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: Zach Mettenberger
Experience: 3 Years
The 2016 season was not exactly the most active of Zach Mettenberger’s career, considering that he spent a good percentage of the time during his first two seasons in the league with the Titans serving as a starter.
Mettenberger, a former sixth-round draft pick, never even saw the field for the Steelers in 2016, and was almost always a game-day inactive as the third quarterback. He did start 10 games through his first two seasons, all of them in losing efforts, completing about 60 percent of his passes at 6.8 yards per attempt with 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
The Steelers claimed the former LSU product off waivers after the Titans released him in the final wave of roster cuts, which means that he didn’t even get an opportunity to work with the team at all during the preseason or in training camp, let alone during the spring, so it wouldn’t exactly be a surprise that he never got on the field.
Of course, backups at the quarterback position don’t get on the field unless there are injuries. It is unclear what the team might have done had Landry Jones gotten injured, however—if they would have started him or if they would have tried to sign a veteran off the street.
Reports from multiple beat writers relayed less than favorable accounts of the three-year veteran’s performances with the team during mid-week practice sessions, though that is not too different from what we heard of Jones during his first two seasons.
The reason that the Steelers claimed Mettenberger off waivers is not necessarily because they had a particularly high opinion of him or anything like that—at least not on record—but because they had injury issues at the quarterback position and they needed somebody to be the third guy after Bruce Gradkowski went down and took himself out of the running.
The biggest thing working for him in his favor right now is that he is still under contract for one more season. He will have the offseason to see if the coaching staff can develop him at all, but right now, I don’t exactly envision for him a path toward being a long-term backup solution for the Steelers.