The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 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 2023.
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 has previously 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 players on rookie contracts as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up are guard Kevin Dotson and defensive tackle Tyson Alualu.
Years with the Steelers: 3
Years in the NFL: 3
Contract Status: Signed through 2023
Contract Details: $2,909,703 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $164,703 in dead money if released and would save $2,745,000.
Games played in 2022: 17 regular season
Games started in 2022: 17 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 1,160 (offense), 71 (special teams)
PFF score: 65.4 (30th of 78)
Notable stats: Dotson was called for 12 penalties in 2022, 11 of which were accepted; 4 were false starts, 4 were holding, 3 were ineligible man downfield, and 1 was unnecessary roughness. According to Pro Football Focus, Dotson surrendered four sacks.
Notes: Only one player in the NFL had more penalties called on them in 2022 than Kevin Dotson. While good players can still have penalties called on them, a lot of times it’s an indication of either a mental lapse or improper technique if they keep racking them up. Whether that’s an issue with Dodson or not is something you can judge for yourself. To me, his biggest problem is his inconsistency. Sometimes Dotson is the best player on the Steelers offensive line while at other times he is the worst. If he could be more consistent in giving his best play, he could be a great offensive lineman. But Dotson has not shown this yet. Although he is eligible for a contract extension going into the final year of his rookie deal, I don’t see the Steelers doing it as he will likely have to fight for both a starting job and roster spot for 2023 depending on how much additional talent the Steelers are able to acquire. The Steelers would be wise to bring in competition, likely in the form of an eventual replacement, via free agency or the draft.
Position: Defensive tackle
Years with the Steelers: 6
Years in the NFL: 13
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2022: 17 regular season
Games started in 2022: 2 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 291 (defense), 32 (special teams)
PFF score: 30.4 (126th of 127)
Notable stats: Allualu had 13 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defensed.
Notes: Two seasons ago Alualu helped make the Steelers defensive line the best in the NFL. But the injury early in 2021 is something that has a bigger effect on a player at the end of their career than one at the beginning. Even though there was improved play later in the season, the writing is on the wall that Alualu’s best days are now behind him. Thank you for your service to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mr. Alualu. I’m still glad you chose to come back rather than return to Jacksonville even though injury and age became an issue.
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:
Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Larry Ogunjobi
Connor Heyward & Zach Gentry
Mark Robinson & Devin Bush
Jaylen Warren & Benny Snell Jr.
Calvin Austin III & Derek Watt
Najee Harris & Terrell Edmunds
Pat Freiermuth & Trent Scott
Dan Moore Jr. & Jesse Davis
Isaiahh Loudermilk & Chris Wormley
Tre Norwood & Damontae Kazee
Pressley Harvin III & Marcus Allen
Kendrick Green & J.C. Hassenauer
Alex Highsmith & Malik Reed