Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he is still considering whether or not to move second-year offensive lineman Kendrick Green to guard after acquiring a pair of interior offensive linemen that can each play center in free agency earlier this month.
Green is coming off a roller coaster of a rookie season. He won the starting job as a third-round draft pick, starting 15 straight games before being injured late in the year. But J.C. Hassenauer took over the duty at center over the final three games while Green nursed the calf injury, and Tomlin acknowledged after the season that Hassenauer had played better than Green did toward the end of the season.
That had many — including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — speculating that a move back to guard, where he played in college, could be in Green’s future.
There was nothing about the Steelers’ offseason that slowed that speculation, either, with the Steelers signing Mason Cole and James Daniels, both of whom have center and guard versatility. While speaking with the media on Sunday, Tomlin did not back away from the assertion, but didn’t make it a definite, either.
“I’m open to it,” Tomlin said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, while adding that his goal will be to get the best five offensive linemen on the field, however possible. In addition to Cole, Daniels and Green, guard Kevin Dotson should also be back in the mix after missing the second half of the 2021 season with injury.
Moving from guard to center will not fix everything for Green. His lack of length and bad hand usage will be the bane of his ability to start until he can consistently get quality hand placement. If he can improve his hand usage, the move could work out well, as guard is his more natural position. Still, it will be no walk in the park unless the technical side of Green’s game takes a leap.