2018 Steelers Pre-Training Camp Roster Review: Specialist

The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2018 NFL Draft took place. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed since then, and the changes apply to almost every position on the roster, some major changes, some minor.

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: 0

Deletions: 0

Players Retained:

Chris Boswell: Boswell is coming off the best season of his young career, which included four last-minute go-ahead or game-winning field goals. He was also perfect on four field goal attempts from 50 yards or beyond, including a long of 53, which was a career-best. His 38 made field goals was a team record, as was his total points scored.

Jordan Berry: Berry’s numbers might has dipped slightly from 2016, when he posted a net average of over 40 yards (the highest in Steelers history), but he only came just .2 yards of that mark. His gross average is still pedestrian from a league-wide perspective. I believe he lacks above average hangtime, but he has improved in his directional and situational punting.

Kameron Canaday: Taking over for a long-time veteran, and unseating a rookie draft pick, Canaday more or less did was expected of him during his first full NFL season on a roster. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to bring somebody else in for a look.

Matt Wile: Wile has been on an NFL roster before, though not for long. And is interesting to note is that the majority of his punts were returned. The Steelers like to keep the number of returned punts low.

Players Added: N/A

Players Lost: N/A

Notes and Camp Outlook: 

What is most worth noting here is actually the lack of competition, especially for the long snapper position. The Steelers had the good fortune of benefitting from the sure thing that was Greg Warren for over a decade at the position, and they are only a year removed from that.

Now Canaday is a player who already lost a job in the NFL before. He seemingly only narrowly unseated rookie sixth-round pick Colin Holba last season, but seemed to do reasonably well during the year. Still, that they haven’t even added another long snapper is a bit surprising.

For Berry, there is at least Wile. Berry has been here for three seasons now, and has improved each year, but he has not established himself as one of the top players at his position. Still, Wile has been out of college since 2015 already. He did punt in four games in 2016.

As for Boswell, the only question is when he will receive a long-term deal. I still expect it to happen this year, during training camp. He is currently expected to play under the restricted free agent tender. He was tagged at the second-round level. Kicker prices are only going up, so the sooner a deal gets done, perhaps, the better.

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