(Photo via Karl Roser of Steelers.com)
Steelers.com this morning posted a bunch of photos of players reporting to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for training camp, and the best entrance had to be Kevin Dotson rocking a Jerome Bettis Super Bowl XL jersey when he arrived.
While it wasn't as glamorous as Antonio Brown showing up in a helicopter to Saint Vincent College in 2018, it was a great homage to one of the best Steelers of all time.
Even though Dotson grew up in Louisianna, he was always a die-hard Steelers fan because of his dad and his favorite player growing up was Jerome Bettis.
"Somebody like 'The Bus' running eight people over, running over the team’s best player. And Hines Ward, he wasn’t just catching the ball, he was coming across the middle of the field and laying players out,” Dotson said about growing up as a Steelers fan.
Bettis caught wind that Dotson wore his jersey when reporting for training camp, and tweeted at the second-year guard, "Appreciate it brother @kdd7696. Let’s go!!!"
The Steelers finished the 2020 season dead last in rushing yards per game (84.4) and yards per carry (3.6), and one of the ways that they're trying to rebuild their run game is by being more physical up front and having a nasty demeanor, which is something that Dotson welcomes.
"I feel like there is a little more intensity," Dotson said of new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm's aggressive coaching philosophy. "There is more aggression even the way we come off the blocks. Even the verbiage he uses in meetings is way more aggressive. Not just saying 'get the blocks,' but 'run through his face.' He is using more aggressive terms and I feel like that pushes our mindset in that way.
"I want to be more of that aggressive guy. I am kind of aggressive already. I want to be that guy that they just know he is going to do extra; you better make sure you are ready for this game type of guy for the defensive line," Dotson said. "I am trying to improve upon that. I want to be conditioned enough to be able to go the whole game, going 100 percent."
Hopefully, Dotson and the Steelers can make Bettis proud and get back to smashmouth football in 2021.