For those who might not pay close attention to the details of the NFL, there are green dots on the back of certain players’ helmets. These dots signify they have a communication device inside them for coaches to communicate with the on-field player.
On offense, the green dot is always given to the quarterback. The offensive coordinator, or head coach, will relay the play to the quarterback who then tells the team in the huddle. The communication device shuts off before the play begins. Defensively, because of substitutions, there are three players who can have the dot on their helmet.
Why does this matter for the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers? Because no one knows who will wear the dot on defense this upcoming season. Some are thinking Devin Bush, now fully healthy off his ACL tear in 2020, will be the guy, while others believe recent free agent additions Myles Jack will wear the dot.
If Jack is the player you had in mind to wear the dot, his history of donning the communication device in Jacksonville isn’t great. This from Jaguars beat writer Jamal St. Cyr who went on 105.9 The X with Tim Benz.
“The Jaguars defensive coordinators kept wanting to put this leadership role (on him). Make him the Mike (middle) linebacker. Give him the green dot (communication helmet). They even did it last year. And Myles Jack does not play well when he has to think, and you put him in charge of other players,” St. Cyr said.
Considering it was a rather vague answer, Benz followed up looking for more specifics.
“He just doesn’t play well with that green dot,” St. Cyr continued. “When he is in charge of lining up other guys, making that play call, his play tanks. As soon as you take that green dot away from him and say go out and do your responsibility, it’s like a light comes on.”
Not a glowing endorsement for Jack to be the player wearing the green dot this upcoming season, his first in Pittsburgh. For the Devin Bush detractors out there, if both Bush and Jack aren’t suitable to wear the dot, it puts the defense in quite the bind.
During the team’s Phase 3 of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Jack was asked if the Steelers were going to have him wear the dot in 2022.
“That hasn’t been decided yet,” Jack said. “Right now, we both have the green dot. So we are both just communicating on the field. But if I was called to do it, I could do it.”
Jack continued, and explained what went wrong in Jacksonville, and why he had the dot taken away from his last season.
“In the preseason, [Joe] Schobert had it. Then we traded Schobert (to the Steelers),” Jack explained. “And they just kinda threw it on me. But I was the Will. It created communication issues because the Mike is sitting there waiting for me to give him the call and make the closed call. So eventually they switched it over (to Wilson).
“They felt like me playing Will (weak-side linebacker), they felt like the Mike should have the green dot. That was the miscommunication (in Jacksonville). But if (the Steelers coaches) needed me to do it, I could do it 100%.”
Being able to do it, and wanting to do it are two completely different things. Jack says he can, but also admitted he would much rather just play.
“It’s obviously cool just hearing the call and just playing,” Jack said. “But if I have the responsibility of getting people lined up, that’s not hard to do. It’s one more thing, but I don’t think it will slow me down by any means. If they name me the Mike and give me the green dot, I can do it.”
This continues to be a hot button topic with Steelers fans which won’t be decided until the team reports to training camp on July 26th at Saint Vincent College. It is just one of many questions surrounding the inside linebackers on the roster, and how the Teryl Austin led defense utilizes their inside linebackers could ultimately make this decision a lot easier than many are making it out to be.
Nonetheless, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason and the 2022 regular season.