THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Offensive linemanKevin Dotson walked out onto the practice field beneath the clear blue Southern California sky to practice with his new Rams teammates for the first time.
After three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dotson is now in Los Angeles with a fresh start he's eager to take advantage of.
"It's a new opportunity," Dotson told theRams.com after Wednesday's practice. "I like the places I've been now. California's a nice state to be in weather-wise, a lot of stuff to do. I like the team, I like my o-line group, so I feel like it's all going to come together."
It was seemingly only a question of when, not if, Dotson would be L.A.-bound.
Rams general manager Les Snead on Wednesday said the team had been trying to trade for Dotson throughout the preseason, but the Steelers wanted to hold onto Dotson to make sure they got through the preseason healthy and didn't end up needing him.
The Rams had also identified the Steelers early on as a potential team to reach out to in order to acquire offensive line depth, given the additions the Steelers made to their offensive line through free agency and the draft this offseason.
"And then obviously you turn on the tape, you play the Pittsburgh (Steelers), they're a fun team to watch," Snead said. "Their linemen play with an element of toughness, they like to run the ball, they like to go north and south. He's a bigger player that helps in anchoring, especially in the pocket."
That assessment reflected in Dotson's self-evaluation and also what other external evaluators saw in him.
"I feel like my strength is in run-blocking," Dotson said. "I feel like I'm pretty good in pass (blocking) also. And I'm a real team player when it comes to it. Everybody on the Steelers, they'll vouch for me knowing that I'm a good guy, so I just try to bring that energy here too."
Although Dotson was a 17-game starter at left guard for the Steelers last season, he's not limited to that position. Rams head coach Sean McVay on Tuesday indicated Dotson could also play right guard.
"I've always loved his game," McVay said. "I think his toughness, his ability to be productive in both phases, both the run and the pass, his size, some of the ways that they played in Pittsburgh was something that made it a fun evaluation for us. He can play both the left and the right side. I thought he did a good job being able to play on the right side a little bit this preseason and he's got a bunch of experience."
Wednesday was Dotson's first practice with his new team; thus, the initial vision for him for the time being is getting him acclimated. At a minimum, though, he'll be able to provide value depth that Los Angeles didn't have in wake of attrition due to injuries last season.
Dotson, meanwhile, is ready to use this new opportunity to prove himself.
"I know what I'm capable of," Dotson said. "I know the Steelers knew what I was capable of, but it's a business. You got to do what you have to do be great. They did what they had to do, I've got to take full advantage of the opportunity and see what I can do when it comes to next year. If I can show that I'm the guy, either I'll be here, or or I'll be – whatever happens, I'm just waiting for it."