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: Ben Roethlisberger
Experience: 16 Years
Now that we’ve gone through all of the starters, it’s time to talk about the backups…starting with the longest-tenured player on the team? Well, Ben Roethlisberger was not a backup, of course, but he did play the third-most snaps at his position on the team, which is why I didn’t including him in the initial sequence, focusing on the eight-game starter Mason Rudolph instead.
Roethlisberger was limited to just six quarters of play during his 16th season in the NFL a year ago. It still remains unclear just how long his elbow was bothering him, but it’s possible that it was a week or more before the game against the Seattle Seahawks which would prove to be, to this day, the last time he has thrown a football.
By that point, he had not even managed to throw a single touchdown, just one season removed from setting a new franchise record with 34 passing touchdowns—also throwing for over 5000 yards, also a record of his own that he broke.
In all, Roethlisberger completed just 35 passes on 62 attempts in losses to the Seahawks and the New England Patriots, throwing for 351 yards with zero touchdowns to one interception and a quarterback rating of 66.0.
As far as what he might have been told during his exit meeting? Get your elbow right. Whatever he did in the 2019 season is irrelevant. He’s been at this for a long time, and 62 passes is nothing in terms of a sample size for somebody with 15 years of starting experience.
As long as he can throw a pass, Roethlisberger will remain the Steelers’ starting quarterback. At the moment, everything that we have heard about his rehab progression has been positive, but we are still waiting for the moment that he is capable of throwing a tennis ball, which is what the ‘light throwing’ stage of his rehab consists of.