With the regular season quickly rearing its head, we are finally beginning to piece together some concrete data to attempt to draw conclusions about the Pittsburgh Steelers and who they will be during the 2022 season.
With new quarterbacks, new coaches in new roles, even a new stadium name, there is plenty of change, creating an environment of even less predictability. That includes the new general manager, which could potentially introduce new variables we will have to learn to adjust to over the years when making our own projections of what decisions the team will make.
These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
Topic Statement: Kendrick Green will be the offensive lineman who is a healthy scratch.
Explanation: The Steelers now have nine linemen on their 53-man roster after acquiring Jesse Davis and re-signing Trent Scott. With Kevin Dotson expected to be the starting left guard, and J.C. Hassenauer the only one to take any snaps at center, Green can be the odd man out on Sundays, in part due to his lack of versatility relative to the work he has gotten this offseason.
The Steelers gave Kendrick Green every opportunity to prove himself this offseason, and he did not. He got called out by head coach Mike Tomlin in their team meetings during the preseason, particularly after the second preseason game. There’s no way he’s starting over Kevin Dotson.
Having established that he is a backup, where does he fit? Jesse Davis was acquired to dress, and Tomlin praised his versatility. He worked at both guard and tackle. Trent Scott is the only lineman who actually knows Pat Meyer’s scheme. He is the backup tackle.
And then there’s the question of center. After last season, do you really think the coaches want Green as their backup center after playing guard exclusively all offseason? Absolutely not. Hassenauer is your number two center on gamedays. Davis is your number two guard. Scott is your number two tackle. And that means Green is the low man on the totem pole if they have to open up a roster spot.
While he had not been taking any snaps at center in training camp, we don’t know that he hasn’t since the team moved back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Certainly, I would expect that he has been getting work at center since the final preseason game ended.
It’s true that he wasn’t entirely comfortable at center, but he’s no longer inexperienced there. He has an entire season’s worth of experience, in fact. And besides, Davis is new to the team and doesn’t know what he’s doing. He could be the inactive until he’s up to speed, at which point Green will be up to speed back at center as well, enabling him to dress as both a guard and center option.