The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2022.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up is center/guard J.C. Hassenauer and guard John Leglue.
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract Status: Exclusive rights free agent
Contract Details: Will be under contract with the Steelers for $895,000 if they chose to sign him, and would carry no dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 13 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 3 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 276 (offense), 51 (special teams)
PFF score: 68.3 (15th of 40)
Notable stats (regular season): Hassenauer had no penalties called against him in 2021.
Notes: After an extremely rough 2020 season, Hassenauer bounced back and performed admirably when called on in 2021. Starting one game at guard in Week 11 before taking over and center in Week 17, Hassenauer played every snap over the Steelers last three contests. While he performed the admirably filling in, it would still take much improvement to really be an answer at the position for years to come. But Hassenauer has definitely deserved a seat at the table with the Steelers in 2022.
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $825,000 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers nothing in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 6 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 5 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 407 (offense)
PFF score: 54.5 (66th of 83)
Notable stats (regular season): Leglue had 5 penalties called with 1 penalty declined or offsetting.
Notes: Starting training camp as a player not really on the radar, Leglue performed well in the preseason and landed on the Steelers practice squad. With the number of injuries the Steelers sustained throughout the season, Leglue landed on the 53-man roster following Thanksgiving and started the Steelers last six games including the playoffs. While some weeks were stronger than others, Leglue came out of nowhere in order to try to hold together the Steelers struggling offensive line. With a rookie starting on either side of him when first called upon, there wasn’t quite the strength from the unit as it had with Kevin Dotson, but no one expected Leglue to see an offensive snap in 2021 let alone starting games. While there still more work to do, Leglue still has the possibility of being the Steelers next undrafted gem on the O-line.
So what do you think? How would you conduct Hassenauer’s and Leglue’s exit interview? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
Ben Roethlisberger & Najee Harris
Eric Ebron & Pat Freiermuth
Trai Turner & Kendrick Green
Chuks Okorafor & Dan Moore Jr.
Robert Spillane & Buddy Johnson
Montravius Adams & Isaiahh Loudermilk
Joe Haden & Tre Norwood
Christian Kuntz & Pressley Harvin
JuJu Smith-Schuster & Cody White