The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2022.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up is guard Trai Turner and center Kendrick Green.
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 8
Contract Status: Free agent
Contract Details: Although there was a report of void years being included in Turner’s contract it now appears there are not and he carries no dead money.
Games played in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 1,084 (offense)
PFF score: 68.1 (32nd of 84)
Notable stats (regular season): Turner had 6 penalties called, 2 penalties declined or offsetting, and one game ejection.
Notes: It would probably surprise many Steelers fans to hear that Trai Turner had the highest PFF grade of any of the starting offensive linemen for the season. While Turner had his moments to where he got the job done, there was also plenty of times where he was either part of a mental lapse or got completely blown up on a play. The overall consistency still was not there by the end of the season, and Turner did not revert to his Pr owl form from two year prior in Carolina. Being brought in as a one-year stopgap after the loss of David DeCastro, the Steelers should definitely be looking to upgrade the position moving forward.
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract Status: Signed through 2024
Contract Details: $1,108,128 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers $679,506 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 15 regular season
Games started in 2021: 15 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 977 (offense)
PFF score: 53.1 (34th of 39)
Notable stats (regular season): Green had 9 penalties called with 3 penalties declined or offsetting.
Notes: With Kendrick Green starting the season at center after being a third-round 2021 NFL draft pick, the starting role was Green’s more by default then by grabbing a hold of the reins. Struggling many times throughout season, it appears Green was overmatched and was pushed off the line of scrimmage too often. An offseason of NFL conditioning as well as increased focus on hand technique should help Green going into his second season. While some have hinted a move to guard would be advantageous, Green’s shortcomings at the center position would likely be magnified even more if moved to guard. Additionally, if Green can’t get the job done at the NFL level at center, a move to guard will not magically make him something he is not.
So what do you think? How would you conduct Turner’s and Green’s exit interview? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
Ben Roethlisberger & Najee Harris
Eric Ebron & Pat Freiermuth