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Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Matt Spaeth


End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Matt Spaeth

Position: Tight End

Experience: 7 Years

The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly didn’t fight particularly hard as they watched tight end Matt Spaeth leave town for the Chicago Bears a few years ago, just as he was slowly blossoming into a quality blocking tight end. His skill set in that regard only fully blossomed once he was with the Bears, however.

When they signed tight end Martellus Bennett and reshaped that position entirely, the transformation included the release of Spaeth, whom the Steelers were quick to sign, as they’d never properly replaced him since he left.

Such a need was particularly critical for the success of the 2013 season, given that starting tight end Heath Miller was rehabbing a torn ACL, and as we saw, it was a process that not only caused him to sit out the first two games of the season, but also had an impact on his quality of play.

Equally unfortunate was the fact that Spaeth would go on to suffer a significant injury of his own, going down with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. The injury lingered even longer than projected and resulted in him missing a full three quarters of the season before returning for the last four games.

Spaeth was worked back into the lineup gradually his first game back, though he featured prominently on an early scoring drive as a blocker. His run blocking slowly picked up steam as he gained more playing time until he helped lead Le’Veon Bell to the first 100-yard rushing game of his career against the Green Bay Packers.

He also caught his only pass of the season during that game, which happened to be an 11-yard strike from Ben Roethlisberger in front of a defender near the goal line for a touchdown—or just as many touchdowns as Miller scored on the year.

Thanks to the injury, the early returns on Spaeth’s reunion with the team were not nearly as significant as that of William Gay, who played very well and in a greater than expected role after spending one season with the Arizona Cardinals.

With both Miller and Spaeth closer to full health, however, the 2014 season should be a much more successful one for the tight end position. Too often the team had to rely on the likes of David Paulson and Michael Palmer. With the top of the depth chart restored, and Spaeth being a large part of that, I expect the running game to look more as it did toward the end of the year than as it did in the beginning.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G Ramon Foster
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Kelvin Beachum
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Le’Veon Bell
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C Fernando Velasco
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – FB Will Johnson
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Brett Keisel
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – NT Steve McLendon
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Cameron Heyward
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB LaMarr Woodley
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Lawrence Timmons
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Vince Williams
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB Ike Taylor
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB William Gay
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – S Troy Polamalu
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – S Ryan Clark
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Jerricho Cotchery
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Jonathan Dwyer
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Bruce Gradkowski
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C/G Cody Wallace

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Steve

    Spath was a good pickup from Chicago. Bringing him back and Miller getting back from knee surgery solidified the TE position. Paulson and Palmer did not cut it.

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