The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted from the postseason in the opening round, which unfortunately marks a slight improvement from the past two seasons, during which they did not even qualify for the playoffs altogether. They have now done four seasons without securing a victory beyond regular season play.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
They did manage to go 12-4 during the regular season, and secured their first AFC North title since 2017, posting a new franchise record by opening the season with 11 consecutive wins, but of course it all fell apart after that. Their only victory after that required a 17-point comeback.
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 2020 season.
Player: Eric Ebron
Experience: 7 Years
Whether you like to hear it or not, Eric Ebron’s first season in Pittsburgh was as-advertised, and, more or less, they got what they paid for. They got the big plays, they got the numbers, they got the dynamic weapon. They also got the sub-par blocking, the bad drops, and the willingness to say whatever’s on his mind, with the good and bad that comes along with it.
At the end of the season, having missed one game due to Covid-19 tracing, Ebron recorded 56 receptions on the year for 558 yards and five touchdowns, numbers that are pretty much in-line with his career averages all around. Of course, not quite his career year of 2018 when he caught 66 passes for 750 yards and 13 scores, but five touchdowns is tied for the second-most he’s ever had in a season.
Depending on what source you use, the numbers could vary, but Ebron also had half a dozen dropped balls or more, contributing to the Steelers leading the NFL by a good margin in the most dropped passes by a single team.
Pittsburgh knew going in that Ebron wasn’t a blocker, and that he wouldn’t be. They tried to give him some easier assignments here and there, and he wasn’t uniformly bad, but he was basically what you would have expected of him in this department.
At this point, seven years into his career, he is who he is. But in a different offense, they could make more use of him in the passing game and accentuate his strengths. That’s not going to stop him from being maddeningly inconsistent, making impressive tough catches while dropping too many layups, but that’s why he makes $6 million per season and not $12 million. I mean, Nick Boyle is making $6 million per season.