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: Marcus Allen
Experience: 1 Year
Upon first blush, the selection of Marcus Allen in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft seemed like excess after the Steelers already drafted a quarterback in the first round. They also signed two safeties in free agency and, at that time, were still carrying over three who were with the team the prior season in Sean Davis, J.J. Wilcox (who was released following the draft), and Jordan Dangerfield (who was on the practice squad.
Pittsburgh ended up spending much of 2018 with six safeties on the roster in Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Morgan Burnett, Nat Berhe, Allen, and Dangerfield, and it was Allen who got the short straw, spending the vast majority of the season on the inactive list.
But that was not a great surprise because he spent most of the offseason injured. In fact, he suffered an injury going all the way back to rookie minicamp, which caused him, if memory serves, to miss all of OTAs and minicamp.
He also struggled to stay on the field in training camp and missed a lot of the preseason as well, but he was able to come back and play in the final two preseason games, making some plays here and there, and showing enough for the team to feel comfortable carrying him on the 53 (initially, over Brian Allen at cornerback, but he was later promoted).
The one game in which he did get a chance to play was against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of the season. With injuries to Burnett and others, Allen was given the opportunity to work as the team’s dimebacker.
I did a film study session of his performance in that game, and I found his work in coverage to be surprisingly effective, but the Chargers were able to run the ball against him in the fourth quarter, which helped contribute to the loss.
Depending on what the team does in free agency and the draft, he could be in the running to play that dime role in 2019. After all, they drafted him only because of how much they liked him and the fact that he was available in the fifth round. If memory serves, they claimed to have a third-round grade on him.