2018 Player Exit Meetings – TE Jesse James

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: Jesse James

Position: Tight End

Experience: 4 Years

If there is any area of the offensive side of the ball on which the Steelers lacked stability last season, it was at the third wide receiver position. In spite of the fact that they spent the vast majority of their time with three or more receivers on the field, there was a revolving cast of characters there at different times of the year, so for that reason, the ‘flex’ offensive player I’m going to discuss with the starting group here is Jesse James, the number two tight end.

Though the second player on the depth chart at the position behind Vance McDonald, James logged nearly as many snaps, even if that can be partially contributed to the fact that McDonald started off the season with an injury, missing the season opener and being brought along cautiously for a few games.

It was largely in the early portions of the season while McDonald was still warming up that James, the fourth-year tight end out of Penn State, was able to have the bulk of his impact on the passing game. He even had a 100-yard game in Week Two against the Kansas City Chiefs in a game that included four explosive plays.

It would only have one more game that season with 35 or more yards, that being a 53-yard game that featured a career-long 51-yard gain. his 14.1 yards per catch was significantly better than his career average of 8.7, and was a byproduct of his displaying an advanced feel for finding the open spaces for Ben Roethlisberger after the play breaks down.

But much more than a receiver, James also had his best and most consistent season as a blocker. Overall, I thought he made significant strides in 2018, showing signs of having the potential as a quality long-term number two tight end that actually gets used.

James admitted that he will be biased when he hits free agency because he doesn’t want to go anywhere. It sounds like a hometown discount is in order. While he’s not going to break the bank, he could command a yearly salary of a few million on the open market.

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