Things could be worse for Chris Boswell. After all, he got paid pretty nicely earlier this year, earning more than I’ll make in my entire life. He got $8 million between a signing bonus, roster bonus, and base salary in 2018. But that doesn’t mean he very nearly lost his job.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ kicker probably came close to losing it once again last night, but would appear to have saved it late when he made a big 48-yard field goal with just under three minutes to play that gave them a seven-point lead over the New England Patriots, somewhat making up for an earlier miss that he pushed wide right.
According to Head Coach Mike Tomlin, there was no hesitation about sending him out for that second field goal attempt. In fact, that decision was pre-determined, so it wasn’t even a matter of consideration, unlike in Josh Scobee’s final game with the team.
“I made that decision when I walked in the stadium with him that he was our kicker and I wasn’t going to play that second-guessing game today”, Tomlin said after the game in reference to that final sequence.
“We evaluated that process in a very thorough manner. Prior to going into the stadium we had a great deal of comfort with the route that we chose to take. We described that route to you guys intimately and so I wasn’t going to get into the stadium and do that”, he continued.
“He’s our kicker from start to finish and I liked the way he came back and banged that next opportunity and that is what this thing is about. This thing meaning the game of football at this level. You are going to be tested, we are going to be tested, sometimes you are going to fail but you better pass enough of them”.
Boswell’s 2018 season hasn’t been too far from disastrous, and it would have gotten most kickers in the league fired by now. Through 14 games, he has only attempts 18 field goals because the Steelers have been so good in the red zone—and throws interceptions when they don’t get in the end zone—but he has missed seven of them, in addition to five extra points.
The Steelers made him re-earn his job during the week, but apparently they’re not going to do that again. They put him through the gauntlet, and that was for the rest of the year, from the sound of Tomlin’s remarks.
Boswell was open last week about his issues being not just mechanical but also mental. One can only hope that the faith the team has shown in him, and then his ability to come through in the clutch again late, will help overcome the mental hurdles of his trials he has gone through in 2018.