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: Ryan Harris
Experience: 9 Years
Now that we have covered all the reserves among the skill position players, we turn our focus to recapping the seasons of the Steelers’ backup offensive linemen, starting with the player who was supposed to be their most important reserve, free agent signing Ryan Harris.
Originally drafted by the Broncos in 2007, Harris played four seasons with Denver, entering the starting lineup in his second year, but injuries limited his effectiveness. He missed 13 games in the two seasons prior to missing all of the 2011 season due to injury.
He tried to break back into the league as a reserve with the Texans for two years before finding a starting spot in Houston, then ended up back in Denver and starting due to injury for the Super Bowl champions. The Steelers brought him in in 2016 at age 31 to compete for the starting left tackle spot.
He lost that competition, in fact, never was really competitive, but he was still at least expected to serve as a quality swing tackle, which was reflected in his salary. Yet when their right tackle went down, so did he, and he ended up going on injured reserve.
Since then, Harris has announced that he has retired from the ranks of professional football just a few short days before his 32nd birthday. The truth is that there was a more than realistic possibility that he may not have made the Steelers’ 53-man roster in 2017.
Those who covered Harris over the course of his career in the several cities in which he played were highly complimentary of both his character and his intelligence, citing his ability to provide insightful conversation about topics outside of football.
He simply decided that it is time for him to move on to his life’s work, as it is called around Pittsburgh. He had a more than solid career despite never being a superstar. He played in 114 games, starting 70, and won a Super Bowl ring in a game he started, not to mention being able to play into his 30s. That’s not too shabby.