2022 Exit Meetings – IILB Robert Spillane

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted before they even reached the postseason. That unfortunately marked the sixth-consecutive season in which the Steelers failed to win a postseason game—tying their longest drought of the Super Bowl era. Yet again, they found themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so did we.

The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-8 and nearly making the postseason, 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 retirement.

While we might not know what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2022 season.

Player: Robert Spillane

Position: ILB

Experience: 4 Years

I will spare you the ruminations of the limited contributions of outside linebackers Ryan Anderson and Delontae Scott to the Steelers’ 2022 season, since they did very little, are no longer on the team, and were never a prominent part of the team’s picture. Instead we will move on to the inside linebackers.

I covered Myles Jack and Devin Bush as the starters at inside linebacker in the first wave of exit meetings, but Robert Spillane arguably could have been included in that group just as easily. After all, he played every single defensive snap for the team in the final four games of the season, although he ultimately played fewer snaps than Jack and Bush.

But all of them are gone, anyway, and Spillane was the first to leave, signing a two-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders with a base value of $7 million and a max value of $9 million. He brings a background of 16 starts with him, five of which came a year ago.

Spillane posted a career-high 79 tackles in 2022 with four tackles for loss. He had one sack with two quarterback hits and four passes defensed. At least one of them, if memory serves, saved the defense a touchdown in the red zone.

The Steelers liked to use him as their dime linebacker because of his football intelligence and instincts, but his athletic limitations frequently were an issue. Still, he got by a lot with those instincts, and he is also capable of being a big hitter.

His work in coverage overall last season left a lot to be desired, though the damage could have been worse. To his credit, he had arguably the most solid season of his career in terms of tackling efficiency.

As for the Steelers, they signed Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts as unrestricted free agents. Holcomb figures to be their new every-down linebacker, and bears some similarities to Spillane, only in a more athletic body. There are worse things in the world.

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