s third preseason game due to them playing in the Hall of Fame game, they’re one game ahead of Pittsburgh. Playing a team with an extra game of experience under their belt can only serve to benefit the Steelers. The offensive line has to show they can play better than they did against Seattle, and Saturday would be a great time to do that. 

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