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: Rashaad Coward
Experience: 4 Years
Originally signed as a free agent in the offseason, Rashaad Coward did not have a consistent tenure with the Steelers. While he spent most of the offseason lining up with the first-team offense, first at right guard due to David DeCastro’s injury and then at left guard with Kevin Dotson ailing at the start of training camp, he did not make the 53-man roster.
The veteran was signed to the practice squad the following day, but was released on October 9 in order to accommodate other position number needs due to injury. He was re-signed on November 23, and was elevated to the 53-man roster four straight weeks at the end of the season, due to ongoing injury and COVID-19 issues. He played all of two snaps on offense, though he also saw 22 snaps on special teams.
Dotson suffered was proved to be a season-ending ankle injury around mid-year, and subsequently, B.J. Finney and J.C. Hassenauer were also injured. Finney would remain on the Reserve/Injured List for the rest of the year, but Hassenauer would eventually come back.
In the interim, Coward was dressing as the top backup guard, with John Leglue playing left guard. When Hassenauer returned, Kendrick Green at center was injured, so he was plugged into the starting lineup. With Dan Moore Jr. missing a game late in the year, he was also available to play at tackle.
After the Steelers released Coward in October, he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he lasted a week before being released again. After the season ended, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in late January, where he remains as of this writing.