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: Hendry Mondeaux
Experience: 0 Years
Should Henry Mondeaux be a name to remember in September? Perhaps not, but then again, you never know. As of now, I certainly expect his to be a name worth knowing in August. Originally signed by the Steelers along with Tuzar Skipper and others following a tryout at rookie minicamp (though he was not a rookie), Mondeaux spent all of last season on the practice squad following a productive preseason.
The 24-year-old out of Oregon didn’t get a lot of playing time until the final preseason game, but he was an active presence in that contest, finishing with three tackles. His stat sheet is not going to jump out at you, but he looked better on tape, holding well in his defensive end responsibilities. He beat out a couple of players in Casey Sayles and Greg Gilmore who were in camp last year for the practice squad spot, so that’s worth noting.
And he did stay there all year long, though it should be noted that the Steelers had multiple opportunities to promote him if they wanted to. The first was when Stephon Tuitt was lost for the season in Week Six. Instead of calling up somebody who had been in the building all offseason, they went back to the well and re-signed L.T. Walton, who had been on the couch since the end of the preseason.
After a few weeks on the team, never dressing, Walton ended up on injured reserve as well. I figured they would promote Mondeaux then, like they did for Johnny Maxey several years ago, but instead, they opted to do something I’d never seen them do before: go with only five defensive linemen on the roster.
Instead of filling the defensive line spot, the Steelers signed Skipper off of the New York Giants’ practice squad fortunately they never needed the sixth lineman during the remainder of the season. But with Tuitt back and Chris Wormley brought in, perhaps with a draft pick added to the mix, 2020 won’t be any easier for Mondeaux to make the 53.