2017 Camp Questions: Is It Already Too Late For Senquez Golson To Push For A Roster Spot?


The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.

This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Is it already too late for Senquez Golson to have a solid shot at making the 53-man roster?

The inability of 2015 second-round cornerback Senquez Golson to contribute for the Steelers during the regular season is, in the spirit of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a twice-told tale. He has already missed his first two seasons as a result of his injuries in each of the past two seasons. A hamstring injury this year is making it a very realistic possibility that we hear the same story again—and for the last time.


The Steelers are at a point with Golson at which if he is not going to contribute, then he is not going to make the roster, and he is going to be let go. If not, it will not be his fault, but rather ill fate, and it will be quite unfortunate, but the circumstances do not change the fact of the matter.

But the team has already broken camp and is about to embark on their second preseason game. Golson has not even returned to participate in practice on a limited basis, so it is all but assured that he will not play on Sunday. He has literally never completed a padded practice as a professional, so it would be hard to imagine throwing him into a game.

Even if he returns after the game, the third game will be reserved primarily for the starters, and quite frankly, the Steelers have a lot of young cornerbacks that they are already counting on that they want to see perform. He may not even be able to get on the field for Saturday’s game.

Under a best-case scenario, Golson could be looking at just one preseason game in which he will have the opportunity to state his case for a spot on the 53-man roster, but barring injuries to those around him, it’s possible that that may not be enough due to the depth this year. At the very best, his time is rapidly running out—but has it effectively already done so?

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • FATCAT716

    As much as I was rooting for him it is hard to imagine him being on this team when the season starts. There is 0% chance of him making this club from the tube. He would have to be Rod Woodson or better when he gets his next opportunity which may never come

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, yes it is too late. Three training camps and a total of, what, five days of participation? Kevin Colbert made it clear earlier in the off season when he eluded to Golson having to have a very productive camp in order to remain in their plans. If his hammy is as bad as reported, he’ll never put on his uniform again.

  • Bruce

    I can’t see how he makes it at this point, but what really bothers me is the player I wanted the Steelers to draft in that spot is now starting for the Packers (Quintin Rollins).

  • LgFriess

    That’s what I was thinking. He better be something very special to make the team. I’d rather see Allen make it on potential then take a chance on Golson getting injured over and over.

  • Jaybird

    I don’t get why we are even debating whether Golson has a chance to make the roster- he’s still not even practicing!!!!!
    He has zero chance of making this team . It’s unfortunate, but it’s also reality. For three years now the guy has not practiced in pads. There’s no way he’s getting healthy, then getting enough reps to impress the coaching staff and jumping ahead of the guys who have been here- Hilton and Sensbaugh along with young Cam Sutton. If there is a bright side for Golson , it’s that he will have made over TWO million dollars in bonus and salary.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    If he doesn’t play the 3rd game I can’t see him making the team. I just want to see him play, but right now you gotta be realistic.

  • steelburg

    I’m right there with you my stance from the beginning was that he had to play in at least 2 games 1 game just won’t cut it IMO.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Yup.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Solemn music plays…

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    Alex Kozora has stopped listing his injury in his daily camp diary and replaced it with amusing suggestions (“finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop”). The fact that we are now making light of his injury situation tells you all you need to know. He’s done.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Allen won’t be on 53 either. Hilton will get cb 6.

  • Mc_Muffin

    He is indeed not going to make the 53.

    But what I don’t understand is why nobody is considering putting him on the practice squad. A hammy ain’t gonna end the season for him and that way they can at least see what they got, when he comes back. He clearly has some talent (else they wouldn’t have drafted him in the 2nd) and you only lose one practice squad spot.

    Can somebody explain to me where I went wrong in my thinking, because to me it’s kinda a low risk high reward situation.

