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: Patrick Morris
Experience: 1 Year
Originally signed by the Steelers as a college free agent out of TCU in 2018, Patrick Morris was seen as a pipeline player for the future. He spent all of his rookie season on the practice squad, and likely would have done so for his second season as well, had circumstances not arisen that resulted in a change of plans.
After Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for two games following the Myles Garrett incident against the Cleveland Browns in the middle of November, Morris was called up to take his place on the 53-man roster to serve as the backup center to B.J. Finney, since nobody else on the roster had done it in a regular season game before who has prior center history.
After Pouncey was reinstated, Morris was waived, but the Denver Broncos—whose offensive line coach is of course Mike Munchak, who was the Steelers’ offensive line coach when they signed him as a college free agent in 2018—claimed him off waivers.
Morris was active for the final two games of the season for the Broncos, seeing a total of 37 snaps, and he remains with Detroit for the time being, though you never know when a player can circle his way back the way Tuzar Skipper did during the 2019 season.
After Morris was claimed off waivers, J.C. Hassenauer became essentially the number three center. He was signed to the practice squad after Morris was first promoted to the 53-man roster. After Pouncey was injured in Week 16, he too was promoted to the 53-man roster for the season finale.
Morris was of course the second lineman of the year that the Steelers lost to waivers. Earlier in the season, it was rookie Fred Johnson who was plucked by the Cincinnati Bengals. He also saw playing time, even starting the season finale at left tackle.