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: Ryan Switzer
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 2 Years
For one reason or another, the Steelers have found it useful in recent years to make late trades during training camp in order to shore up the depth at select positions. It has worked better in some cases than in others.
The jury is still out on their latest late-season acquisition, Ryan Switzer, but the early returns have been largely positive considering that he didn’t have much of an opportunity to learn and adjust to the offense and special teams.
Switzer was immediately handed the return duties for both kicks and punts, and his numbers with the Steelers did not bear out what he showed he was capable of doing in his rookie year with the Cowboys. But the return game as much as anything is about 11 players working together, where every play is essentially a long running play, and you have to know your blockers.
While the team talked about their decision to acquire him as centering around his ability to add to the return game, the reality is that they started to use him on offense immediately. He was given a target on the team’s opening drive, though he dropped the pass.
Switzer became, at least at certain points of the season, a key piece of the short passing game, their run-game extension offense if you will. His average depth of target was often similar to that of a running back as a result. He ended up averaging just seven yards per reception, but 20 of his 36 receptions were still successful plays for the offense.
And his opportunities, performance, and comfort level all improved as the season advanced. It’s possible that he features as their starting slot receiver in 2019, or at least their number four receiver, which they may use more frequently under Randy Fichtner, so he will continue to be a part of the offense. He is still under contract for two more years and now has an offseason to learn the offense.