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: Jordan Dangerfield
Experience: 1 Year
Jordan Dangerfield has been around the block a few times in spite of the fact that the 2016 season was his first of accrued experience. He has spent several years now in the Steelers’ system alone as a former undrafted free agent, spending all of the 2015 season on the practice squad and some time there as well in 2014 before finally being able to make the 53-man roster outright for the 2016 season.
A safety with decent size and a penchant for big hits can usually find a home for himself somewhere in the NFL, and it will usually coincide with the role on special teams. That is how Dangerfield made the 53-man roster, as is typically the case for the majority of fringe players who are not starters or primary backups with a high pedigree.
The Steelers were in a bit of a transition at the safety position, however, with Robert Golden, a fifth-year players, entering his first full season in the starting lineup. The team drafted a rookie safety, envisioning him to eventually start, naturally.
When Golden was injured in the third game of the season, however, that rookie was working in the slot, and probably wasn’t deemed ready to start anyway. So when Golden missed some time, it was Dangerfield who shifted into the starting lineup, going from a perennial training camp body to a player who was depended upon to perform when called on to play defense.
He made two starts and recorded nine tackles between them, including several stops, and both proved to be Steelers victories. While his stat line from those games may not jump out from the page, he is generally regarded to have performed well, or ‘above the line’ as a certain head coach of a certain team might say.
Including the playoffs, Dangerfield was active for 17 games, missing two during the regular season due to injury. Late in the year, he even seemingly became the team’s choice for their top backup at safety, as when either starter left the field, he came on. The Steelers do value him, and he may have earned a continued presence on the roster in his age-26 season.