PITTSBURGH — Cole Holcomb’s injury threw the Steelers’ defense for a loop. Without their green dot wearer, Pittsburgh has to find a new primary communicator and somehow replace the three-down ability that Holcomb brought to the table. The answer? It will be Kwon Alexander who nabbed the game-winning interception against the Titans. Alexander, who has worn that green dot in the past, confirmed that he will wear that green dot for the rest of the season.
Alexander is new to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’s not new to being an NFL linebacker, and he’s also not new to his new role with the club. Pittsburgh has steadily increased their faith in Alexander over the season, hence why he played over 60 snaps without Holcomb. Now, their trust has further with another step was taken to fortify that trust.
“It’s been smooth,” Alexander said. “I’ve had the dot before. I played Mike linebacker my first four years. … It ain’t nothing different. I just get the call and then go out there and do the work.”
Elandon Roberts will play next to Alexander, and Pittsburgh will shorten the rotation from three to potentially something like two and a half, depending on how they use Mark Robinson and Keanu Neal to help fill the void of Holcomb. The roles that Roberts and Alexander play do not change drastically aside from the fact that Alexander now wears that dot. In the past, Vince Williams wore the green dot and acted like a general more than a teammate at the second level. But that is the type of player it takes to be the communication hub. Alexander can be that guy. Roberts, on the other hand, is ready to be the hammer.
“Right side, left side, none of that really changes,” Roberts said. “We have to go out there and play ball. I don’t think about the changes too much.”
Pittsburgh must ensure their linebackers don’t become overexposed with their skillsets. They have played well, but have worked off each other’s skills to land into the mode they are right now. Simply put, Alexander and Roberts have a hill to climb, and Aaron Jones will give them a test on Sunday against the Packers.