2017 Steelers Pre-Training Camp Roster Review: Specialists

The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was very shortly after the 2016 season ended. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed, and, in a rarity, this actually applies to literally every position on the roster, including the quarterbacks and specialists.

We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, however, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.

Position: Specialist

Total Positional Figure: 4

Additions: 2

Deletions: 2

Players Retained:

Chris Boswell: Entering his third season, Boswell has at the very least proven that he has the temperament for the job. His best statistic to date is that he has not missed a field goal in five postseason contests—but he has missed three extra points. So…what’s up with that?

Jordan Berry: Berry has only been here a brief period of time longer than Boswell, since the latter was signed four games into the 2015 regular season already, while Berry was on the offseason roster. While overall middling to date in terms of raw numbers, he did show improvement in key areas like directional kicking last year, but he needs to improve more to secure a long-term future.

Players Added:

Colin Holba: The Steelers used a sixth-round draft pick on long snapper Colin Holba and all hell broke loose, only for some of the hell to recede when it was revealed that Warren had been released and likely would retire.

Kameron Canaday: Canaday is Holba’s competition on paper. He was briefly on the Cardinals’ roster last year before being cut by Bruce Arians, who wasn’t complimentary of him on his way out the door.

Players Lost:

Greg Warren: We bid a fond farewell to Greg Warren, who was one of just three players left from the 2005 Super Bowl team. Only two remain now from that club. Warren was the epitome of consistency. Holba must follow his lead.

AJ Hughes: I can’t say for sure, but Hughes may have only ever been intended to be a rookie minicamp leg. Though they signed him to a reserve contract in late February, he was released at the end of May, so he didn’t get too far into the active part of the offseason.

Notes and Camp Outlook: 

The Steelers did not even bring in an undrafted free agent kicker, instead using a rookie minicamp tryout leg to serve their kicking needs in that portion of the offseason, so Boswell has never been contested in any way this offseason.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t major change among the specialists this year, and that has already been made certain with the release with a failed physical designation of long snapper Greg Warren.

Holba has a lot riding on his shoulders after the Steelers made him a sixth-round draft pick. I wouldn’t worry about him losing the job to Canaday, but he can’t get off to a rocky start without feeling the pressure from the fans.

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