Connect with us

Steelers News

OL Trainer Questions How Steelers Thought Mason Cole was Starting Center

Offensive line trainer Duke Manyweather discussed his thoughts on how the Pittsburgh Steelers arrived at the decision to start Mason Cole.



Pittsburgh Steelers center Mason Cole
Pittsburgh Steelers center Mason Cole in a game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line philosophy has come up around Broderick Jones, who is currently playing right tackle after playing his college career at left tackle. It went back to how Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green were used even, especially after Dotson left the team and became a star with the Rams. But they also started Mason Cole, who was a backup in Minnesota, at center for multiple.

Offensive line guru Duke Manyweather, who has worked with many offensive linemen, discussed Pittsburgh’s philosophy on the Chipped Ham and Football Podcast with Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He also touched on his thoughts about Mason Cole, and he is unsure why the Steelers thought he would be a starting center.

“The fact of the matter is there are a lot of excellent and great and dynamic centers that have had bad snaps,” Manyweather said. “Now, Mason Cole, I wouldn’t put him in the category of a good or great center. He was a guy that was very interesting that the Steelers signed him and saw starting potential. I never saw that out of him. I thought he was a career backup, so to me, he was always a stopgap guy. So, when he had his struggles it didn’t surprise me. I knew that’s who he was.”

Mayweather went on to discuss in further detail guys like Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson, largely and did not agree with the Steeler’s offensive line philosophy.

“I respect Coach Tomlin and I respect Pat Meyer, got a great relationship with both of them, and I’ve been very frank with them about this. Kendrick Green should have been playing left guard from the start like he is down in Houston. Kevin Dotson should have been playing right guard from the start. There’s this conversation that always goes on about ‘guys need to be able to play both sides,’ that’s bullshit,” Manyweather said.

Dotson signed three-year, $48 million extension with the Rams, averaging $16 million per season through 2026. The contract includes $32 million in guarantees.

The Steelers traded Dotson to the Rams on Aug. 27 in exchange for LA’s fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Steelers also sent their fifth-round pick to the Rams as part of the trade.

Dotson had a Steelers season with the Rams, playing in 881 snaps, the second-most of his career, and starting 14 games. On the season, he allowed just four sacks and seven quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Steelers drafted Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Green played mostly guard at Illinois, but because he is slightly undersized for the position at the NFL level, the Steelers moved Green to center, where they had a vacancy after the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey.

Green started 15 games for the Steelers in 2021, in what was considered to be an unmitigated failure. By the end of the season, he was benched for former undrafted free agent J.C. Hassenauer.

The Steelers moved Green back to guard in 2022, but with the team much deeper there, he never saw the field. In 2023, they again tried him at center and even fullback before trading him to the Texans on Aug. 29 in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.