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: Montravius Adams
Experience: 5 Years
It’s a bit odd to be writing about a midseason addition when addressing the starters on defense in the exit meeting series, but that’s where we are at the nose tackle position for the Steelers coming out of the 2021 position, thanks to the early-season ankle injury that wiped out Tyson Alualu for the year.
The longtime veteran defensive lineman Alualu shifted over to the nose for Pittsburgh in 2020 and played at a high level there. But he suffered a fractured ankle in week two this past season, and needless to say, did not play again. Isaiah Buggs was the next man up (Carlos Davis was sidelined for half the season himself), but the team ultimately decided he wasn’t cutting it—then he was literally cut from the roster.
The front office brought in Montravius Adams, a fifth-year veteran defensive lineman who at the time happened to be on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad, having already played over 100 snaps in five games for the team that year. It was his first year in New Orleans after spending his rookie contract with the Green Bay Packers for four years as a third-rounder out of Auburn.
Adams was signed ahead of Week 13 and played immediately logging 34 snaps in his first game. He made an instant impact in showing a quickness and explosiveness that the Steelers lacked along the defensive line outside of Cameron Heyward.
Though he missed one game due to COVID-19, Adams ended up playing about 200 snaps on defense for the Steelers across six games. He didn’t singlehandedly fix the run defense, but he looked like he could be part of the solution.
For his part, he talked after the season about how he felt like part of a family in Pittsburgh, something he hadn’t felt since he was at Auburn. He said that he would like to play the rest of his career in Pittsburgh—which Heyward also said he hoped for his new teammate. He’s already something of a fan favorite, so here’s hoping he gets re-signed this offseason.