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: Tre Norwood
Experience: 2 Years
A 2021 seventh-round draft pick, Tre Norwood played 388 snaps during his rookie season. Although he missed two games last season, his playing time fell to 243 snaps, dropping from 33 percent to 26 percent of the defensive snaps in the games for which he was active.
That is largely attributable to the signing of Damontae Kazee, who replaced Norwood as the third safety. He only played eight defensive snaps from week 11 on and was inactive for the final two games of the season. He played eight snaps against the Raiders, a game Terrell Edmunds missed, suffering a hamstring injury in that game.
In fact, all of his 16 defensive snaps after the bye week came in games in which either Edmunds (Las Vegas) or Minkah Fitzpatrick (New Orleans) were injured. Norwood played eight snaps against the Saints, the first week after the bye, which was also Kazee’s first game, starting and playing every snap, after missing the first half of the year with a broken arm.
So what’s next for Norwood? Edmunds is gone but Kazee was re-signed. Head coach Mike Tomlin has already said that the Steelers are going to add to the safety position this offseason. Will that keep Norwood further down the depth chart yet again, or can he be the third safety and dime defender?
He’ll have to earn it. He struggled more this past season as a whole, particularly in terms of tackling and positioning. He wasn’t tested much in coverage, but he also didn’t get his hands on any balls, either for interceptions or just pass break-ups.
Regardless of his role on defense, he’ll still have a home on special teams, where for two years he’s played about 40 percent of the snaps. He plays primarily on kick coverage and returns, but he could develop into a four-phase player with work on the field goal block unit as well.