The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2016 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Never the less, what must be done must be done, and we are now at the time of the year where we close the book on one season and look ahead to the next.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2016 season.
Player: Landry Jones
Experience: 4 Years
We were able to wrap up our review of all of the Steelers’ starting players from offense, defense, and special teams yesterday, but there are still plenty of exit meetings left to go as we begin to hit the backups players, and today we start with the backup to the quarterback position, the beloved Landry Jones.
Jones got the opportunity to start two games for the Steelers during the 2016 season, the first coming due to a knee injury suffered by starter Ben Roethlisberger. While he did have the luxury of starting at home, it proved to come against the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots and their underrated defense, which led the league in scoring.
Jones completed 29 of 47 passes in that game, nearly 62 percent, but he only got 281 yards out of it, or just six yards per pass attempt. He did throw one touchdown pass, but he also tossed an interception in the red zone, which proved to be a key moment in the game, as the team had a chance to steal some momentum after a turnover.
The former fourth-round pick’s second start came in the final game of the regular season, prior to which the Steelers had secured the third seed in the playoffs and which allowed them to rest many of their key starters, including their center, running back, and top wide receiver.
It should not be understated that Jones was mostly working with bit parts in that game, including a couple of wide receivers who started the season on the practice squad, though it also should not be forgotten that the game was against a 1-15 Browns team.
But he did show a fair bit of poise in that game after the offense as a whole was struggling early on, and the running game was not carrying the load. Following a big-time gaffe on an interception that should have been returned for a touchdown only to be saved by a fumble for a touchback, Jones led a comeback and ultimately made the game-winning plays in overtime.
He probably showed the Steelers enough to think that he can still be their backup in 2017, but, given that he is going to be a free agent, it is going to have to come at a price that they can stomach. Otherwise they will turn to another option.