Kevin Dotson has a few words for Pittsburgh Steelers rookies

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2020 was a weird year. There was no rookie minicamp, no organized team activities (OTAs). Everything was virtual, which, among other things, made it difficult for the newbies to get to know the veterans.

Steelers guard Kevin Dotson was part of the 2020 rookie class that was indoctrinated differently than any other class in the history of the NFL.

While it’s the first year for Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green and the rest of the class, it ultimately doesn’t matter.

“Once you’ve made it into the league, you’re not a rookie anymore,” Dotson told the Steelers media after OTAs on Wednesday. “People are going to hold you to high expectations, even in practice. People don’t have any sympathy for ‘oh, this is his first year.’ No, it’s if you get plugged in, you need to be able to compete. We can’t slow up for anybody.”

Dotson knows well what he speaks. Although backups prepare as if they’re starting, he was thrust into the role a lot sooner than expected.

Starter David DeCastro missed three full games and parts of others with knee and abdominal injuries, including Week 1. Dotson had never played a snap in the NFL and already his name was being called.

But Dotson said he’s not concerned about Pittsburgh’s 2021 rookie class not being ready if their names are called. He’s confident they’ll be ready.

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