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: Tyson Alualu
Experience: 10 Years
Now that we’ve gotten through the entirety of the meat of the Steelers’ 53-man roster from last season on the offensive side of the ball, we turn our attention to the backup players who made up the defensive side of the ball in 2019. And we start with one who wasn’t really a backup for most of the year.
That would be Tyson Alualu, the 10-year veteran who spent his third season in Pittsburgh during the 2019 season. The long-time veteran has provided quality depth—albeit at a deficit in the pass rush—for the defensive line during that time, and last year was no different.
Over 432 snaps—just two snaps fewer than he played in 2017, though still fewer than in any year that he played with his originally team, the Jacksonville Jaguars—Alualu produced 41 tackles, which is the third-most for his entire career and just four off of his career high. He had four tackles for loss. As a pass rusher, he had just one sack with three quarterback hits. He also recorded two passes defensed and produced a forced fumble.
One of his best features is that he is a consistently sound player. He is rarely out of place or out of his fundamentals, and as a result, he puts himself in position, through leverage and diagnosis, to make plays that get to the line of scrimmage, and rarely misses tackles.
Alualu remains under contract through the 2020 season, during which he will be 33 years old. One does have to wonder how much he might have left in the proverbial tank, and the Steelers will have to consider his replacement, no later than in 2021, unless perhaps Isaiah Buggs proves to be that. But then Buggs needs replacing too.