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: Marcus Allen
Experience: 2 Years
It’s still weird for me to be writing about Marcus Allen as a linebacker. He may be big and slow for what most teams today would want for a safety, but he’s also too small for what most teams would want for a linebacker.
Drafted (as a safety) out of Penn State in the fifth round in 2018, Allen spent most of his rookie year inactive, and then primarily on the practice squad a year later. This pas Summer, the coaching staff decided to move him to the linebacker position, a move that wasn’t completely shocking, but also not anticipated or expected.
Given the fact that he had no Spring workouts and no preseason, I would imagine that he may have found the process somewhat limiting as he tried to learn a new position. I think that is one reason to be optimistic that he could grow this offseason in ways that he did not last year as we approach something bearing more of a likeness to normality.
Allen did actually play more than 200 snaps on defense last season, and primarily in a true linebacker position. Late in the year, after Devin Bush had been long gone with a torn ACL, Robert Spillane was also injured, and then Vince Williams contracted Covid-19.
The Steelers simply needed bodies to put on the field at that point, and Allen had an available body to spare. He ultimately started two games, and over the courseo f the season, including special teams, he accumulated 30 tackles, including two for loss. He also registered two quarterback hits.
With Williams having been released, Spillane now moves into the starting lineup. Avery Williamson is a free agent. It’s not clear where that leaves Allen, but I somehow doubt they’re about to leave him uncontested to become the primary backup.