Colin Holba made it clear he doesn’t want to follow exactly in Greg Warren’s footsteps. But he sure would like to follow his legacy. Warren snapped for 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and if Holba can come close to that career, it’ll be a successful one. And a great draft pick by Kevin Colbert.
But Holba was never an instant long-snapping star, if there is such a thing. He struggled to find his footing at Louisville, coming to school as a walk-on.
“Getting cut my first time I tried out for Louisville, to getting put on scholarship and stuff, I wanted to make sure that every day was a productive day,” Holba told the Beaver County Times’ Chris Bradford. “There’s a lot of great snappers that came out in my class, I was just the lucky one to get picked.”
Holba attributed his success to a “workhorse mentality.” Scouts also liked his size, at 6’4/3 248 and excellent length, a rarity in the college game where rules allow for smaller, quicker snappers. That conversation about his size came up time and time again and was the first question one scout asked him at the Senior Bowl.
Due to Warren’s release, Holba is almost certain to be the Steelers’ starting long-snapper for 2017 and hopefully the foreseeable future. That means Jordan Berry and Chris Boswell will have to transition themselves to working with Holba, as part of an operation that requires perfection in placement and timing.
“So, it’s good working with them, good quality guys who have a high level of potential. They just have to put the work and time in and hopefully they can get to the level they need to be.”
Kameron Canaday is the other face in camp, new to the Steelers but snapped in several games with the Arizona Cardinals last year. But Holba is the clear favorite and the better chemistry he has with his holder and kicker, that’s just as important as when we talk about chemistry with the offensive line, the Steelers’ special teams will be better off for it.