Maybe Mike Tomlin should’ve trotted out David Bowie for the kick. Because according to the head coach, Chris Boswell struggled under pressure with his onside kick, uh, attempt.
Tomlin was asked about the decision to try the “rabona”onside attempt at the end of the Baltimore Ravens’ game.
“He didn’t execute under pressure. You gotta execute under pressure. We felt comfortable allowing him to deliver that kick because of what we’ve seen him do here and practice like settings. He felt comfortable about delivering that kick for the same reasons. All these things being said, you have to be able to perform under pressure.”
As you have probably seen by now, Boswell has attempted, and succeeded, with that soccer-style kick in the past and as Tomlin said, something they worked on in practice. I assume it was successful then too. But in action, it was a flop, with the ball hitting off his non-kicking foot and going nowhere, ending the play and the Steelers’ hopes of a furious comeback.
The @Steelers just tried a rabona onside kick.
— NFL (@NFL) November 6, 2016
But Tomlin was just as quick to say how confident he remains in Boswell and wouldn’t hesitate to do similar in the same situation.
“Would I give him the opportunity again? I would, based on what I’ve seen in preparation. I make determinations on opportunity about what I see in preparation regarding the player. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him, I know he’s got a lot of confidence in himself. The way that he prepares, and prepared, produced the confidence in the decision to try the specialty kick that he tried in the football game.”
At the very least, the silver lining is that this kick is on tape for all other teams to see and will be another element special teams’ coordinators must gameplan for.
Even more optimistically, hopefully the Steelers don’t fall behind and put themselves in a situation where they need to attempt an onside kick again.