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: T.J. Watt
Position: Outside Linebacker
Experience: 2 Years
Those in need of a glimmer of hope for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ future need look no further than second-year outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who was the first in a decade to provide the quality of play from that position that is necessary for this defense to thrive at its highest level.
And the most important component of that detail is the fact that he didn’t simply just put up statistics, he also grew throughout the season. In a sense, his performance caught up to the back of his trading card.
Early in the season he was converting an unsustainably high percentage of his pressures into sacks, and many of his pressures were largely unblocked, but as the season progressed, he grew more confident, expanded his pass-rushing repertoire, and learned when and how to employ counter moves, producing one of the highest ‘win’ rates against blockers over the last several weeks of the season.
His season-long journey resulted in 13 sacks, but he also produced six forced fumbles, the majority of which he achieved on sacks. While he didn’t play nearly as prominent a role in coverage as he did in his rookie season, he made up for it with his ability to produce fumbles.
He has also consistently shown an understanding of the fundamentals of playing the run, knowing how to set the edge and keeping himself clean through traffic when possible. He is capable of diagnosing plays quickly and freelancing to make plays.
With all that said, the two-year veteran still has a lot of room to grow, which is the most exciting thing about him. it’s unlikely that he makes the same sort of jump in 2019 as he did this past year, but where he could really tighten up is in his overall consistency, which would be a huge bonus.