With David DeCastro and Stefen Wisniewski officially out, the Steelers will start Kevin Dotson at right guard in Week 2. Kevin Dotson started 52 straight games in college at right guard, and after a one week stint as a backup, Dotson will again start at right guard.
If you want to look at Dotson in college, check out this film room from after the draft of his game against Alabama and two highly drafted defensive tackles. For this quick film room, I wanted to show the 5 plays he played at the end of the Steelers opening game against the Giants.
It’s 5 plays from the end of the game, it isn’t much, but it is something.
The first play is the one Zach Banner was hurt in, it isn’t awful, but if you don’t want to see that, skip this first gif and just read the explanation.
4th quarter, 5:28.
This is Dotson’s only snap of pass protection so far, and it’s pretty good, he absorbs the contact, gives a little ground, but stops the rush with a good grip on his opponent.
After the touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster on the first play Dotson was on the field, the Steelers ran 5 more plays as they tried to run out the clock and end the game. We aren’t going to look at the kneel down to end the game, but we will look at the 4 plays before it.
4th quarter, 1:52. 1st and 10. Kevin Dotson (#69) is the right guard here and in the rest of the plays.
Kevin Dotson is tasked with taking Leonard Williams from Chukwuma Okorafor on this play, and he moves Leonard Williams out of the run lane as Maurkice Pouncey is getting moved into it. Okorafor leaves the double team quickly but Dotson has Williams firmly under control. Williams terrorized the Steelers in Week 1, recording a sack, 2 quarterback hits, 2 tackles for a loss and 5 total tackles, and Dotson’s work to thwart Williams earns him a pat on the helmet from Pouncey.
4th quarter, 1:48, 2nd and 9.
I didn’t expect to get much at all from these plays, but seeing Kevin Dotson pull from right guard is a really nice rep to put on film. Dotson does a great job here, delivering a blow and wrapping up the defender without holding him. A key here is how low Dotson gets at the point of impact, and you can see that the defender loses from initial contact through the end of the block. These first two runs do a lot to build confidence that the Steelers can run the ball with Dotson starting.
This is also a great play by Derek Watt (44) lead blocking, he gets up field and makes an impact block that gives Snell an easier finish to the run.
4th quarter, 1:42, 3rd and 2.
Dotson’s first step is good, and he wins initial contact and helps Pouncey with his block. As the play progresses, Dotson stays with his man, pushing him past the play at the end.
This is another good snap from Derek Watt, and Snell likely picks up the first down if he follows Watt more closely instead of hitting the pile.
4th quarter, 0:55, 4th and 1.
I love this play. If you read my film room on the run game, you saw that the Steelers ran jet sweep motion a good amount this game, even using it to provide outside blockers for Benny Snell, because the Giants didn’t respect the threat of the jet sweep.
This is how you send the signal to other teams that they have to respect the jet sweep, you can see the Giants pushing the middle of the line hard on this play, and no one is prepared to stop Claypool from easily picking up the first down to ice the game.
Dotson delivers a good hit off the snap, and while he is driven back by the Giants numbers, he did enough to keep Claypool clean as he ran past.
Kevin Dotson is already on pace for a Hall of Fame career. That’s a joke, Dotson is a rookie that has played a total of five snaps, and while that isn’t enough to say much of anything at all about him, all five of those snaps were good ones. Which, John Madden would like to remind you, is better than the alternative. Most of all it gives us a glimpse of why the Steelers are comfortable letting the young man start in his second NFL game. It is also promising to know that he will be playing right guard, where he has so much experience, something that should help him be comfortable.