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Steelers 2-a-days: Jake Dixon ready to show mettle, Kevin Dotson seeks to retain starting job


Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2022 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly alphabetical order, two per day, between June 11 and July 25. Contract data courtesy spotrac.com.


Experience: Rookie

Contract status: $705,000 cap hit in 2022, signed through 2024

2022 outlook: At 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, Dixon has the size to play his position. It’s experience that he’s lacking. When Dixon graduated from Bethel Park, he was about 80 pounds lighter and had his sights set on playing volleyball. Shortly after he arrived at Lewis University, Dixon realized he was more passionate about football and transferred home to play at Duquesne.

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After filling out the roster as a tight end and long snapper, Dixon switched to the offensive line and became a two-time all-conference player. That was enticing enough for the Steelers to sign him as an undrafted free agent.

Dixon’s goal is to become the second Duquesne player on the Steelers’ 53-man roster, joining long snapper Christian Kuntz. He just hopes it doesn’t take as long. Kuntz bounced around for four seasons while also playing linebacker before the Steelers told him to focus on long snapping. He made his NFL debut last season.

Dixon’s path to a roster spot probably involves the practice squad where he can develop behind Dan Moore Jr., Chuks Okorafor and other more experienced tackles.

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Kevin Dotson on the Steelers veteran additions on the OL this year, and on feeling healthy and comfortable at LG in 2022 pic.twitter.com/OmZERppzG8

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 9, 2022


Experience: 3rd season

Contract status: $1,059,704 cap hit in 2022, signed through 2023

2022 outlook: When the Steelers signed veteran guard/center options James Daniels and Mason Cole in free agency, it served notice to Dotson that he must earn his starting left guard job.

Dotson started the first nine games in 2021, his second NFL season, before he injured his ankle and was inactive for the rest of the year. The former fourth-round pick from Louisiana will compete with guard-turned-center-turned-guard Kendrick Green in training camp. Dotson has experience at the position on his side (Green played center exclusively as a rookie), but his injury history makes it an open competition.

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The Steelers are set on improving the NFL’s No. 29-ranked rushing offense, which is why two veterans were added in free agency. Dotson will use training camp and the preseason to prove he belongs in the starting five.

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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