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: Morgan Burnett
Experience: 9 Years
First of all, I want to start off by saying that I accidentally double-dipped on Sean Davis yesterday, which I didn’t realize until I went to write this piece. I covered all the starters in the first round of exit meetings, but I blanked on that by the time I got to the safety position and forgot that he was already addressed. So now I’m moving on to the backups, since Terrell Edmunds was also previously discussed.
Of course, had he been able to stay healthy, I would have already written about Morgan Burnett with the starters rather than now with the reserves. The Steelers signed him to a three-year contract paying him marginal starter money and fully anticipated him serving as a bridge starter for them for a year or two.
But it was the combination of his inability to stay on the field and Edmunds’ ability to do both that and to play reasonably well when he was there that resulted in Burnett serving as a backup for almost all of the season.
His long list of soft-tissue injuries began in the spring and persisted throughout the year. He missed a lot of time in training camp and the preseason, only slowly working his way back into practice in the week leading up to the start of the regular season.
Because of his lack of practice time, the Steelers were more comfortable with the rookie Edmunds starting that game over him. but Burnett did start Week Two, only to injure himself and miss the next four weeks.
By the time he returned, the team was already riding with Edmunds, so Burnett slid into the dimebacker role that he played for the rest of the season when he was healthy. While he made a couple of plays, he was also a part of some of the defense’s worst moments in coverage.
The nine-year veteran reportedly requested his release, but as of yet, it hasn’t been granted. Frankly, it would be best for both parties if the Steelers were to indulge him and let him find another home. It’s not like there isn’t a rich safety market from which they can scrape off a solid backup from the bottom.