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Steelers have high hopes for offensive guard, Kevin Dotson, but here’s why one Pittsburgh columnist says the team is upset with the young offensive lineman.
There has been an outrageous amount of turnover on the Steelers offensive line in just a few months’ time. Pittsburgh lost four starting players this offseason (three of which were former Pro Bowlers) and did little to replace them in the draft or free agency.
David DeCastro was the most recent member to depart from the team after it was revealed that he required another ankle surgery. However, there was one player along the offensive line fans really thought they could be confident in second-year offensive guard, Kevin Dotson.
The former Louisiana-Lafayette star was quite impressive when called upon as a rookie in 2020, and his play gave many fans a vote of confidence for this unit in the future. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s coaches apparently aren’t as pleased with the young offensive lineman.
Recently, DK Pittsburgh Sports columnist Dejan Kovacevic aired a podcast exclaiming the Steelers frustration with Kevin Dotson when he returned to the team in year two. While he wouldn’t speculate as to why the team was so upset with him. Here’s some of what Kovacevic had to say as a result of his unnamed source close to the situation:
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The Steelers coaches are plenty angry with Dotson over his not having done anything [over the offseason]… And the reason the Steelers brought Trai Turner in for that first visit a week before David DeCastro was released had nothing to do with DeCastro; it had everything to do with Dotson… It was just assumed – I really feel this – by almost everybody, that Dotson had this thing locked up. Well, guess what? Dotson apparently thought the same and responded accordingly.
Dotson was the one player on the offensive line that Steelers fans really thought they could count on this year. If this indeed is an issue of being in shape, Kevin Dotson still has time to turn things around. However, I am a bit concerned that Pittsburgh coaches were so upset with him.
What this means for Kevin Dotson
Kovacevic went as far as to suggest that Trai Turner was not brought in to replace David DeCastro at all and implied that his visit had more to do with their frustration with Dotson. While I can understand why they would be upset if Dotson showed up out of shape, I find this hard to believe.
Kevin Dotson was the clear bright spot on an ailing offensive line in 2020, and nearly everyone assumed he would be handed his starting gig at left guard in 2021. Apparently, the Steelers coaching staff didn’t feel that way.
Regardless of their frustration with the young offensive lineman in Kovacevic’s recent remarks, I would be dumbfounded if the team chose to go in a different direction at left guard. For starters, the options are razor thin at the position. B.J. Finney has some experience at both guard and center, but I can’t imagine that the team would believe they have a better lineup if they play Finney at guard over Dotson.
From all of Dotson’s posts over the offseason, I don’t think anyone would have thought that he came into minicamp out of shape. In fact, I even pointed out on Twitter at one point that he appeared to have the physique of a professional wrestler.
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Even with this report, I still believe that Kevin Dotson has a bright future and that his position is still very secure. Maybe the coaches getting after him was the wake-up call he needed that will drive him to be the leader of this unit moving forward.