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: Anthony Chickillo
Position: Outside Linebacker
Experience: 4 Years
We just talked about one fourth-year former sixth-round pick yesterday in L.T. Walton. Anthony Chickillo is the other one from that round in the same year. Both of them have managed to play out their rookie contracts.
Neither of them are guaranteed to see a second one, but Chickillo has a far better chance. For one thing, he is a mainstay on special teams that would be difficult to replace, the sort of contributor that you might actually notice when he is not out there on a unit.
Since his second season, he has also averaged about 300 snaps on defense per year, though he didn’t have to start any games in 2018 because the team’s starters, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, remained healthy throughout the year.
For most of the season, in fact, he was the only backup outside linebacker on the team. Rookie college free agent Olasunkanmi Adeniyi made the initial 53-man roster, but the team quickly placed him on injured reserve after that, where he remained for most of the year, and he ultimately only played in one game.
The bulk of Chickillo’s snaps came after the bye week through the Denver game, where he was averaging about 22-23 snaps per game, lining up on both sides to spell both Dupree and Watt, whenever one or the other game out.
It’s his ability to play either side and to have a full knowledge of the defense that is his greatest asset, because he has not particularly excelled at any one thing, outside of his hustle. He is limited as a pass rusher, though he generally holds his assignment against the run—in fact, he had his best season in that area in 2018.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Chickillo will likely be offered a contract, and perhaps a multi-year offer, for low value. The fact that they don’t know what they have in Adeniyi or Keion Adams plays into his favor because he is the only player with experience behind the starters.