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: Donte Moncrief
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 6 Years
While I realize that he didn’t play much of a role for the Steelers in 2019—or in any other year, by extension—the fact of the matter is that they had big plans for Donte Moncrief last year. Signed as an unrestricted free agent and installed as the presumptive starter opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster, the former Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver was supposed to hit new heights playing with Ben Roethlisberger.
As it would turn out, neither would play very much, and yet ironically only Smith-Schuster would be on the receiving end of more of Roethlisberger’s pass attempts. Of the 62 passes that he threw last season, 11 went to Smith-Schuster, and 10 went to Moncrief.
He caught three of them, for seven yards, without a first down. He finished the season with four receptions on 15 targets for 18 yards, with four dropped passes, the final one being one that turned into an interception for Mason Rudolph.
After the second game of the season, the Steelers would start making Moncrief a healthy scratch, only dressing a few times thereafter due to injury. The veteran himself had suffered a finger injury early in training camp, from which he apparently never fully recovered, yet he was never on the injury report or anything like that.
Toward the middle of the season, after the Philadelphia Eagles released L.J. Fort, the Steelers made the correct decision by releasing Moncrief. Fort was one of their free agents, and Philadelphia cutting ties would have meant that they would have lost a third-round compensatory draft pick for the loss of Le’Veon Bell unless they made a corresponding move. Releasing Moncrief was that corresponding move.
The Carolina Panthers would go on to claim him, and he would dress and play in three games, though only amounting to 25 snaps. He was never targeted and thus obviously did not catch a pass. He was released in early December and has been a free agent since then.