The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the 2019 season much as they did the 2018 season, by allowing their playoff fate slip out of their grasp. Slow starts and slow finishes permeated both campaigns, with strong runs in between. But while the results were the same missing the playoffs, the means were quite different.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we. But that they still managed to go 8-8 without Ben Roethlisberger, and with the general quality of play that they faced along the way, I suppose things could have been worse.
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: Joe Haden
Experience: 10 Years
How many cornerbacks have one of their best seasons in year 10? How many cornerbacks even make it 10 years in the league? According to Pro Football Reference, there have been 155 players who have played cornerback reach at least one game in their 10th season, though that list also includes players who were primarily other positions, like Carnell Lake.
The point is, Haden is starting to enter into somewhat rare territory, especially when you narrow things down to cornerbacks who are able to stay not only at that position, but on the boundary, rather than moving into the slot, as other prominent cornerbacks in the past have.
During his 10th season at the age of 30, Haden intercepted five passes, the second-most he has ever had in a single season, also registering 17 passes defensed, which is the most that he has had since 2014, the last time he made a Pro Bowl.
According to the same source, Haden allowed 44 receptions on 82 targets for 487 yards, giving up 5.9 yards per target. He allowed five touchdowns, but as mentioned, also took five passes back, posting a passer rating when targeted of 66.5 percent.
The Steelers inked him to a two-year contract extension prior to the start of the 2019 season, so he is still bound to the team for two more years in what is liking like the best secondary they have had in about a decade or so.
Joining him for at least the next two years are fellow cornerback Steven Nelson and safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. Fitzpatrick joined Haden in the Pro Bowl this year, and was also first-team All-Pro. They will have Mike Hilton (most likely), Cameron Sutton, and Justin Layne to supplement them.