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: Cody White
Experience: 1 Year
There isn’t a lot to say about a wide receiver who spends nearly the entire season on the practice squad, is there? I don’t know that the prospects of Cody White improving upon those circumstances in 2023 are very robust, either.
A former Michigan State product, what the young man does have going for him is size. He’s 6’3” and comfortably north of the 200-pound mark. He doesn’t have elite athletic traits—no surprise for a former college free agent—but one thing he has is a worker’s mentality.
And special teams ability. He spent most of the 2021 season on the 53-man roster for the Steelers following JuJu Smith-Schuster’s injury. He quickly became a staple of those units, though not enough to crack the top seven wide receivers of 2022.
With Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Gunner Olszewski, Steven Sims, Miles Boykin, and Calvin Austin III ahead of him, White’s prospects for making the team were never great. Even with Claypool gone and some of the others not currently under contract, I don’t know that he has a much better chance of making it.
But he’s likely a prime candidate for the practice squad again, ably filling that next-man-up role in the event that they find that they need an extra receiver. Injuries do happen, of course. He should know that well given that he benefited from Smith-Schuster’s shoulder injury greatly not so long ago.