(Kevin Dotson via his Twitter with the game ball after the Steelers' 26-21 win over the Broncos)
Rookie guard Kevin Dotson grew up a die-hard Steelers fan and made his first career start at right guard against the Broncos today. All in all, it was a solid day for the fourth-round pick out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as you didn't hear his name called much, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman. In addition, the offensive line allowed just one sack and three quarterback hits and paved the way for James Conner to rush for 106 yards.
“I had confidence coming in that they would,” Roethlisberger said when speaking about Kevin Dotson and Chuks Okorafor. “Those guys put the time, the effort, in. Obviously we knew that Chuks is a guy that was battling with Banner for the chance to start this year, so we know what he's capable of doing. He's played in the past for us. And as for (Kevin) Dotson, we were excited for him. I mean, the young man grew up a Steelers fan.”
Dotson was such a big Steelers fan while growing up in Louisiana that he had a Steelers man cave where he would watch the games with his dad. The franchise quarterback knew about Dotson's dad being a loyal Steelers fan and gave Dotson the game ball to give to his dad.
“He told me his dad watches [the game] in his man cave upstairs,” Roethlisberger said. “I was just so happy that he got out there and got the play. I gave the ball to him afterward and told him to give it to his old man. I'm just really thankful for him and all those guys and the whole line all together.”
Mike Tomlin said he has to watch the film to get a better evaluation of the offensive line play but liked what he saw from Dotson and Okorafor.
"I'll wait to look at the tape in terms of evaluating it," Tomlin said. "I just appreciate the effort and attitudes, particularly of the young guys. Kevin Dotson starting his first game and missed time in team development. You have to tip your cap at him for his efforts. Chuks, we know what he is capable of, so we are not surprised by his performance. It was enough to win. We will comb through it in the a.m. and get critical."