The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2017 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Nevertheless, 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: Arthur Moats
Position: Outside Linebacker
Experience: 8 Years
You know, I would do an exit meeting for James Harrison, but I’m sure I would hear about it (negatively) from more than a few people. Then again, as you know, he did barely play for the Steelers last year and ended up getting released. And part of the reason he was released was because he was playing behind the likes of Anthony Chickillo and Arthur Moats.
Moats, an eight-year veteran, has now spent half of his career in Pittsburgh after spending his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. While he has never been a full-time starter by design, he did ‘start’ a significant number of games, albeit in a very heavy rotation, which frequently featured him playing fewer snaps than the player he rotated with (Harrison, then Bud Dupree, then Chickillo).
After starting 25 games during his first three seasons in Pittsburgh, the 2017 season offered the least substantial body of work for the veteran pass-rusher, playing in 14 games with zero starts. He was a healthy scratch, which was the first time at least since he has been with Pittsburgh. I don’t know if his games missed in Buffalo were due to injury.
Moats only played a relative handful of snaps during the season and recorded eight tackles with no sacks, though, despite not having many pass-rush opportunities, he did find some success in generating pressure.
At least according to Pro Football Focus, he rushed the passer on only 26 snaps but recorded four pressures, including one hit on the quarterback, which is a pretty successful ratio, better than either T.J. Watt or Bud Dupree recorded, though Watt was pretty close.
Last week, Jeremy Fowler reported, while noting that the Atlanta Falcons were expressing interest in the 30-year-old pass rusher, that the Steelers have left the door open for Moats to possibly return to Pittsburgh, which would not be the worst idea on a veteran-minimum contract. He is a great locker room presence and still a competent rusher that can also contribute on special teams.