Six games into his rookie season, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Kendrick Green has had his fair share of peaks and valleys with his performance on the field.
This past Sunday, Green had arguably his best performance of the season so far, in their win over the Seattle Seahawks, posting an overall grade of 68.7 on 75 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
His play in this game suggests a player who is rounding into form both physically and mentally, while making improvements on certain technical aspects of his overall game. Though there is still room for improvement, Green is well on his way to becoming a reliable offensive lineman for his team this season.
Mobility and Second-Level Blocking
Green is at his best when he is able to use his mobility in open space to make blocks on the second level. In this game, there were several occasions where Green displayed the type of mobility the Steelers needed in order to create openings for his running backs.
In this sequence, the Steelers ran a toss play to running back Kalen Ballage. Notice how quickly Green comes out of his stance and makes his way to the second and third level. He immediately adds blocking support alongside rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. His ability to cover that much space in a short period of time, is part of what made him a desirable prospect for Matt Canada's zone blocking offence.
Improved Pass Blocking
Since his first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, Green has taken huge strides in improving his passing block. From reviewing his performance, one can assert, Green’s understanding of how to win leverage against larger defensive linemen has increased.
Here are some details to note in this sequence. Firstly, his pad level coming out of his stance, his size gives him that advantage against bigger linemen. Secondly, his hand placement under the opposing Seahawks lineman, this alone is enough to help him win this one-on-one battle. Lastly, his quick feet in conjunction with the details previously noted. All these aspects put together rendered the Seahawks linemen ineffective in this sequence.
An Aggressive Mindset
The aspect that has defined Green as a lineman is his aggressive approach to blocking. During his days at the University of Illinois, Green was known for his aggression in the trenches and his 'finish' mentality. As he continues to develop has a lineman, Green has slowly opened up this dimension of his skillset, which was evident against Seahawks. As seen in the clip below, Green's intensity and tenor are well represented.
A major reason the Steelers overall improvement on offense, has been the overall growth of the offensive line in their last two games. Green himself has taken big strides in his game, which should bode well for the remainder of the season. Though he is still a work in progress, the potential of becoming a franchise center, like Maurkice Pouncey before him, is very much a possibility.