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 Senquez Golson needs to be special to make Steelers roster

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PostSubject: Senquez Golson needs to be special to make Steelers roster   Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:21 am

Senquez Golson needs to be special to make Steelers roster

JOE RUTTER | Saturday, July 15, 2017

Two years removed from being drafted in the second round, Senquez Golson no longer has to impress defensive backs coach Carnell Lake in order to make the Steelers' roster.

His fate on the 53-man roster apparently will depend on how much he also impresses special teams coach Danny Smith.

Before the Steelers concluded minicamp last month, Lake laid out a challenge for Golson, the former Mississippi corner whose first two seasons were wiped out by injury before he played a meaningful down.

“He's going to have to make this team on two different levels,” Lake said. “He'll have to make it as a special-teams guy, and he'll have to make it and compete for playing time in the secondary. There is a lot on Senquez's plate.”

Golson's tenuous spot on the roster will be a focal point when the Steelers open training camp July 27 at St. Vincent College. It will be Golson's third — and most important — trip to Latrobe and the ensuing preseason games.

“At this point, the only thing I am missing is the in-game experience,” Golson said. “I've pretty much got the basics down.”

After missing his rookie season with a shoulder injury, Golson injured his foot in training camp last year and spent a second consecutive year on injured reserve. Wary of Golson being able to contribute after such a lengthy layoff, the Steelers this spring drafted cornerbacks Cameron Sutton in the third round and Brian Allen in the fifth. They also signed veteran free agent Coty Sensabaugh.

“It's the reality,” Golson said when asked about the Steelers moving on with other players at his position. “Just like any other guy who has missed two years, that's the reality of it. But I gotta do what I gotta do.”

What Golson will have to do is show he can play special teams, likely as a gunner on coverage units.

“Being looked at as a second-round guy, we're going to expect more out of him just because where we got him even though he missed two years,” Lake said. “Being (that he has been) in the system two years, more is expected of him as well.”

With Artie Burns emerging as a starting cornerback in his rookie season and Ross Cockrell occupying the other outside spot, Golson's best chance of playing time appears to be in the slot. During organized team activities and minicamp, Golson got playing time as the nickel cornerback, but not usually with the first team.

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