Steelers News

Kevin Dotson Apologizes For Poor Play, Gets Death Threats In Return

Pittsburgh Steelers third-year guard Kevin Dotson had what was undoubtedly, barring injury, the most frustrating game of his career yesterday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It wasn’t his best game from an execution standpoint, but worse still, he was flagged on three separate occasions.

A prideful person, he owned up to it after the game, posting on Twitter that he was sorry for his poor performance and that he was going to get better from it—or at least, it was something to that effect. I had it bookmarked, but he deleted it, and so it’s lost to the ether, unless somebody took a screenshot of it first.

Because people apparently responded to it with death threats. That tweet he did leave up, calling out fans who would go that far over some penalties “for a game that has no bearing on your life”. Now, of course, many fans will argue that the game does have a bearing on your life. But I would imagine all but those who actually issue death threats over a player getting penalties in a game would agree that issuing death threats over a player getting penalties in a game is going much too far.

Not that I didn’t feel like killing myself a time or two after Dotson’s penalties. But at least his first didn’t prove to be too costly, even if it was horribly timed, drawing a false start on 3rd and 6 from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 16 on the opening drive.

After a Kenny Pickett scramble for 10 yards on the ensuing play, head coach Mike Tomlin called rookie running back Jaylen Warren’s number on 4th and 1, converting to set up 1st and goal. They got into the end zone two plays later.

His other two penalties did not go as smoothly for the team. He drew a hold on first down from Tampa Bay’s 36 midway through the second quarter, pushing them back to the 46. The drive finally stalled on the 37-yard line, and kicker Chris Boswell was just able to salvage the possession with points, doinking a 55-yard field goal off and over the upright.

Dotson’s final penalty was also Pickett’s last of the game. Dotson in fact held on the play because he was beaten up the middle by the blitzer who would end up hitting the rookie quarterback. He fell backward and hit his head on the ground, suffering a concussion.

To add insult to injury, his hold negated an explosive-play completion to Diontae Johnson, so he not only was beat and allowed a hit on his quarterback that knocked him out of the game, but his penalty, which should have at a bare minimum spared his quarterback from a hit, negated the play that he ultimately made.

Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky did end up coming in and eventually converting on third and long two plays after that penalty, but the drive still stalled, all the same. But Dotson knows better than anybody watching at home what he needs to clean up and how. Nobody can feel worse about his own play than he does. All he can do is put this one behind him. The fans sending him death threats definitely need to do the same.

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