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: Cameron Heyward
Position: Defensive Tackle
Experience: 8 Years
You will notice that I’m listening Cameron Heyward’s position as defensive tackle here, and I do so because that is what the Steelers began listing him as in 2018. The team primarily plays with two defensive linemen on the field, during which time he plays along the interior, so it makes sense, though they have yet to do the same for Stephon Tuitt.
Nevertheless, it does have a meaningful difference, in that it allows him to be judged amongst other interior defenders. That is why he was able to be voted into the Pro Bowl outright this season even though he didn’t make the All-Pro team, though it was the opposite a year ago, and he had to make it in as an alternate.
That’s not to say that 2018 was a significant step down for the defensive captain. He still managed to record eight sacks, which is the second-most in his career. His pressure rate was consistent for the most part as well after some struggles early in the season.
While he gives maximum effort in the run game, he is also not elite in this area, and that only gets exacerbated without the linebackers and safeties behind him to clean up. It’s far from a weakness, to be clear, but he shouldn’t be regarded as a run stuffer either.
Heyward of course is also the defensive captain, and it’s a role that he takes seriously. Many are questioning his leadership right now based on the current state of the team, and he is taking that as a challenge heading into 2019. That’s what you want from one of your captains, but it’s still up to him to ultimately deliver.