It was a rather horrific performance Saturday night on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line. In total, the Steelers ran just 14 yards on 10 buggies and quarterbacks Mitch Trubesky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph were under duress all night.
Although the Steelers returned to victory thanks to the green light from Rudolph in the two-minute drill, the offensive line remained a major concern under first-year offensive line Pat Mayer. Guys like free agent James Daniels, left foul Dan Moore Jr. and left guard Kendrick Green are three men who are still struggling at an alarming rate and had a good performance to forget about Saturday night on the road.
Green, who played well in the fourth quarter while alternating with goalkeeper Kevin Dotson in the position, spoke to the media from the south side locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Monday ahead of training and revealed that head coach Mike Tomlin put the attack lined up on the big screen. During the team’s movie session on Monday, he publicly criticized the unit’s poor play, including Green specifically, according to video filmed from inside the locker room by 93.7 The Fan’s Josh Rowntree.
Coach T [Tomlin] It made us on the board, and me specifically, a lot during the team meeting,” Greene told reporters on Monday, according to video from Rowntree. “This is not good at all.”
No, it’s probably not a good idea to be negatively marked in a team setting, especially when coming off an outright horrific performance from start to finish. Heading into a pre-season game with the Jaguars, Green had a chance to create distance from Dotson in the fight for the first assignment in the left-footed due to his overall availability, but just as he played in the rookie season, Green struggled from the start of the game and never really set foot under it.
The transition to new OL coach Pat Mayer is still a work in progress. There are a lot of moving parts inside the trenches, some new technologies, some extra calls and ways to deal with lightning, stunts, twists and more. But so far, the work in progress has looked very difficult.
Hopefully, it’s flagged in front of the team in a negative way that gives Green the fuel to start a fire and quickly turn things forward. There’s only one way to get from here for Green and the rest of the offensive line, and that’s up to you.
The way Tomlin handled criticism of the offensive line – and Greene in particular – is not at all surprising. It will be exceptionally transparent and will tell you how it is, whether or not that’s what you want to hear. He’ll be up front and honest – brutally honest at times – which has helped him maintain credibility and control of the locker room each year at Steel City.
Green got to experience the hard way.
“He doesn’t curse you,” Green added, according to Rowntree for 93.7 The Fan. “It’s like, This is what you are. That’s what you put on film. And that’s fair. The normal reaction, the comfortable position, is that you want to be in the fetal position. Like, ‘Ah, don’t look at me.'” But you have to have it. You You put it on the movie. It’s more people in our room watching it. There are 31 other teams watching as well. They’ll try to focus on the same thing.”
Credit is given to Green for not escaping internally harsh criticism and exposure to the media. He knows he played really badly on Saturday and needs to improve quickly, not just for his time with the Steelers, but for his future in the NFL in general. So far, what he put into the movie doesn’t quite show an NFL member. The good news is that he has had some time to put things together and improve. The ship has not fully left harbor in the third round of 2021 yet.
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