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: J.T. Barrett
Experience: 0 Years
We might not, perhaps, be ordinarily talking about a player like J.T. Barrett, who has literally only been a part of the Steelers organization since Christmas Eve, and has never even been on the 53-man roster. But given the state of the team’s quarterback position, and the competition that will exist behind Ben Roethlisberger, he figures to be worth a mention.
Originally undrafted out of Ohio State in 2018, Barrett first signed with the New Orleans Saints, where he spent most of his first two years in the league, on the offseason roster and practice squad. He was waived on August 1, signed a week and a half later by the Seattle Seahawks, and then waived with the roster cuts.
He would later spend a few weeks in the middle of the season back with the Saints on their practice squad while Drew Brees was injured, released in late October, and he would remain unsigned until the Steelers brought him in on the practice squad on December 24, which was after Mason Rudolph suffered a season-ending injury in Week 16.
With both Roethlisberger and Rudolph on injured reserve, the Steelers finished the regular season with Devlin Hodges as their starter and Paxton Lynch as his backup, with Barrett on the practice squad as the number three quarterback.
Roethlisberger is obviously expected to return as the starter this year, and Rudolph is expected to be his backup, but it’s pretty much an open competition for the number three spot. There is no reason to think Barrett won’t be a part of the discussion, especially if Roethlisberger and Rudolph get little work due to rehab in the early portions of the offseason—if there is one.