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: Anthony Miller
Experience: 3 Years
In contrast to Steven Sims, whom we discussed yesterday, Anthony Miller did spend time with another team on the 53-man roster during the 2021 season. The Chicago Bears’ former second-round draft pick in 2018 is on his third team and looking to get back to contributing.
The Bears traded Miller to the Houston Texans on July 26 last year. He made their initial 53-man roster, and dressed for two games (catching five passes for 23 yards, including a touchdown), before he was released on October 6.
Less than a week later, the Steelers signed him to their practice squad on October 12, the same week that JuJu Smith-Schuster was ultimately placed on the Reserve/Injured List after suffering a significant shoulder injury against the Denver Broncos on October 10.
Similar to Sims, Miller was only elevated for one game once he got to the Steelers, dressing against the Cincinnati Bengals. He played 25 snaps, catching one pass for two yards in a 41-10 blowout, on a 3rd and 6 during the second quarter just past midfield.
Miller also went on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, as Sims did, in late December, and both of them were activated back to the practice squad on January 4. Miller took a bit longer to re-sign with the Steelers after the season on a Reserve/Future contract, doing so on January 24 when the majority signed on the 18th or 19th. Perhaps he had other offers and was considering them before committing to return to Pittsburgh.
Once again, as with the case with Sims, Miller is a veteran wide receiver who does have NFL experience (he caught 134 passes for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdowns during his time in Chicago), coming into a wide receiver room that just lost three of its top five players.
And Miller’s quarterback in Chicago was Mitch Trubisky. Working with Trubisky, he caught 97 passes on 156 targets for 1,216 yards and nine touchdowns (though Trubisky also threw six interceptions while targeting him). Trubisky just so happens to be the prohibitive favorite to start the season as the Steelers’ quarterback in 2022.