The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL season is over. Because the Steelers are one of 31 teams that haven’t finished reaching their ultimate goal, they’re wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2022.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all of their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By describing two players each day, we will be able to look back on their season as well as look forward. Since Coach Tomlin said he’s starting his interviews with rookies, first-year players and those heading into free agency, we’ll do the same. To start, we’ll match a potential free agent with a freshman player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up is center/guard JC Hassenauer and guard John Leglue.
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract status: Exclusive royalty free agent
Contract details: Will be contracted to the Steelers for $895,000 if they choose to sign him, and won’t take away dead money if he’s released.
Matches played in 2021: 13 regular season, 1 playoffs
Games started in 2021: 3 regular season, 1 playoffs
Snaps (regular season): 276 (attack), 51 (special units)
PFF Rating: 68.3 (15th out of 40)
Notable stats (regular season): Hassenauer hasn’t had a single penalty against him in 2021.
Remarks: After an extremely difficult 2020 season, Hassenauer has bounced back and performed admirably when called up in 2021. Starting a game at guard in Week 11 before taking over and centering in Week 17 , Hassenauer has played every shot in the Steelers’ last three games. While it accomplished the filler admirably, it would still need a lot of improvement to truly be an answer to the job for years to come. But Hassenauer has definitely earned a spot at the table with the Steelers in 2022.
Position: To keep
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract status: Signed until 2022
Contract details: $825,000 salary cap reached for 2022. Would cost the Steelers nothing in dead money if released.
Matches played in 2021: 6 regular season, 1 playoffs
Games started in 2021: 5 regular season, 1 playoffs
Snaps (regular season): 407 (violation)
PFF Rating: 54.5 (66th out of 83)
Notable stats (regular season): Leglue had 5 penalties called with 1 penalty denied or cleared.
Remarks: Starting training camp as a player not really on the radar, Leglue performed well during the preseason and landed on the Steelers’ practice squad. With the number of injuries the Steelers suffered throughout the season, Leglue landed on the 53-man roster after Thanksgiving and started the Steelers’ final six games, including the playoffs. While some weeks have been stronger than others, Leglue has come out of nowhere in an attempt to hold the struggling Steelers offensive line together. With a rookie starting on either side of him on first call, there wasn’t quite the unit strength as there was with Kevin Dotson, but no one expected Leglue see an offensive snap in 2021, not to mention the starting games. While there’s still work to be done, Leglue still has the opportunity to be the Steelers’ next undrafted gem on the O line.
So what do you think? How would you conduct the exit interview of Hassenauer and Leglue? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Be sure to check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
Ben Roethlisberger and Najee Harris
Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth
Trai Turner and Kendrick Green
Chuks Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr.
Robert Spillane and Buddy Johnson
Montravius Adams & Isaiahh Loudermilk
Joe Haden and Tre Norwood
Christian Kuntz and Pressley Harvin
JuJu Smith-Schuster & Cody White