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: Anthony McFarland
Experience: 1 Year
The Steelers drafting Anthony McFarland in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft created a bit of buzz and excitement with fans imagining what incorporating more of a speed back into the offense could produce.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get many opportunities to see that during the previous season—and McFarland himself didn’t give the coaching staff many reasons to believe that they were missing out on much.
But that shouldn’t have any bearing on what he could be capable of doing moving forward. As a redshirt sophomore who only played one full, healthy season of college ball, and who was drafted in a pandemic year that curtailed the learning cycle and eliminated exhibition games entirely, it’s not unreasonable to think that he can be significantly better-prepared in his second season.
Arguably the most exciting thing in McFarland’s favor heading into 2021 is that the Steelers made a chance at offensive coordinator, promoting Matt Canada to that role, who was the quarterbacks coach last year. Canada was McFarland’s offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2018 at Maryland when he excelled.
Canada’s offensive philosophy, or what we can know of it, would also seem to lend itself more easily and more willingly to creatively incorporating a running back of McFarland’s skill set into the offense and finding ways to maximize what he can do.