  • The Chin

    Yes

  • WARisHELL

    I’ve been pretty outspoken and optimistic about Golson even after his hammy injury. But, with the emergence of Hilton I just can’t see him making the team. He’s likely gonna miss at least another week of practice. Is two weeks enough time to show he’s a better player than Hilton? Or can they even trust he can stay healthy after only two weeks of practice/preseason? I’m afraid it’s time to move on. And losing a 2nd round pick like that hurts.

  • RickM

    Yes. It’s really not a matter of making the 53 anymore. It’s can he get healthy, practice and play some decent pre-season snaps. That’s the only chance he has of making the PS and it’s a longshot at best.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I’m with you on the practice squad spot.

  • hdogg48

    Senquez Golson gives new meaning to the term “damaged goods”.

  • Rocksolid20

    That ship has sailed !

  • Zhan 使美国再次伟大

    You’re right, I remember that.

    So after passing on Rollins, they go for Burns. Nothing wrong with Artie, but it would have been nice using that first round pick on a TE or S.

    Missing on high picks always comes back to haunt you…

  • Jaybird

    After three years , why would we put him on the PS? He has not played at all , we don’t know if he could even play . There is nothing to judge him by, except his college tape from 2014. That’s a long time ago. And it’s not like he is even healthy, he may be out a few more weeks for all we know. Why waste a spot on the PS for a guy who has NEVER completed a practice in pads? What if Golson took a spot on the PS from a guy like say-Allen – who at least showed potential and improvement. I think at some point you have to just cut your losses.

  • Mc_Muffin

    Well I get all your arguments. Yet still – how many players that have been on our practice squad have ever improved so much, that they actually served as a decent backup for more then just a game or two? I mean you got 10 PS spots. There got to be one player on our current PS squad prediction, where we can they for sure he ain’t ever gonna be a NFL caliber player.

    And if it turns out, that Golson is nowhere near his former level, then you can cut him loose in October / November, but at least then you know it’s not just his health that’s the problem.

  • Greg Payne

    I wish him well. I can only imagine what 3 years of the same step-on-the-field-get-hurt story must do to an athlete’s mind. I would guess this guy has a huge hurdle to get over even after he gets through the physical recovery.

  • Jaybird

    Alejandro Villanueva was on the PS , and is now one of the better LEFT tackles in the league. James Harrison spent two years on and off the PS and went on to be a defensive player of the year. That’s just two players off the top of my head. Every spot is important , even on the PS. I wouldn’t waste one on Golson.

  • DoctorNoah

    Agreed. Wish him well in his life’s work

  • Darth Blount 47

    Senquez who?

  • francesco

    Can he be placed on PUP?

  • Boots

    No, he can’t have practiced at all to be PUP eligible.

  • Boots

    He was done the second he got on that cart three weeks ago. It’s been terribly unfortunate and pretty freaky how it’s transpired, but it is what it is at this point.

  • Nolrog

    >>> The inability of 2015 second-round cornerback Senquez Golson to contribute for the Steelers during the regular season is, in the spirit of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a twice-told tale.

    Wouldn’t it be a thrice-told tale now?

    I can’t see him being any kind of contributor and I don’t see the Steelers keeping him on IR. It’s three years now. Football skills diminish if they are not continually worked on. Even if he was healthy, I am not sure what he could contribute.

  • Big White

    Ummmmm. Yeah!

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I just don’t think the guy can even get on the field. At the same time, if he ever could, he would have no time to sharpen his game at all. The likely best case scenario for Golson, is he can play in the fourth preseason game as a tryout for another team.

  • Ace

    Oh Markus Golden. What could have been…

  • FATCAT716

    Bro I will answer that for you. This team is loaded with ex-practice squad players. The may not be stars but they help us win
    Eli Rodgers
    Cobi Hamilton
    BJ finney
    X man
    Maxey
    Ayers

  • Robert E Lil

    I’m just amazed there are still so many fans talking about him.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Senquez probably should’ve took his opportunity with the Minor League Baseball doesn’t seem durable enough for the NFL …#IJS

  • Big Joe

    The answer is: yes. The bigger question is whether or not they place him on IR for a 3rd time or just cut their losses.

