The Pittsburgh Steelers have recently concluded their offseason schedule, complete with nine OTA practices and the three-day minicamp, and are currently off for about five weeks before they re-emerge in Latrobe for the start of training camp.
Not much is expected to happen between now and then as far as new goes regarding the team. Ideally, the players will simply be focused on getting in the best possible shape heading for the long haul that begins with training camp and concludes, hopefully, with a deep postseason run.
That means that the roster heading into camp should just about be set, so now during the dead time it’s worth taking a dip back into the positional depth charts to see where we stand following the offseason reports, finishing up with the specialists.
Greg Warren: Warren is one of just four players remaining from the team’s 2005 championship season, having been a rookie that year, if I’m not mistaken. Despite being among the longest-tenured long snappers in the league—and for good reason—however, you don’t really see him mentioned when the position is brought up, which is admittedly rare.
It seems, though, that we are moving into an era in which the position is being taken more seriously. Some long snappers are beginning to sign higher-valued contracts for multiple years, and teams are even drafting long snappers. The Steelers are fortunate to have a long snapper as consistently accurate as Warren, who will likely remain in his spot until he chooses to retire. Because as I always say, you don’t know you need a long snapper until you don’t have one.
Shaun Suisham: Though he is among the oldest players on the team, Suisham has only been a part of the Steelers organization since mid-way through the 2010 season. Since then, he has been the most accurate kicker in team history.
Though he holds a career percentage of 84.1, which places him as the 15th-most accurate kicker in history, his 87.9 percent accuracy with the Steelers would stand as the third-best conversion rate in history, behind two kickers who have only been in the league for less time than Suisham has been with the Steelers.
Brad Wing: By far the specialist position with the least amount of experience and stability on the Steelers is the punter position, which has been manned by five different players since 2011, including the incumbent Wing.
The Steelers brought in Wing a year after he failed to make the Eagles squad, which was a year after he was kicked off the LSU football team. They also signed veteran Adam Podlesh, who was never able to report in order to compete. Wing got the job by default and turned in an uneven and inconsistent performance.
Jordan Berry: So the Steelers went back to Australia for the third consecutive season to look for another punter, this time with first-year player Berry. He beat out Richie Leone during rookie minicamp for the chance to compete against Wing, but neither instill a great deal of confidence in the unit making positive strides this year.