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 the fifth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—a new record for the franchise since the merger. Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-7-1 and making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from the majority of the offensive line to Mike Hilton, Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Vince Williams—not to mention Stephon Tuitt, essentially.
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 2021 season.
Player: Chris Wormley
Experience: 5 Years
The Steelers first traded for Chris Wormley, a former third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of Michigan, in early 2020, as a fourth-year player entering the final season of his rookie contract. They didn’t get a ton of play out of him, in part because their defensive line stayed healthy.
They took the marginal gamble by re-signing him to a two-year contract worth $4.5 million. It wasn’t a big price tag then, to be fair, but it looks like an even better deal now after he played a full season in place of Stephon Tuitt, who never took the field.
Tuitt, the eight-year veteran, spent the entire regular season on the Reserve/Injured List. After experiencing the devastating loss of his younger brother as the result of a hit-and-run driver, he suffered a knee injury while working off to the side in training camp. The injury left him in recovery for at least a while, though we don’t know an exact timeline. It’s since been made clear that his future goes far beyond health, however.
It’s possible that he could decide to retire, in which case, Wormley would be the primary candidate to be the starter again in 2022, after posting career-best numbers, including seven sacks, 51 tackles, six tackles for loss, and his first forced fumble. And that was while missing two games himself.
It can’t go without being stated that the Steelers’ run defense was absolutely woeful, and the bottom line is that he was on the field for the bulk of their beatings. With that said, I did not find him to be a primary culprit in the issues that led to that gashing—after all, Cameron Heyward was on the field, too.
With that said, it’s fair to say that everybody needs to play better, and Wormley would certainly be expected to take his game to yet another level in 2022, particularly in terms of consistency, if he were to be a starter. Should Tuitt not return, Wormley will at least be challenged by Isaiahh Loudermilk, and likely at least one other player brought in this offseason.