  • George Kroger

    He was a 2nd round pick that had quite a bit of hype (IMO). The fact that we have never seen him practice, let alone play in a game, means we’re still wondering. Every rookie is going to be the next HOFer to fans. Even though this is his 3rd year, he’s still just like a rookie we’re waiting to explode onto the stage.

    At least that’s my point of view.

    Mind boggling that he’s never practiced in pads. Sure sounds like his off-season condition program had to be pretty nonexistent. Can’t believe he’s just that unlucky. Conditioning had to play a part in these injuries. Would love to hear opinions on this.

  • walter

    I wonder if he is spending his time now at the night club helping with security? Just wondering….

  • RickM

    IMO, it’s 100 percent he does not go on IR again. Not a chance.

  • walter

    McClendon

  • walter

    i was thinking PUP and then PS but someone said he is not eligible for PUP

  • SilverSteel

    Alex thinks we keep 7 because the lack of safeties might allow it. I hope he’s right and we keep Allen and Hilton. Can’t have enough good CBs

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I’m putting this out there. I really want him to make the team! I really loved his play in college and we drafted him in the second for a reason. With that being said I love our depth at cb to the point where I’d be ok if he didn’t make it. I don’t think he’d make to the practice squad, but I would make him the highest paid practice squad player if it comes to that.

  • It’s crazy to think the poor guy has been in the league three years and has yet to complete a single full-pad practice. Bummer!!!!

  • Robert E Lil

    My opinion is that draft status is a lot like carrying an Ivy League college degree – that is to say it means so very little to people who are actually successful and do the hard work.
    Golsen has never done the hard work, he’s never gone through practice let alone one single pre season play. So I don’t get the daily (and truly it is daily) talk about him. There’s zero indication the 5ft something draft pick can play even if he were healthy. I’ll choose to follow the guys working

  • Jaybird

    Yeah that’s my point, a lot of PS guys make serious contributions all the time. And some do become stars like , AV and Harrison. That’s why I wouldn’t waste a spot on Golson . We don’t even know when he will be healthy. And you can add Dangerfield to your list also.

  • MP

    He is a second round pick albeit unproven. Of course he makes the PS.

  • Conserv_58

    I’m amazed that you find it amazing that fans are still talking about him. Of course we are. He’s still a part of the team until further notice.

  • Shane Mitchell

    All he has to do is recover before the season starts and he has the team made, fans that think players like Hilton and Sutton are locks must have short memories, we cut Doran Grant and in 2015 they cut Kevin Fogg and BW Webb at the final cutdown and picked up some guy named Ross Cockrell and put him on the active roster without even seeing him practice with the team at all, 1 week before the season started, IIRC Cockrell started a couple weeks later. it doesnt take weeks and weeks to evaluate players, if it takes that long the player is extremely raw or not very talented physically.

    Golson was a second round pick his competition isnt Mike Hilton, drafting a guy that high they are thinking starter they arent looking at Golson as a long term backup or as the 6th CB on the roster, what they are looking for is someone that can play this season and not just in the slot but outside and possibly push Cockrell for playing time as a starter. I dont see anyone else on the roster that can do that this year.

    Mike Hilton- he is not only small but a bit slow, not sure he has any upside beyond being a backup slot CB only in the NFL. He runs a 4.55-4.6 forty, he might look good in 7 shots but when you put him out in space with 80 yards to defend thats where he has to show he can cover bigger faster players. Those questions still remain in my mind. When we heard the coaches compare him to former players they werent comparing him to starters they were comparing him to backup CBs. I dont think he has upside beyond backup in the NFL.

    Coty Sensabaugh- a decent backup, dont see him as a player that they would want starting, another stop gap CB

    Brian Allen- extremely raw, very little reason to keep him on the active roster this season, practice squad was made for players like him to develop.

