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: DeAngelo Williams
Position: Running Back
Experience: 11 Years
The Steelers have been quite fortunate over the course of the past two seasons to have had the luxury of DeAngelo Williams as their backup running back to their All-Pro, Le’Veon Bell, who has missed not far from a season’s worth of games over that span.
His role was especially crucial during the 2015 season, of course, during which he was forced to start 10 games. Bell was suspended for the first two games and then missed the final eight games due to a significant knee injury.
The former Pro Bowl running back filled in, rushing for over 900 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 starters, playing a crucial role in keeping the Steelers’ offense together in spite of the fact that they lost one of their most important pieces.
With Bell serving yet another suspension, this time three games, to start the 2016 season, Williams filled in admirably yet again, at least for the first two weeks. He had a very good game in the opener in Washington, rushing for 143 yards on a healthy 5.5-yard average, including two touchdowns. He had nearly 100 yards the following week, though it took 32 carries. He scored on a reception in the game.
His final start for Bell during his suspension was a rough one, though, against the Eagles. On just eight carries, he picked up 21 yards for a 2.6-yard average. Bell returned the following week and Williams’ snaps fell off a cliff.
Then he dealt with a knee injury that saw him sidelined for most of the second half of the season. He had to have a minor procedure on it in order to clear up the issue before he returned for the regular season finale.
Williams was called up once again when Bell went down with a groin injury, but he managed just 34 yards on 14 carries. He did score on the ground and added 51 yards on seven receptions.
Williams will turn 34 before he plays another snap, and he has dealt with notable injury issues in his past three seasons. The team has gotten some good work out of him—though less so this past year—but it may be time to look for another option as the backup.