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: Diontae Johnson
Experience: 2 Years
The 2020 season was certainly an interesting one for Diontae Johnson, in his second year in the NFL. needless to say, it was marked by highs and lows, and he’ll be looking for more plateaus as his career moves forward—as will the Steelers out of him.
While he caught 88 passes during the season for a team-leading 923 receiving yards and with seven touchdown receptions, what people most remember from the year is the fact that he dropped more passes than anybody else in the NFL. Pro Football Reference, for example, charges him with 13 drops—which is a lot.
But we shouldn’t overlook his many good qualities, which is why he saw 144 targets on the season in the first place. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger clearly developed an affinity for throwing the ball in his direction, and even continued to do so while he was struggling in the middle of the season.
He is the best route runner on the team, and perhaps one of the better in the league overall, with a knack for getting open, and he’s also capable of making some really great catches. He can play at any depth, and he can make people miss in the open field as well, though he did that better as a rookie than this past season.
But he simply needs to be more reliable. Much more reliable, and in many aspects. Not only does he drop the ball at far too high a rate, he also has a loose ball problem in general, both with fumbles and as a return man. He has footing issues, though not as worrisome as during his first season. And he was banged up a lot last year, as well. He has to stay healthy—one of the reasons the coaches took him off of punt returns.