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: B.J. Finney
Position: Offensive Line
Experience: 4 Years
And now we get to the offensive line portion of our exit meetings, among the backups. The most prominent of those was B.J. Finney, who started four games, including three at center, for the Steelers last season.
A four-year veteran who is now set to become an unrestricted free agent, it’s fair to say that Finney’s career is at a crossroads. He has a very good shot of earning a starting job, somewhere in the NFL. The biggest question to me is whether or not Pittsburgh will be willing to give him that opportunity to start, and that would have to come at the expense of Ramon Foster.
Now 34 years old, Foster is the longest-tenured member of the team short of Ben Roethlisberger, in addition to being the oldest—again, with the franchise quarterback excluded. 2019 saw a drop in play from the Big Ragu, but with the carousel at quarterback, it’s hard to say how much of that was a factor.
What we do know is that Finney has continued to play well whenever he has been given the opportunities to start games, and that included his fifth career start at Foster’s spot at left guard last season. Throwing a curve ball into the equation is the fact that the Steelers also gave Matt Feiler a start at left guard last season, which makes you wonder what their thinking is.
What we know about Finney is that he has made 12 career starts at either guard position as well as center, and he has shown the ability to play at a starting level at each of them. What we don’t know is just how robust his market will be, and whether or not the Steelers would be willing to guarantee him a starting job, or at least guarantee that he will be given the opportunity to openly compete for one.