Chris Boswell said yesterday that he hasn’t take his training camp battle with Shaun Suisham lightly but according to Suisham, for the start of camp, there may not be a competition.
Mark Kaboly caught up with Suisham after today’s practice. The Canadian kicker said he hasn’t started kicking yet and though he hopes to be ready for training camp, he is not confident.
Boswell had a stellar 2015 season, converting 29 of 32 field goals and setting numerous team records for a rookie kicker. But as he pointed out to Kaboly yesterday, he isn’t overlooking the body of work Suisham has.
“He’s been one of the best kickers in the league for a long time, so who am I to come to in here and have an upper hand on him. I don’t.”
Pittsburgh went through two other kickers before landing on Boswell. Garrett Hartley injured his hamstring in the preseason, ending his brief stint with the team, and Josh Scobee quickly became one of the most infamous players in recent history.
Suisham has made over 87% of his kicks during his five years with Pittsburgh. He tore his ACL in the Hall of Fame game against the Minnesota Vikings last year attempting to make a tackle on a kickoff.
He could still win the job, even if he’s contractually at a disadvantage, but is going to have to prove he’s healthy and the same kicker as he was before the injury. The more time he misses, the harder it will be to prove.
For the team, it’s still a good problem to have. Boswell and Suisham are accomplished and the team should enter 2016 feeling good about their starting kicker. No matter who it is.