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: Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Experience: 2 Years
It’s kind of weird to consider the fact that Ola Adeniyi has accrued two seasons of NFL experience, given that he has a total of about 70 snaps to his name during that span, defensively. He did spend the majority of his rookie season on injured reserve, but he played in all 16 games in 2019.
To his credit, he did turn himself into a value special teamer at least from the perspective of workload, as he played just over half of all special teams snaps to the tune of 222. When he came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo, he has to learn to play special teams.
Despite the fact that he did not miss any time during the regular season due to injury, it would still be inaccurate to suggest that he had a normal year of development, because he was injured in the middle of training camp after one preseason game and missed some of the most important weeks of growth for young players as a result of that.
He was able to make it back in time, albeit not entirely at 100 percent, for the start of the regular season, and would immediately begin to fulfill his special teams obligations, but throughout the season, he would never see more than 11 snaps defensively in a single game.
There were four games in which he didn’t see any, and 13 in which he played fewer than 10. He did not see his workload increase, even temporarily, after Anthony Chickillo was very briefly on the exempt list. As soon as Chickillo returned, he resumed his role, which was already reduced.
The Steelers don’t take T.J. Watt or Bud Dupree off the field very much. Watt played 935 snaps last year, or 87 percent, and there were a few games that he had to be sidelined briefly due to injury, so barring that, it would have been closer to 90 percent. In other words, not a lot of opportunities for players like Adeniyi to get on the field.