PITTSBURGH — Steelers left guard Kevin Dotson said the team’s offensive line was embarrassed by its performance against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2, and not just because the Steelers struggled to run the ball and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked twice and hit 10 times.
But that lack of statistical productivity was not nearly as embarrassing as watching the film on Monday and watching Roethlisberger pick himself up off the ground a dozen or so times.
Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ 39-year old starting quarterback, is certainly capable of picking himself up after a hit. But it had been a staple of the culture of the last Steelers’ offensive line, led by veterans like Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro, to literally and figuratively lift the quarterback up after allowing him to take a blow.
“This is absolute BULLSHIT!” former Steelers lineman Trai Essex said on Twitter. “Completely unacceptable!”
Yo! This is absolute BULLSHIT! Completely unacceptable! https://t.co/ULqCIrgBnd
— Trai Essex (@TraiDay79) September 20, 2021
After watching the film, Dotson agrees.
“It was definitely embarrassing,” he said. “We felt like we weren’t noticing it during the game. When you watch it and re-watch it, you’re like, ‘I really didn’t go pick him up like I was supposed to.’”
Unlike the difficulties running the football and an inexperienced line and not-too-mobile quarterback leading to an elevated number of pressures and hits, this mistake is an easy one for Dotson and the young line to correct.
“We know it’s not going to happen ever again,” he said. “It was definitely our mistake.”