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Why Senquez Golson’s spot on the Steelers 53-man roster is anything but certain

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From 2nd round pick to injured to injured again and now possibly not even on the roster?

Senquez Golson, once viewed as a member of the new look Steelers secondary, may not even make the 53-man roster. Many fans, including myself, had quite high expectations for the 2nd round CB out of Ole Miss, and how could you not when you watched him rack up 9 INTs in arguably the strongest conference in college football, the SEC.

Last year Steelers brass considered Senquez Golson an “extra draft pick” coming off an injury. Before coming into offseason workouts and minicamp, Colbert was clearly not very optimistic about Golson coming off his second season ending injury:

“Last year I sat here and said we would view him as an extra draft pick and unfortunately we can’t do that right now. To no fault of his own, he’s been injured two years in a row, and in all honesty, I worry about a defensive back coming off of a foot injury because you don’t know what he’s going to be like. And we won’t know until we get into OTA’s and minicamp.

- This is what Kevin Colbert told reporters during his pre-draft press conference back in April.

Now fast forward to today; the Steelers have gotten to see him in OTA’s, along with mandatory minicamp and should now have a good idea of how Golson is moving coming off his Lisfranc injury. While we haven’t heard many things said publicly about Golson from Tomlin and company since then, it doesn’t mean all is right.

As a matter of fact, one of the few things that was said about Golson was from defensive backs coach, Carnell Lake. Lake said, "Our special teams coach, Coach Smith, is going to probably be looking at him as one of those gunner types special teams core guys because of his athleticism, especially being a second rounder, we expect that out of him," according to Jacob Klinger of Pennlive.com.

If that weren’t bad enough, now the good folks over at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are starting to doubt if he’ll even make the roster. According to Ray Fittipaldo’s chat transcript, this is what Fittipaldo had to say regarding the coaching staff’s words toward Golson.

“Don't be surprised if he is cut. They've parted ways with plenty of high picks in the past. Does anyone remember Scott Shields? He was a second-round pick and I don't think he lasted past his second year. There have been plenty of others. Golson is in a crowded CB room. Burns, Cockrell and Sutton have the team made and probably Gay too. They brought in Sensabaugh as a free agent and they seem to like this Hilton, another free agent. He has his work cut out for him in camp.”

Now keep in mind, the good folks over at the Post-Gazette generally have a good inside scoop of what is going on with the Steelers, and it showed during draft season, as they were pretty adamant about the Steelers drafting a WR early. I’m not saying take everything they say as pure facts, but don’t scoff at their notions.

In regards to the chat transcript, the Hilton that Fittipaldo is referring to is none other than Mike Hilton, former teammate of Golson’s back at Ole Miss. While I can’t say much regarding Mike Hilton at the moment, I can only help but wonder if Golson’s foot injury robbed him of his quickness.

Remember, Senquez Golson is not the biggest, nor is he a lengthy defensive back. He thrives because he’s fluid in the hips and at the college level had tremendous foot quickness to stick on the hip pocket of any receiver he covered. If his injury has robbed him of that quickness, it could put a huge dent in his chances of being a good CB in the NFL.

Now let me be clear, I am merely speculating that this could be what is causing such a less than optimistic view of Golson up to this point. It doesn’t necessarily mean that is the case, nor does it mean he can’t turn it around in training camp. Remember, when they don’t allow too much contact in OTA’s or minicamp and the players aren’t in pads, it could definitely be tough to cover WRs.

That said, the Steelers brass got to see how Golson was moving coming off his injury during that time, and if some of the beat writers are starting to speculate that Golson might not even make the 53 man roster, where there is smoke, there is fire.