    Cam Sutton- ??? a mid round level CB prospect that hasnt been able to practice, the team knows less about him than they do about Golson at this point, why in the world would a 4th round level talent that hasnt practiced at all be a lock to make the active roster right now? They cut Doran Grant a 4th round CB who physically was a better prospect than Sutton, people act like Sutton is a cant miss top CB talent, he was a mid round prospect for a reason, not sure he has the physical talent to play outside against NFL receivers and inside at slot doesnt seem like a place you would want to put a player that misses about 25% of his tackle attempts.

    Golson’s upside is potential starter not years from now but by the end of this season, if they cut him what are you getting in his place on the active roster? Not much IMO.

  • walter

    Yea he was drafted as damaged goods. If we had known he had a bum shoulder, I wonder if we would have drafted him so high.

  • blue

    Best thing to do for Golson to do is come back when he is 100% healthy. Put him on IR and he can come back later in the season, when injuries hit CB.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Are we talking about the coach that started Jarvis Jones at OLB for 4 years?

  • Michael Mosgrove

    what position takes a hit then is the question?

  • Desmond Winters

    I’m starting to think he should just retire already.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Turning down a million dollar contract at 18 years old to play college football says a lot about his heart and confidence as a football player, one of the reasons we shouldnt write him off just yet. He was never injured in college, I dont know what getting injured in the NFL has to do with anything in terms of durability, its not like he got hurt because of contact playing against NFL players or something.

  • Jaybird

    I don’t know about second rounders being starters automatically. Sweed and Mike Adams were two guys that come to mind. Worlids didn’t start right away either.
    But anyway, back to Golson- he may not even be back for several more weeks and miss all of camp again. I just can’t see giving him a spot on the PS. Not playing football for three years is just too much.

  • Lambert58

    Goodbye and Good luck!

  • SilverSteel

    I say SJohnson/DHB/Hamilton all go. Also would like to keep Coates and Hunter. Not one or the other. Ayers to the PS.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If they keep 7 WR or CB, the only place I can really see them chipping away from is ILB, carrying only 4. In my opinion, everything else is pretty set, but it’s possible that they could go with 5 DL, since the sixth is usually inactive anyway and there’s a fair chance Maxey can be retained on the practice squad.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Good list (and there are others), but Rogers wasn’t one. He was IR his rookie year, not the practice squad.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Mike Adams started 6 games as a rookie and they kept him for 4 seasons his entire rookie contract.

    Sweed, I will give you that one, not a good comparison to Golson, Golson actually wants to play football and isnt crazy as far as i know.

    Worilds? We had Harrison and Woodley as the starting OLBs when Worilds was a rookie, year 2 he ended up starting 7 games.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Normally I would agree with you, but I think Hilton is stealing his job at this point.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It will be provided he doesn’t make it back.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Aren’t you the one always complaining about the Steelers not using enough high draft picks on the secondary?

  • Shane Mitchell

    I dont see the two players competing for the same job on the roster, Hilton to me is a backup slot CB only with not much upside.
    Hilton would be a backup at 1 position only slot corner, would he be 2nd string slot corner this season on the active roster? I have my doubts about that right now. I dont see a good reason to put him on the active roster if he only backs up one CB position and possibly not even the primary backup there.

  • Jaybird

    I’ll bet you as soon as he’s healthy, if he ever gets healthy, the Steelers cut him.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Given what Hilton did on special teams, I would expect him to be active. He recorded three tackles, induced a fair catch, and recorded a fumble recovery on a punt on which he split vice jammers and was the first coverage player down the field. He also would seem to be the primary backup behind Gay in the slot based on how things have gone this offseason. When Gay has rested, Hilton has gotten his reps.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I would say either oline or wr but I would also do both just to keep another defensive player

  • Forest Schneiter

    Should still be another year on his rookie deal. I could see the Steelers giving him one last chance, but I think the likelihood is if he hasn’t played at all in preseason, they end up cutting him.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Hilton has got the 2nd team slot CB reps but it is also because other CBs that can also play the slot are getting reps at second team CB outside and injuries Lets say they cut Golson and Will Gay is injured is Mike Hilton really the next man up at slot CB to start the regular season? I know he ran second team first couple weeks of training camp, to me that doesnt mean too much at this point, we have seen many players that were running seemingly ahead of other players by teams, get cut. I cant even remember the linebackers name right now but they had someone running second team OLB ahead of Chickillo during camp last year for some reason and he didnt make it through the first cut.

