So apparently Kendrick Green at fullback wasn’t a onetime thing.
The big news out of the Steelers annual Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe Stadium was center/guard Kendrick Green getting reps at fullback.
Green told Steel City Insider’s Jim Wexell, “I felt like I was a kid again playing backyard football.” Green, who got work at fullback with the team’s third offense tempered expectations conceding, “Just something they were just dabbling with. I don’t think it’s going to be nothing too serious, though. We’ll see.”
After issuing similar cautions before Saturday’s practice, Green got several reps at fullback again for the Steelers, including at least one with the first team offense.
Mike Tomlin, who was not present for the “Friday Night Lights” practice, explained on Saturday “That guy is a unique guy, so we asked KG to provide a quality look for us, and he did,” before revealing “We just put that in our hip pocket.”
The Steelers started the summer with fullback Monte Pottebaum on their roster, but he mysteriously went on the reserve/retired list early in camp. Connor Heyward has been mentioned as an option at fullback, and now so has Kendrick Green is getting reps there.
- So apparently the speculation that the Steelers will sign Derek Watt is moot.
Which makes dollars and salary cap sense. Derek Watt was an asset during his 3 years in Pittsburgh, but he was a very expensive “Nice to have” for the Steelers offense. Kendrick Green is both cheaper and offers position flexibility.
But if Mike Tomlin decides to take Kendrick Green out of his “Hip pocket” the question should be asked, “Can he match Derek Watt’s rushing streak?”
Thus far Kendrick Green’s reps at fullback have seen him block while catching a few passes from Mason Rudolph. But the hidden value Derek Watt added to the Steelers offense was in short yardage carries: Derek Watt only carried the ball 10 times for the Steelers, but Pittsburgh went 9-1 in those games.
- If Kendrick Green can deliver at even remotely that level, this little experiment will be worthwhile.
One final factoid to remember: Kendrick Green wouldn’t be the first Steelers guard/center to do double duty at fullback.
During the Steelers 2009 season, center/guard Doug Legursky saw action at fullback. One of those games was Rashard Mendenhall’s 165 yard, career-best performance against the San Diego Chargers – Just Say’in….