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: Miles Killebrew
Experience: 7 Years
The Steelers took a shot on Miles Killebrew in 2021, signing him to a minimum one-year deal for the purposes of becoming a core special teamer. That’s what he’d become known for during his five years with the Detroit Lions before coming to Pittsburgh.
He managed that rather successfully in his first season here, featuring two blocked punts and 13 total tackles, most of which came on special teams. It was impressive enough to earn a new two-year contract the following March, paying him $2 million per season — not quite double the minimum salary he would otherwise earn but close enough to it.
The 30-year-old didn’t quite have the same sort of impact that he did a year earlier—indeed, if you were to just look at the numbers, you might wonder what he was doing out there across his 290 special teams snaps—but he did continue to contribute to the expected level.
As you might gather, Killebrew is a ‘four-phase’ special-teams contributor, which means that he plays on all coverage and return units, both for punts and kickoffs. It’s true that he didn’t register many tackles this past season, four in all. I will acknowledge that his play trailed off somewhat as the year went on.
There’s no reason to think that he won’t be on the roster in 2023, however, as he is on the books for $2 million in base salary. The odds of it being worth it to save a million against the cap are pretty low for a player who is a ‘starter’ on special teams. And with other potential core players like Derek Watt, not returning, Killebrew’s stability will be important.