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: Deon Cain
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 2 Years
I’m not going to go over Tevin Jones since I don’t think his tenure on the roster amounted to the level of significance that would warrant an exit meeting for a player who was released before the year was over. I’m also not going to talk about Amara Darboh because we know nothing about him. So that leaves us with Deon Cain.
A former sixth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, after he spent his rookie season on injured reserve, he would go on to make their 53-man roster in 2019, but he was a sparse contributor. After the Steelers played the Colts, he was waived and moved to the practice squad.
A short time later, the Steelers came sniffing around for wide receivers and signed him off of the Colts’ practice squad. At the same time, they also signed running back Kerrith Whyte off the practice squad of the Chicago Bears. This is something they rarely do, so doing it twice at the same time was pretty significant.
And Cain also made some significant plays, in relatively little playing time, just about 50-60 snaps or so over the course of the final six games of the season. What he did accomplish was to get his foot in the door for 2020.
While with the Colts, he was targeted 14 times, making four catches for 52 yards. Pro Football Reference qualified only one of those missed catches as a drop. With the Steelers, he was only targeted six times, but caught five passes for 72 yards.
He was also targeted two other times for plays that drew holding or pass interference penalties, one of which occurred in the end zone and led to a Steelers touchdown shortly thereafter. Cain has good size and speed and could develop into a nice role player in a stable of wide receivers for Ben Roethlisberger.