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: Tuzar Skipper
Experience: 1 Year
There was a brief period of time in which it seemed as though Tuzar Skipper was the most popular man in Pittsburgh. Then again, so was Devlin Hodges. In both instances, their fandom suddenly came to a screeching halt, but for different reasons. Skipper, because he was waived and didn’t get a chance to play. Hodges, because he was brought back and did get a chance to play. Enough of a chance to mess up.
Skipper came out of Toledo last year, a former teammate of 2018 undrafted free agent Olasunkanmi Adeniyi. Like the Rocket that preceded him, he also would go undrafted, but in this case, he also went unsigned. He accepted an invitation to participate in the Steelers’ rookie minicamp, however.
There, he turned enough heads that he was able to earn a contract for the team’s 90-man roster. In order to make room for him, they waived Keion Adams, a former 2017 seventh-round outside linebacker who never made it onto a 53-man roster.
Skipper would continue to open eyes from there on out, showing up in training camp drills, and then would go on to lead the league during the preseason with five sacks, also producing two forced fumbles. Adeniyi turned himself into a ‘must-keep’ the year before when he had three sacks and two forced fumbles.
The variable for Skipper was whether or not he could play on special teams, and they didn’t give him much chance until the finale, during which point he recorded two tackles on kickoffs. He made the initial 53-man roster, but was waived prior to opening day.
The Steelers hoped he would clear waivers so they could sign him to the practice squad, but the New York Giants claimed him. He spent much of the season there but was later waived, yet Pittsburgh opted not to claim him. After L.T. Walton was injured, however, they did sign him off the Giants’ practice squad, going the rest of the year with five defensive linemen and five outside linebackers, though he did not play.