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: Mitch Trubisky
Experience: 6 Years
I was going to write about Trubisky yesterday, as traditionally I begin with the backups starting with the quarterback position. I didn’t want to flood the narrative with too many articles about the backup quarterback position at one time, though, which is why I pivoted elsewhere and got the exit meeting for Chase Claypool out of the way.
But now it’s time to talk Trubisky. A four-game starter before he was benched, he finished 1-3 as a starter in that run and played a marginal role in the one victory. Yet he contributed significantly to two other victories while as a backup (including one start).
Signed as an unrestricted free agent with the intention of serving as a bridge starter (that’s why he had incentives in his deal, after all), Trubisky ran with the first-team offense all offseason and seemed pretty clearly to be the favorite based on usage.
Not because of anything that rookie Kenny Pickett was showing, really. Rather, it seemed to be rooted more in an organizational desire to avoid throwing him into the fire right away. But it only lasted a quarter of a season before head coach Mike Tomlin felt the need to pull the trigger.
Outside of occasional flashes, his play over the first four games was rather poor, though he didn’t get much help from his offense overall, whether it was the offensive line or the running game, primarily. Or the play-calling, for that matter.
But when he did play after getting benched, he played a freer style of ball that seemed to suit him better. It worked against him when he came in against the Ravens, allowing himself to be baited multiple times for interceptions, but he moved the ball much better in that game and then in a win the following week as the starter.
He is currently working with his fellow teammates in Florida, so at the moment he’s not showing any signs of being a malcontent. Of course he wants to start. Every backup is supposed to want to start. But most of them don’t get to. He’ll be happy dressing for $8 million.