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: Xavier Grimble
Position: Tight End
Experience: 1 Year
Xavier Grimble is an intriguing player, but, to be perfectly honest, it’s not at all clear that he is ever going to evolve beyond intrigue. And it seems that that could make him vulnerable heading into next season. Certainly, I wouldn’t be marking down his roster spot in anything but pencil.
The Steelers are still in a state of limbo with Ladarius Green, but they reportedly are interested in bringing back David Johnson, and, frankly, between the two, Johnson makes much more sense. Additionally, the team has been doing extensive work with the tight ends in the draft, and when they did that two years ago, they drafted Jesse James.
Grimble has taken some time to mature for years, even spending the 2015 season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad, but he did finally make the 53-man roster in 2016 with the Steelers, in part due to the fact that Green was on the PUP List, but he played well enough, and there were enough extenuating circumstances elsewhere on the roster, that they kept him and all the other tight ends when the free agent acquisition was finally activated.
Prior to Green’s activation, Grimble was actually making progress with respect to his role. Over the course of the prior couple of weeks heading into the bye week, the Steelers began using him over James during hurry-up situations late in either half because they valued his potential for a big play.
He had one of those early in the season against the Bengals in Week Two, catching an impressive touchdown from 20 yards out. His other touchdown that came later in the season was of a similar variety and distance.
Grimble looks the part in a uniform, and, when given an opportunity, he has generally been able to do the job, but it’s doubtful that he is earmarked for a bigger role any time soon. He is a depth tight end, and depending on how much depth the Steelers bring in this offseason, he could find himself in over his head and off the roster.
Should that happen, however, don’t be surprised if another team sees fit to give him an opportunity. He is, after all, an intriguing player.