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: Brian Allen
Experience: 1 Year
I apologize in advance for yet another article that discusses young cornerback Brian Allen in a short period of time, but it is something that could not be helped. We are nearing the very end of the exit meeting series, and he was a necessary inclusion here toward the end as well as in the draft class review.
With that said, I don’t mind the extra opportunities to write about Allen, the Steelers’ fifth-round draft pick. He did not play on defense as a rookie, given something of a redshirt year as he learns the cornerback position more thoroughly after previously spending all but the past two years playing on the offensive side of the ball.
Obviously drafted as a raw prospect thanks to his impressive size for the position (6’3”, 215 pounds), the young man has a lot of desirable traits for a player to play cornerback. His speed and agility are good for a player of his size, but there is also the belief that he could transition to safety, which he played a bit in college.
But his rookie season was devoted to special teams, instead. He only sporadically was given the opportunity to dress for games depending upon who was healthy and at what positions though, active for only three of the eight games prior to the bye week.
He was a healthy scratch for the first game following the bye as well, but dressed every game thereafter. He initially dressed thanks to Joe Haden’s injury, but he remained on the active list even after fellow rookie Cameron Sutton was activated and Haden returned, leaving seven cornerbacks on the roster.
Why? Because he earned the helmet. He became essentially a starting gunner and jammer on the punt teams and occasionally saw time on the kick coverage unit as well, logging close to 100 snaps on special teams in total.
He showed real potential as a quality special teams player, but it’s also worth considering that his work as a jammer could also be an asset to his skills at cornerback. While the Steelers are surely happy about what he showed for Danny Smith, they would obviously love to see him develop into a contributing defensive back as well.