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: Jayrone Elliott
Experience: 3 Years
Remember Jayrone Elliott? He spent five weeks on the Steelers’ 53-man roster during the 2019 season. He was a late addition in training camp to the 90-man roster at the outside linebacker position, and made a splash in the preseason. While he made a run at the 53-man roster then, the Steelers opted to retain Tuzar Skipper instead—and then released him.
Elliott was not eligible for the practice squad, so they couldn’t keep him, otherwise they would have. But he was available to be signed, joining the 53-man roster after Week Two, at the time taking the place of Joshua Dobbs’ roster spot after he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He stayed on the 53-man roster, even playing briefly, until nearly mid-October, which coincided with the injuries to Mason Rudolph and Jaylen Samuels, which prompted the Steelers to call up Paxton Lynch and Trey Edmunds from the practice squad. Elliott and Fred Johnson drew the shortest straws.
Elliott would return a short time later, spending another week on the 53-man roster after Anthony Chickillo was arrested during the Steelers’ bye week and later placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. But once Chickillo was activated from the list, Elliott was waived again.
Until the middle of November, when he was signed for a third time after the Steelers put Roosevelt Nix and Ryan Switzer on injured reserve. He lasted a whopping two days before the team signed Deon Cain and Kerrith Wyhte off of the practice squads of other teams. Running back Tony Brooks-James was also released to accommodate these signings.
Ordinarily I would have gone in sequence and covered Justin Layne in this slot as the player on the bottom of the cornerback depth chart from last season, but because he just so happens to be up as the next in line for the draft class review later today, I figured it would be better to put some distance between those two pieces.