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: Terrell Edmunds
Experience: 3 Years
While he probably hasn’t totally relieved himself of the status of whipping boy, Terrell Edmunds took important steps forward in his third season in 2020. A former 2018 first-round draft pick, Edmunds was instantly viewed as having been overdrafted, and once you get that label, it tends to stick with you.
Whether or not he ever plays like a ‘first-round pick’, he is who he is, and in 2020, he showed himself to be an overall solid starting strong safety and capable complement to Minkah Fitzpatrick in the free safety role, this being their second season working together.
Edmunds actually had a bit more of a versatile role this year, spending less time purely in the box, and that was reflected in the drop in his tackle numbers. He had over 100 tackles in 2019, and that dropped to 68 last year, one game missed only partially accounting for that.
More important is the fact that he had two interceptions and eight passes defensed, doubling (or more than doubling) his previous career totals in those categories, which shows that he is getting closer to the ball. His work in coverage as the targeted defender was definitely a step up.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t have things that need to be worked on. His range with the ball in the air—not just his speed and quickness, but his diagnosis as well—still leaves something to be desired. He still needs to play the catch point better, though he has made strides there. And the tackling can always be improved, on top of cutting down on the penalties.