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: Matt Feiler
Position: Offensive Line
Experience: 2 Years
Some thanks are owed to Marcus Gilbert, whose injury and suspension issues over the course of the past two seasons have provided fantastic opportunities for first Chris Hubbard and then Matt Feiler to showcase their abilities.
Hubbard started the majority of the 2017 season at right tackle and ended up signing an impressive long-term contract with the Cleveland Browns. Feiler inherited the backup role, and with Gilbert missing the majority of the 2018 season, started 10 games, playing above the line.
That is in spite of the fact that, over the course of the past two summers, Feiler has primarily been used as an interior offensive lineman rather than on the outside. In fact, he was a healthy scratch for the games that Gilbert started, with B.J. Finney and rookie Chukwuma Okorafor dressing as the backups.
But when Gilbert went down and had to miss time, the coaching staff chose to turn to the more veteran player in Feiler—even though the was ‘technically’ a second-year player—over the 20-year-old rookie to be the starter.
That proved to be a wise decision, because Feiler legitimately played well, arguably enough to be convincing of the fact that he could be a full-time starter. And yet it’s quite possible that he enters the 2019 season once again as neither the top interior nor tackle reserve, meaning that he would be inactive for games.
It’s an interesting position to be in, for sure, and one wonders what the future holds for him. The Steelers have stockpiled some talent at the tackle position right now, but Feiler’s position on the roster is safe either way because of his flexibility to play both tackle and guard—and a bit of center, as well.