When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Kendrick Green out of Illinois with their 3rd Round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, most assumed Green would have to work his way into the starting center role. The biggest reason why most believed the transition would take time was how little he played center in college. In fact, you can count his starts at center on one hand during his Senior season.
Green arrived in Pittsburgh and did something not many thought he would do.
He selected No. 53, the same number as his predecessor Maurkice Pouncey wore.
Pouncey had retired the offseason prior to the draft which brought Green to the Steelers, and Green’s rookie season was anything but smooth. Inconsistent snaps, missed communication and getting pushed back into the laps of Ben Roethlisberger and Najee Harris had fans talking about a position change this offseason. Maybe he could be the next right guard for the Steelers, since he played the position in college and it isn’t expected the Steelers bring back Trai Turner.
On paper that sounds good, but it doesn’t look like Green is done trying to prove himself as a center in the NFL. On Maurkice Pouncey’s Instagram stories he recently shared a post workout photo with himself and Green.
See the photo below, courtesy of Andrew Limberg:
Kendrick Green training with Pouncey. pic.twitter.com/rQkBx77tC8— Andrew Limberg (@AndyLimberg937) February 7, 2022
If Green was intent on moving to guard, I doubt he would have called on the last great center for the Steelers, in a long line of tremendous centers, for assistance.
I have to be honest, while we here at BTSC are usually on top of all things Steelers, this slipped through the cracks. While the news is a couple days old, I can’t help but think about what this photo means for Green as a player. Whether Pouncey reached out to Green, or vice versa, the fact Green accepted the invitation, and didn’t have too much pride to accept help, speaks volumes.
As written by Dave Schofield Wednesday, there are reasons why Steelers fans shouldn’t give up on Green as the center for the Steelers. Check that out below:
When you look at those reasons, combined with Green taking the time to absorb the knowledge Pouncey has after his lengthy tenure in the NFL, maybe there is hope for him after all.
Fans should want Green to succeed, because it would be one less position the team will need to address this offseason. Nonetheless, only time will tell if Green will be the team’s answer at center. In the meantime, it looks like Green is doing whatever he can to improve and at the same time prove to the Steelers he is their guy.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year and the 2022 NFL Draft.