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: Vince Williams
Position: Inside Linebacker
Experience: 6 Years
After spending the majority of his career as a backup, Vince Williams found himself moving into the starting lineup full-time in 2017. That year, while they still had Ryan Shazier, he came off the field whenever the Steelers used their dime defense. The dime usage expanded even further last year, but Shazier wasn’t there.
As the year started out, it was Jon Bostic, the new starter alongside him, who would come off the field instead of Williams. But as the season progressed, Williams lost a lot of playing time to L.J. Fort, who became the nickel linebacker.
The mixture of Fort and whoever the dime back was (most often Morgan Burnett) became crucial components of the Steelers’ most popular defensive package, so Williams’ responsibilities turned more toward the run.
Which was not as strong a part of his game as it was in years past, though that was also in part a byproduct of the changes around him, including the increased frequency of having to work with different personnel around him, sometimes even Cameron Sutton.
One area in which he was still effective as ever was as a blitzer, where he registered another four and a half sacks, and a good number of pressures on top of that. He also recorded an interception for the second year in a row, which he returned for a touchdown.
Now that certainly doesn’t make him irreplaceable. The Steelers will be looking to upgrade the inside linebacker position in the offseason and could even bring in two new faces for good measure. With an even more significant concentration on the dime package, he may serve as more of a sub-package defender in 2019.