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: Eli Rogers
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 2 Years
Although he was technically in his second season, everybody who follows the site knows that 2016 was really the first year in the league for Eli Rogers after he spent all of 2015 on injured reserve, not even making it healthy into a preseason game.
The former undrafted free agent managed to really attract the attention of his coaches and teammates early on, and that helped him keep his foot in the door, as the Steelers wanted to see what he would look like in a game, choosing to carry him all season on the injured reserve list rather than working out an injury settlement like they do with so many other players.
That alone should have said a lot about what they were expecting out of him, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when he opened up the year as the team’s starting slot receiver and more or less kept that job for the entire season, excepting the one game in which he was benched for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
And it was an interesting year for the Louisville product, whose productivity seemed to fluctuate dramatically from game to game, and even within games. It seemed particularly prominent in the first half of the season that he would see several targets in one half and then none in the other, whether that would be the first half or the second.
I would have a tendency to chalk that up at least in part to a lack of familiarity and in-game rapport with Ben Roethlisberger, and that should obviously only improve over time. But he was still productive in his first season, catching nearly 50 passes in13 games who just under 600 yards and three touchdowns.
He added another 13 receptions for 112 yards in the postseason, though he also had a key fumble lost in the third quarter of the AFC Championship game. Despite the nuance in his route, he still has some growing to do.
There are still times where Rogers and Roethlisberger have not been on the same page. There are a few balls every now and then that he needs to come up with—one of them in that loss to the Patriots. But I remain quite optimistic about his future potential as a strong slot threat, particularly if he can improve upon his YAC numbers.