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: Senquez Golson
Experience: 2 Years
This should be a fun one.
The Steelers had high aspirations for Senquez Golson when they used their second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to select the underclassman cornerback out of Ole Miss. Yet after spending his rookie season entirely on injured reserve, the only second-year leap he has managed to muster was to spend some time on the 53-man roster on the inactive list.
Golson dealt with a shoulder problem during his rookie season, ultimately having surgery to repair a torn labrum that the following spring he hinted was a chronic issue dating back to college. While he did get a good amount of practice in during the spring, the second-year cornerback suffered a Lisfranc foot injury in the early stages of training camp.
The coaching and training staff remained optimistic about him, never the less, and chose not to put him on injured reserve at that point or following the conclusion of the preseason, which Golson has yet to participate in through two full NFL seasons.
Golson himself said that he believed he would be able to get himself ready to return by the opposite side of the Steelers’ bye week, following the first nine games of the regular season, but he didn’t even make it half that distance before the team decided to place him on injured reserve, four games into the year.
At the time, reserve cornerback Justin Gilbert was also dealing with an injury, and the Steelers decided that they could no longer afford the luxury of having Golson sit out without even knowing if he could possibly return this season, let alone become a contributor. They used his roster spot to promote another cornerback from the practice squad.
Standing at just under 5’9”, Golson intercepted 10 passes during his final collegiate season, passing up further eligibility to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. The Steelers viewed him as the successor to William Gay in the slot. That is where he worked during the spring when he was healthy, and that is presumably where he will pick up during the 2017 season as the team gives the high-pedigreed ballhawk another opportunity to contribute.