PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ new-look offensive line is one that is young. Even the veterans in Zach Banner and Chuks Okorafor truly lack a heavy sample size of starting experience on the football field. Thus, the true veteran of the group has ended up being newly signed guard Trai Turner.
While Turner is still in his first year on the team and learning the offense, the five-time Pro Bowler certainly feels that while he is still learning things himself, he wants to disseminate the knowledge that he has gained in the NFL.
“All I like to do is be myself,” Turner said. “All I want to do is go out there and show my effort. I want to give insight into where I have knowledge. I want to learn about things that I don’t know and teach things I do know. It’s just a work-in-progress, and it’s about me taking accountability first. Then, it’s about me putting it on the grass.”
Turner says that while he is trying to be a leader for the players, that the support staff, including Adrian Klemm and Chris Morgan, are key pieces to their leadership room as well.
“There are questions from the younger guys, and I see from the standpoint that I’m the older guy here now,” Turner said. “But we have two really good coaches and we have a lot of support. So, me along with other coaches, we are going to give the right answers. We get on the same page and we ball. That’s all that matters.”
Still, Turner seems to be taking rookie center Kendrick Green under his wing. For Turner, that feels more like a responsibility than something that he just does on a whim. However, he says that his relationship with Green is not one-sided.
“That’s my center, man,” Turner said. “He’s the guy I play next to the most. He’s a guy that, we question each other. He’s piggybacking stuff off of me, and I’m piggybacking stuff off of him. I feel like with knowledge, you can’t just give knowledge, you have to take it in too. So, you have to be able to listen to somebody for them to listen to you.”
Green and Turner’s relationship seems to be a budding mentorship. WIth both players coming through as nasty guys who want to smash the opponent into the turf, they seem to mesh especially well. It is Turner’s knowledge and Green’s aptitude that will allow the mentorship to help Green grow as a player.