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A New Player Will Wear the Green Dot for the Steelers in 2022

Steelers Wire / USA Today Sports

A New Player Will Wear the Green Dot for the Steelers in 2022

As OTA’s roll into training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have an important choice to make on the defensive side of the ball. Who will wear the all important green dot. For those that don’t know, the green dot is the single helmet worn by one defensive player that is equipped with a transmitter. That player gets the defensive formation from the sidelines and relays the play calls to the rest of the team. 

In the past, the green dot has been worn by the likes of James Farrior, Larry Foote, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and most recent, Joe Schobert. With Schobert no longer with the team, there is an opening for the green dot helmet. The question is, who will wear it?

Traditionally, the green dot is worn by an inside linebacker due to their proximity in the middle of the defense. That position is best situated on the field to relay the play calls up to the defensive line, and back to the players in the secondary. The Steelers are a very traditional team, so it may be safe to assume that the dot won’t go to outside linebacker TJ Watt, defensive tackle Cam Hayward, or safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Although there is precedent to giving the green dot to a safety with Eric Weddle wearing it for the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl.


Who Will Wear the Green Dot in 2022?


Devin Bush?

Steelers Devin Bush

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, Devin Bush (#55) participates in the organized team activities (OTA’s), Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. | Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

Odds our that the Steelers will opt to put the green dot on one of their two inside linebackers. We’ll start with the interesting case of Devin Bush, who’s fifth-year option was notably not picked up by the team this off-season, leaving 2022 as his last year under his rookie contract. When the Steelers traded up to draft Bush with the No. 10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, they were doing so with the intent that they had found their next X-factor. Their successor to Ryan Shazier, who was in himself a successor to James Farrior — and a reliable option to wear the green dot.

After a promising rookie season which put him in the defensive rookie of the year conversation, Bush missed most of 2020 with an ACL injury. His 2021 season saw significant regression, to the point he was benched on more than one occasion. Bush, who was once in the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation, has now found himself in the “draft bust” conversation. The questions surrounding Bush in 2022 include the likes of “can he play at a high level?” And if so, “can he continue that level of play while being entrusted with the communication that comes with the green dot?”


Myles Jack?

Steelers Myles Jack

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, Myles Jack (#51) participates in the organized team activities (OTA’s), Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. | Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

The next candidate for the green dot is Myles Jack. The Steelers signed the former Jacksonville Jaguars team captain to a two-year, $16 million dollar contract this off-season. Jack wore the green dot for a time in 2021 before having it taken away from him. With former Jaguars coach Urban Myer saying at the time:

“You know, in the three different [alignments] — base, nickel, dime. We just did some research, he plays best when he doesn’t have to make the call.”

Now it’s entirely possible that the Jags wanted to change it up with the move coming after their 20th straight loss. But it’s interesting that Meyer said that about Jack that he ‘plays better when he doesn’t have to make the call.’ Jack was, in fact, one of the bright spots on the Jacksonville defense, and one of the more sought after players at his position when free agency began.


Minkah Fitzpatrick?

Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick

Photo via Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

As I stated before, traditionally the green dot is worn by a linebacker, and the Steelers are a traditional team. But 2022 has already been a very nontraditional year for the Steelers, so why not consider a safety for the green dot? Minkah Fitzpatrick is poised to become perhaps the highest paid safety in the league when he gets his impending new deal from the Steelers. Certainly, the Steelers are hoping that team leadership comes along with it.

TJ Watt?

Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 08: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during warm up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on November 08, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Although typically an edge rusher isn’t in a great position to call out the defensive plays, especially in a no huddle situation, TJ Watt has in fact worn the green dot for the Steelers. In 2019, when the Steelers saw some rotation along the ILB position, Watt wore the green dot for a few games. Telling reporters nonchalantly:

“It’s basically a walkie-talkie…I have been playing with walkie-talkies since I was a kid.”


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