Kevin Dotson's Dad 'Most Excited' He's Heard Him When Told About Receiving Game Ball

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers rookie Kevin Dotson started his first NFL game against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, but his performance on the field wasn't the hottest topic of his media Zoom call Monday morning. 

Dotson, a fourth-round pick, made it known that he and his father, Kelcy, were life-long Steelers fans. 

During the draft, Dotson strutted through his house with his Steelers gear on, posed for a picture in he and his father's Steelers-themed man cave, and spoke on how, like much of Steelers Nation, he was raised on Pittsburgh football. 

After his first start, Sunday against the Broncos, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gifted Dotson the game ball. 

"He told me his dad watches it in his man cave upstairs," Roethlisberger said after the game. "I was just so happy that he got out there and got the play. I gave the ball to him afterwards and told him to give it to his old man."

Dotson's conversation with Roethlisberger was a special moment for the rookie. The gift for his father is something he was thrilled to be able to send back home. 

"It was a really cool experience, being able to get that ball," Dotson said. "I've been talking to Ben [Roethlisberger] and telling him about my father. It was really cool to get that gift and be able to send that to my dad who I know is going to appreciate it and know he's going to hold on to it forever."

And Kelcy Dotson was even more thankful.

"He called me as soon as the game was over. I got to talk to him as soon as it happened," Dotson said. "[He was] the most excited I've ever heard him before."

Dotson also paid tribute to his late mother, Denise, and college coach, D.J. Looney. The guard wrote his late loved ones' names on his wrist tape during the game and plans to continue representing them throughout the season. 

"It gives me confidence. It gives me a drive to know that those two are watching me and that I have something to prove to them, I feel," Dotson said. "I'm going to keep writing their names on my stuff, so I can have this type of confidence, feeling like somebody's watching over me."

Overall, Dotson's first NFL start had little blemishes. He didn't allow a sack or a pressure on Roethlisberger, and as a group, the offensive line helped running back James Conner rush for 106 yards.

"If you would ask me this before the season started, I'd say I'd imagine the game going crazy and, 'it's going to be really hard to block these people,'" Dotson said about his first NFL start. "But I've been taking practice reps with [Stephon] Tuitt, Cam [Heyward] and T.J. [Watt] all during [training camp]. So getting into that game, I have confidence in going against pretty much anybody defensive line wise."

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

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