clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Exit Interviews: Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader

The Steelers had some young, role players establish themselves at tight end in 2021.

Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

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 tight ends Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader.


Zach Gentry

NFL: JAN 09 Steelers at Ravens Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Tight end
Years with the Steelers: 3
Years in the NFL: 3
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $1,051,115 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers $86,115 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 12 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 473 (offense), 139 (special teams)
PFF score: 66.0 (28th of 70)
Notable stats (regular season): Gentry had 19 receptions 25 targets for 167 yards; one special teams tackle.

Notes: After missing almost the entire 2020 season due to injury, Zach Gentry started to impress in training camp particularly as a blocker at the tight end position. As the season pressed on and Eric Ebron was lost for the season, Gentry continued to contribute to both the Steelers passing game, albeit in a limited fashion, and as a blocker. With a much stronger season which many did not expect, Gentry has given the Steelers a good option at the second tight end position going into next year.


Kevin Rader

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Position: Tight end
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $895,000 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: 1 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 36 (offense), 37 (special teams)
PFF score: 538.8 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats (regular season): Rader had two receptions on three targets for 8 yards; three special teams tackles.

Notes: Starting the season on the practice squad, Kevin Rader gave some needed depth for the Steelers at tight end over the last half of the season. Going in the 2022, Rader will once again have to prove his worth in order to stick in Pittsburgh, but being under contract for one more season allows the Steelers to not be forced to add another significant player before training camp.


So what do you think? How would you conduct Gentry’s and Rader’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
J.C. Hassenauer & John Leglue
Marcus Allen & Tegray Scales
James Washington & Chase Claypool
Taco Charlton & Alex Highsmith
Ahkello Witherspoon & James Pierre
B.J. Finney & Kevin Dotson
Kalen Ballage & Anthony McFarland
Stephon Tuitt & Carlos Davis
Ray-Ray McCloud & Diontae Johnson
Terrell Edmunds & Miles Killebrew
Dwayne Haskins & Joshua Dobbs
Arthur Maulet & Justin Layne
Cam Heyward & Henry Mondeaux
T.J. Watt & Derrek Tuszka