I find that there’s just about nothing that gets Pittsburgh Steelers fans talking more—outside of some serious drama—than when the opportunity arises to discuss a draft pick or a personnel decision that can be perceived as a bad move. Breaking news and things of that nature notwithstanding, these tend to be our articles that drive in the most discussion and traffic.
Yet I can’t help but wonder how much enthusiasm one can muster up over the unheralded return of Colin Holba to Heinz Field. Holba, the only long snapper drafted in 2017, was taken, naturally, by the Steelers in the sixth round, and the only way anybody could rationalize the decision—if they were willing to do so—was to contend that he would hold down the position for the next decade.
Well, he didn’t. Holba failed to make the team’s 53-man roster, with the Steelers instead choosing to go with Kameron Canaday. He was the first long snapper on the roster outside of Greg Warren last offseason, but was released and replaced with another before being brought back later on in the process.
Canaday actually won the long snapping job for the Cardinals a year ago but was released three games into the season after he had a couple of bad snaps. Yet there hasn’t been much of anything to complain about with respect to his performance this year. In fact, Pro Football Focus even named him their honorable mention for the position in their mock Pro Bowl, or whatever it was.
So why are we talking about Holba? Because he managed to find himself a job a couple of months back. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their veteran long snapper, Matt Overton, for the season in mid-November after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Los Angeles Chargers. The former Steelers long snapper was the one who ended up winning the job, and he has remained in place since.
Which means, of course, that he will be back in Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon to show everybody what they are missing out on.
If anybody notices. The vast majority will naturally take no notice of the long snapper, and even if they hear or see the name Holba, it may not register exactly who that is unless you are informed of the matter, or are an obsessive the way we are here—and I know many of you are.
I already said my piece months back when Holba didn’t make the roster. Warren needed to be replaced, and barring the signing of a ‘veteran long snapper’, such that there is a market, the logical plan would be to draft the best one you can find and give him competition.
In the long term, he didn’t make the roster, and therefore they didn’t get what they hoped they would out of their sixth-round pick. But they did appear to find a capable replacement in Canaday, who earned the job through competition—and helped Chris Boswell set team records.