We are now at a point during the offseason in which we find ourselves looking at training camp just around the corner for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the league, and a lot has changed for them over the course of the past several months. They have lost a number of players in free agency, through releases, and retirements. But they have also brought in a number of new faces to replace them.
We all know that roster turnover is an ever-present reality for today’s rosters, and it seems that over the course of the past half-decade or so even the Steelers have proven to be as susceptible to the annual shakeup as anybody. With that in mind, we should take the time to get to know some of the new faces with training camp soon to be here.
When it comes to the new pieces that the Steelers have added during this offseason through all facets, free agency, the draft, and otherwise, only one of them can be said to be virtually guaranteed a starting job, and thus be virtually assured of having the greatest impact on the team’s 2017 season.
That player is their sixth-round draft pick, long snapper Colin Holba, whose only competition in the wake of the retirement of longtime long snapper Greg Warren is Kameron Canaday, who was cut by Brian Arians Cardinals last season in a somewhat unceremonious fashion.
The Steelers originally added Canaday as a Reserve/Future player, but they released him after the draft in the wake of Holba’s selection. When it became obvious that they would have to move on from Warren due to growing concerns about his long-term physical health as a result of multiple knee injuries, they re-signed the former undrafted player.
Generally speaking, it would probably be fair to say that it would be a great surprise should Canaday open as the Steelers’ starting long snapper unless Holba were to get injured. The sixth-rounder was widely regarded as the best available at his position and was deemed a draftable prospect, and so he was drafted. And as I have noted previously, when long snappers do get drafted, it’s generally in the sixth round, and not the seventh.
A walk-on in school, Holba, who describes himself as extremely competitive, had to earn his opportunities to snap while in college, and ultimately did so by his junior season, assuming all duties of the long snapper in his senior season.
He was praised for his ability to consistently place his snaps, and to do so with velocity, but more than that, the Steeler was widely noted for the size that he brings to the position. As I have previously noted, he is larger than the average starter in the league, and far larger than the average long snapper that declares for the draft.