Rookie Recap: Kendrick Green

The center position is one that is rich in tradition for the Steelers, one that landed multiple players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And for Kendrick Green, he knew early on the best way to learn what it means to play center for the black in gold.

In advance of his first training camp, Green did exactly what he should have, he watched film of Maurkice Pouncey, who retired following the 2020 season after an amazing 11-year career.

"When I got here in the summer, just trying to learn the offense. There was a bunch of Maurkice Pouncey tape up there," said Green. "I like the way he plays. He plays hard. He tries to play physical and put his hands on guys. That's something I've been trying to work on myself."

Green, who like Pouncey wears No. 53, was the team's third round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the 87th pick overall.

Take a look at photographs of Steelers C Kendrick Green from the 2021 season

Green played at the University of Illinois, starting all eight games in 2020, and finishing out his college career with 33 straight starts.

He was a USA Today second team All-America selection, an Associated Press All-Big Ten first team selection and a consensus All-Big Ten first team selection.

Green played both center and guard in his college career, starting three games at center in 2020, but stepped in right away for Pouncey as the team's starting center.

He started the first 15 games of the season, before not playing in the final two games of the regular season and the Wild Card Round game, even though he was active.

It was a challenging task and one that had Green facing some ups and downs throughout the season. But they were challenges he attacked head on, playing with intensity and fight.

"I play with a mean streak," said Green. "I play hard. I play physical. I've played football that way my whole life. It's just who I am. Growing up, the neighborhood I am from. I am from a neighborhood called the East Bluff in Peoria, Illinois. It's kind of a rough place to live. Just growing up with that aggressive vibe is what I needed."