It is safe to say when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Kendrick Green in the 3rd Round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they didn’t have full intentions of him starting at center as a rookie. After all, he had only started a handful of games at the position in college, otherwise playing predominantly guard.
As we all know, the team turned to Green almost as the de facto center, and he struggled. To be completely honest, that might be an understatement.
Fans’ expectations for Green were likely too lofty, considering the aforementioned conditions, but the former Illinois lineman became the target for the vast majority of fan anger as the team’s offense continued to sputter.
Shortly after the Steelers’ season ended with a Wild Card loss in the AFC Playoffs to the Kansas City Chiefs, it was posted on social media how Green had gone to Florida to spend time with the man who was the center prior to Green having the job. None other than All-Pro Maurkice Pouncey.
The image of Green being next to Pouncey was a sight many Steelers fans were excited to see. After all, many fans were already upset Green took Pouncey’s No. 53 as a rookie, and the year after he retired. But despite Green showing up with Pouncey on social media, no one really knew what the two had done while together.
During minicamp last week Green was asked about the workouts, and what they worked on/discussed in Florida.
“Just a lot of knowledge,” Green said of what he learned from Pouncey. “I think that was the biggest thing, just talking to him and seeing how he views the game, him and Mike (Pouncey), kinda like a big brother/mentor role. I learned a lot just from the few times I’ve been with him.”
As Green continued to elaborate on the workouts, he said the sessions weren’t guard or center specific. In fact, there wasn’t much field work at all.
“Really didn’t do too much field work,” Green added. “It was kinda like working out and then a lot of just talking over some food, stuff like that, fellowship.”
Having both Pounceys in your corner can never be a bad thing, and both Maurkice and Mike are a wealth of knowledge surrounding the offensive line. If Green can somehow establish some of the principles which made Pouncey an All-Pro, there might be hope for him yet.
As the Steelers went through their mandatory minicamp last week, it was made public the team had Green take some repetitions at guard, not just center. This is Green’s more comfortable position, think about how much guard he played in college, and it also never helped to have Ben Roethlisberger saying publicly how much better Green would be at guard compared to center.
Regardless of position, it seems Green is willing to do whatever it takes to just find a spot on the Steelers’ offensive line in 2022. Guard or center, he doesn’t care. Will he carve out a niche for himself? That has yet to be determined, but you can’t say Green didn’t try almost everything to get himself to that point in his career.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for their return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for training camp on July 26th.