2022 Exit Meetings – RB Anthony McFarland Jr.

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: Anthony McFarland Jr.

Position: RB

Experience: 2 Years

Anthony McFarland Jr. spent all of one game on the active roster last season as a practice squad elevation in week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts. Even though he probably had his best training camp out of three, Jaylen Warren muscled him out of a spot on the 53-man roster.

But after Warren got nicked up coming out of the bye week, it provided McFarland the opportunity to make a small but meaningful cameo. The Colts were admittedly missing defensive linemen, but the Steelers ran well against them. McFarland was a part of that, rushing for 30 yards on six carries. He also caught two passes for 11 yards.

A 2020 fourth-round draft pick, McFarland drew interest of the coaching staff as well as the fans as a change-of-pace option. The Steelers tend to lean to the heavy plodders as their lead runners, and McFarland’s speed and quickness had the potential to add an enticing element to the group.

That never really panned out, yet still there was hope that he could grow into that. Even he knew his odds were growing longer, however, and he threw his hat into the return man ring to try to aid his roster chances.

It didn’t work out in 2022, but perhaps it will next season. He wouldn’t be the first player who had such a setback, reverting to the practice squad only to re-establish himself on the 53. Marcus Allen did it, for example.

The Steelers already retained him on a Reserve/Future contract, and he figures to be in camp competing once again. With Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren already on the roster, they’re not likely to significantly address the position this offseason outside of re-signing Benny Snell Jr. And they have kept four running backs plenty of times in the past, most recently in 2021. It’s all a matter of how the positional numbers work out elsewhere.

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