The Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the early stages of the 2021 offseason, but with the 2021 NFL Draft over the attention now turns to the regular season. There are steps along the way, mandatory minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and training camp, but the position battles which will take shape throughout the offseason are worth discussion.
Sure, things could change between now and the start of training camp. Injuries, acquisitions and players emerging can alter the outcome of these battles, but there will be several key battles taking place. In this series, myself and Dave Schofield will be giving our analysis and prediction for each training camp battle which will unfold at some point this offseason.
Today we take a look at a critical position/battle for the Steelers’ offense. The battle at center between B.J. Finney, J.C. Hassenauer and rookie Kendrick Green.
Who wins the battle? Dave and I give our predictions below, but be sure to let us know what you think in the poll below, and be sure to explain your vote in the comment section!
Analysis: This is the most important camp battle for me, and it is also one of the most difficult to decipher. First, barring injury I don’t see Hassenauer having a shot in this fight. He is nothing more than an insurance policy; however, who wins between Finney and Green isn’t a gimme. Finney, while not playing hardly at all in 2020, will be the leader heading into training camp. Rarely do the Steelers have a rookie come into camp as a favorite to win a job, and the center position is no different. Will Green show enough, despite not having a ton of experience in college, to win the job?
Prediction: I see Finney winning the job coming out of camp, but I don’t see him holding the job very long. If Green wins the job outright, I would be ecstatic, but I think he will have to wait a bit until he takes over. By the midway point of the season, I see Green being the Steelers’ man in the middle moving forward.
Analysis: Where Jeff is right is this is the most important training camp battle for 2021. It’s not just about the players as the position itself is extremely important. Where I begin to differ with Jeff is that J.C. Hassenauer doesn’t have a shot at this battle. It’s not that I want him to be the best option, but compared to B.J. Finney he might be. He played 305 more snaps on offense than B.J. Finney in 2020 because Finney couldn’t get on the field for either the Seahawks or Bengals. We are assuming we’re getting 2019 B.J. Finney, which was much better at guard than center in my opinion. But if 2020 B.J. Finney is the player who shows up to Steelers training camp, he’ll be out of this race in a matter of days. For this reason, Kendrick Green will have every opportunity to win this job shy of having it handed to him.
Prediction: I feel the Steelers 2021 season is tied to this position and this battle. If Kendrick Green shows he can do this job in Week 1, he needs to be on the field and the Steelers will be better because of it. If he’s not ready, I think it’s going to be a major area of concern. I’m going with the rookie to win the job, mainly because if he doesn’t the Steelers are really in trouble.
Who wins the Steelers center training camp battle?
This poll is closed