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: Landry Jones
Experience: 5 Years
Now that we have covered all of the starters and major rotational players on offense, defense, and special teams, it’s time to dig into some of the other key backup players, and we might as well circle back to the most important position in football, which is and will remain in the foreseeable future the quarterback.
The Steelers are in good hands with Ben Roethlisberger for however long he remains, barring a regression, but given that the second half of his 2017 season was some of the best football that he has ever played in his entire career, I am not anticipating an imminent collapse. He should have at least a few good years left in the tank.
He may even outlast his backup, Landry Jones, who has now been with the organization for five years and has shown real growth over the past three. It’s great when he doesn’t get to play and throw passes outside of the regular season finale, however, as it means that Roethlisberger his healthy. If he checks in to hand the ball off, that means it’s a blowout win.
Jones got the opportunity to start the season finale this year against the Cleveland Browns and I thought played the best game of his career, especially considering that he was without Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and then even B.J. Finney on top of that. Chris Hubbard botched several snaps in the game.
But he made a number of high-quality throws in that game that I thought really reflected where he is right now in his development. He is at the height of his physical and mental abilities, but he is now both comfortable and confident and is capable of playing well, to the chagrin of those who think he’s the worst player in the league.
As I wrote at the time, the Steelers could to worse than Landry Jones as their backup quarterback. Which is, perhaps, something to consider as he moves into the second of his two-year deal. I might consider giving him a one-year extension, perhaps even two. But they won’t, of course, as they want to see how Joshua Dobbs develops.