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: Mike Hilton
Experience: 4 Years
While the 2020 season may have been the best of his career in terms of his on-field performance, it was also his worst in terms of health, as Mike Hilton missed four games over the course of the 2020 season. He had only missed one game combined in his first three seasons.
But he still managed over 50 tackles despite being absent for a full quarter of the season, and failing that, he probably would have pushed for around 70 and set a new career high. He still managed eight tackles for loss, which is always impressive for a defensive back, and is his most since his first season when he had 10.
More than that, he set a new career high by producing five takeaways, including three interceptions, along with two fumble recoveries, in addition to forcing a fumble himself. Aside from the three interceptions, he also got his hands on seven other passes.
With that said, it wasn’t all perfect for the eternal underdog, who still finds sometimes that his size is at odds with what he is asked to do—and what he asks of himself. As a box defender, it is not infrequent that he is overmatched, which results in a higher ratio of missed tackles near the line of scrimmage.
While he is certainly a capable coverage defender, it is also not necessarily a specialty, and he has been known to be beaten a time or two, as he was by Jarvis Landry in the postseason game. Nevertheless, he should find a reasonable market for himself in free agency, one that will make it difficult for the Steelers to retain him.