The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted before they even reached the postseason, which unfortunately marks the sixth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—tying their longest drought of the Super Bowl era. 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 9-8 and nearly making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Haden to most of their wide receiver room, not to mention Stephon Tuitt’s decision to retire.
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 2022 season.
Player: Arthur Maulet
Experience: 6 Years
The fact that we’re not talking about Ahkello Witherspoon by now is pretty damning. He entered the 2022 season as a starter. Even if he didn’t end the season on the Reserve/Injured List, one figures he would have been on the bench.
Instead, as we wrap up the last spot for consideration of defensive starters, we’re talking about Arthur Maulet, who logged a career-high 481 snaps for the Steelers this past season as the primary nickel defender for most of the year.
A journeyman who spent time with a handful of teams before signing with Pittsburgh in free agency in 2021, he seems to have found a home with the Steelers, who value the versatility of his skill set. Aside from the fact that he also plays special teams, he is equally comfortable in coverage, against the run, and blitzing. He can play in the slot or at safety, although they wouldn’t stick him on the outside.
Maulet finished the season with a career-high 59 tackles, speaking to the amount of time he spent playing up in the box, among them eight run stops (and 12 tackles against the run in all). He also had two sacks and another few pressures, including a couple of hits on the quarterback.
Is he a great coverage cornerback? No. There were a couple of times where the opposing team picked on him. Ideally, they would be able to sub him out in obvious passing situations. But he is a valuable first- and second-down nickel package defender in addition to his work on special teams.
And he is under contract for the 2023 season as well. The Steelers re-signed him on a two-year deal last offseason because of how much they liked what they saw from him upon initial impression. He’s a great locker room guy. If you recall, he was the one who got on teammates after a loss. There’s no question he’s a gamer.