    I expect Mike Hilton to look good playing the run and blitzing and special teams because he is an undersized safety, he played as a rover SS most of his college career, he is used to playing around the line of scrimmage and playing the run. I question his cover skills and his speed to play CB in the NFL, why didnt he play much at CB in college?

    If he is truly good in coverage I would love him, right now I still have doubts about that part of his game. In terms of pure cover skills I would be really surprised if he is close to Golson, Sutton or Sensabaugh. I think all three have more versatility as a CB in terms of where you could play them and coverage schemes you could run.

    I am not sold on Mike Hilton just yet as an NFL CB, as a good special teams player yeah I can see it. Are we looking for a player with more upside as a CB or someone that can excel on special teams to round out the roster thats the question.

  • Shane Mitchell

    And if that happens I will bet you any amount he gets picked up by someone and starts games in the NFL at CB, and my best guess for a team that would pick him up right away, the Ravens.

  • Shane Mitchell

    I think that scenario with the Dline is very plausible given the versatility and depth they now have with the Dline.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If he gets to practice after this game and can show us something he has a small chance but I feel he has to miss no more practices or games.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Realistically, we’re probably talking about, best-case scenario, cornerback number five. So yeah, special teams is going to be critical. I just can’t see Golson playing into the starting lineup. I doubt he even plays in the third game, and frankly, he shouldn’t be able to earn playing time beating up on backups in a fourth game.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It is, and even more so the more I think about it, even though I’m not sure I care for it. Despite the fact that Maxey would be easier to keep on the practice squad, I’d still like to see him on the roster even though he won’t dress barring injuries.

  • Shane Mitchell

    I personally dont think he needs to impress in a preseason game, i think he just needs to impress in practice and show he is recovered from the more serious injury the Lis Franc. I know what Lake said about making the team on special teams, i just dont buy into it, If he makes the team it will be because of his cover skills, not special teams play. It helps but I think Mike Tomlin will just be looking for one thing, is he still the player he thought he was when he drafted him at the 52nd pick.

    I am thinking long term by the end of the season what do you have with each player, week 16 entering the playoffs? I dont see a CB with more upside on the roster right now, if he proves he is healthy.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I understand what you’re saying, but I just don’t feel as though that is how the Steelers are going to be approaching his situation. Realistically, we’ve never dealt with this exact scenario before. Even drawing comparisons to Spence, he was on the field consistently during training camp that third season and was even starting preseason games because either Shazier or Timmons, I don’t remember who, were injured. He earned his roster spot, while Golson hasn’t done anything. My read on the team is that their comments on what Golson needs to do to make the team are not lip service, nor is their genuine appraisal of Hilton. Lake already alluded to him seeing dime work.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Yeah, I have a tendency to write off most of what I hear from Colbert and position coaches in the preseason, but if Mike Tomlin himself says something I listen, and I haven’t heard him say anything just yet. Not sure if Golson was Tomlin’s guy in the draft process but I have a feeling if he was, he makes this team if he proves he is healthy.

  • Harvester of Sorrow

    The problem is Golson has more natural talent than all but Artie Burns. So saving 500K seems trivial. It’s an indictment on Tomlin that they’ve failed so miserably to draft and develop any good cornerbacks during his tenure. As for Golson, you can’t convince me that a 3rd string TE should be kept over him. That would be a stupid move reminiscent of the Urbik release

  • Harvester of Sorrow

    we have a horrible secondary what are you talking about?

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Mike Mitchell and Sutton haven’t played. Chill.