The Steelers Extra Second Round Pick, Senquez Golson, is Ready

Senquez Golson was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft to help bolster the Steelers secondary. He was looked at as a player that could step in right away and help in the slot and in the nickle defense. Then, a shoulder injury derailed his rookie season before it ever really starter. When year two rolled around, Golson again lost his season, this time to a foot injury.

“This,’’ Golson told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “is my third ‘first’ year.”

Golson is one of the lucky ones, though, despite missing his first two seasons with injury he still has a roster spot and he is still competing for a job in Pittsburgh. It is said all of the time that the NFL is a business and that is the truth. Talking with a friend the other day he told me about a story of a friend of his that was in training camp with an NFL team. On his first day of off-season activities the coach said “We aren’t your family. Your family won’t cut you and never look back, but we will if you don’t show us what we are looking for.” That is the reality of pro sports.

Every team is looking to get better at all times. Only the true star players are really safe at any given time. And sometimes even those players aren’t safe due to their large cap numbers and salaries. Just look at what Kevin Colbert, the Steelers GM, said regarding Golson earlier this year:

“Through no fault of his own, he has been injured two years in a row,’’ Colbert said. “And in all honesty, I worry about a defensive back coming off of a foot injury because you don’t know what he’s going to be like and we won’t know until we get into the OTAs and mini-camps, and things of that nature.”

Basically, Colbert was saying that Golson will be given a chance to show what he can do, but they aren’t relying on him or expecting anything from him. That means anything Golson can do will be an addition to the team, but again the NFL is a business first. If Golson doesn’t show anything during this training camp, or if the injury bug hits again it could be the end.

Image result for senquez golsonAn Extra Second Round Pick with “Experience”

Now, lets look at this situation in a positive light and hope Golson comes into camp healthy and stays that way. He still has second-round talent. He is only 23 years old (he will turn 24 on July 7th) and he feels as though his previous injuries have not changed him as a player.

Senquez Golson also has one advantage over the incoming players and rookies in the secondary. Although he hasn’t gotten the on-field experience in his first two years, he has been in the meeting room with the other defensive backs. He has had two full years of learning the playbook and those two things give him a lot of experience. Even if it isn’t on-field experience.

“At this point, the only thing I’m missing is in-game experience,” he said. “I pretty much have the basics down. I don’t feel any hitch, no falloff, nothing like that.”

A New Battle

Battling through injuries is a new battle for Senquez Golson. To make it to the NFL a player has to be the best player in High School and one of, if not the best, player at their respective college. Most of these players have also avoided major injuries that could have derailed their path to the NFL at any time. Now, imagine being injury free, making it to the NFL, and then the injuries you have avoided your whole life finally show up. That has been reality for Golson.

“Never in my life — ever — never missed a season, never missed time, never had an injury, never had surgery,” he said. “This is all new to me, but it’s kind of gotten familiar.”

Hopefully for Senquez Golson, and the Steelers who could use the depth in the secondary, this is the beginning and end of injury problems for Golson. If he can stay healthy he could be another solid addition to the Steelers secondary. The team added rookies Artie Burns and Sean Davis a season ago. Now, they have Cameron Sutton who is already looking like he could be a player during OTAs. Adding a healthy Golson to the mix would just be the icing on top.

Golson will have that chance and he is ready.

I’m still the same guy they drafted,” Golson said.

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