The Pittsburgh Steelers have a major set challenges facing them for the offseason of 2019 after they managed to miss the postseason for the first time in five years. The failure has been taken especially grievously because of the fact that the team was in position to control their own fate even for homefield advantage with six games remaining before dropping four games.
And so they find themselves getting the exit meeting process underway at least two weeks earlier than they have had to in years, since they have made it to at least the Divisional Round since 2015. Hopefully they used those extra two weeks with purpose.
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 2018 season.
Player: Maurkice Pouncey
Experience: 9 Years
The first time Maurkice Pouncey had a season-ending injury in 2013, it didn’t take him long at all to bounce back. He played the best football of his career in 2014 after returning from a torn ACL in the season opener. Earning first-team All-Pro honors.
The year after they, he suffered a fractured fibula that proved to be very complicated, requiring more than half a dozen surgeries and the battling of multiple infections. Afterward, he said that he very nearly had his career end because of it.
But he has been back for three years since then and has hardly even missed a snap due to injury. The only games in which he has failed to play were meaningless Week 17 finales that held little or no effect on the team’s playoff seeding.
And while he hasn’t quite bounced back to the consistently dominant performance that we saw in 2014, Pouncey has gotten better and better, and closer and closer to that prior form, with each passing season since that severe leg injury.
2018 was undoubtedly his best year on the field since 2014 and maybe in the top three or four overall in his career, returning to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time and making his first appearance as an All-Pro, on the second team, since before the injury.
Pouncey is entering the final year of a contract extension that he signed heading into 2014, and entering his age 30 season is bound to receive another extension. He is still one of the top centers of the game and they have nobody that can replace what he does on the field.
He will hit the decade mark in 2019, but how much longer will he play beyond that? He has previously said that he will retire when Ben Roethlisberger retires, so let’s hope that’s still at least a few years away.