Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell took a lot of heat for seemingly attempting to avoid the media during the team’s first week of OTA practices. On Tuesday, however, Boswell made sure to have a long session with the media following the team’s first OTA practice of Week 2 and he answered a lot of different questions that mostly centered around what he think went wrong with him last season in regards to him having a very year kicking-wise.
Boswell started off answering questions about if he’s changed anything related to his overall kicking process.
“Just next kick,” Boswell said, according to audio from 93.7 The Fan. “I mean I know I gotta be better than last year, but I’m not even paying attention to last year. You know, I’m focused on next kick, I’m focused on next Tuesday, which is my next team period. I’m just kind of going day-by-day, kick-by-kick.”
Bowell was then asked if he knows if his problems last season were more mental or technique related.
“It’s a little bit of everything and you just got to get back to the basics and that’s why being here at OTAs for everybody is so important, Boswell said. “This is where you kind of like build that base work to lead you into the season, and by the season it just becomes muscle memory.”
Even though Boswell ended the 2018 regular season on the team’s Reserve/Injured list after reportedly suffering a groin injury during warmups in Week 16, he let it be known on Tuesday that he’s not using that injury as any kind of excuse for his poor kicking performance throughout the year.
“Oh, I’m not going to talk about injuries, that’s nothing to be even mentioned or brought up,” Boswell said. “I mean, I’m out there to do a job and I didn’t do that job to the best of my abilities. And that’s all it comes down to.”
Boswell also let it be known on Tuesday that he has no plans on doing anything different this year when it comes to possibly changing his kicking style or approach.
“No, I’m going to stick with what I did the last – going into my fourth year here,” Boswell said. “It didn’t work last year but I’m not just going to scratch everything.I’m here to do a job and I’m going to focus on that job and the next kick.”
Boswell was later asked if he has good appreciation for what went wrong with his performance lat year ad why.
“Yeah, I’ve got appreciation for everything,” Boswell said. “You know, just still being here is a blessing and just being in this sport and in this industry is a blessing in general. And as long as they’ll have me here, I’m just gonna keep kicking and swinging.”
The Steelers did sign rookie undrafted free agent kicker Matthew Wright out of Central Florida to compete against Boswell this offseason . Boswell, however, still considers his only competition right now to be himself and not Wright.
Yeah, we’ve always had somebody and I just approach it the same way,” Boswell said Tuesday. “I mean, no matter who’s out here, it’s me versus me, it’s not me versus anybody. And as long as I can conquer that, I should be pretty good.”
Boswell seemingly had the $2 million roster bonus that was originally due him in March pushed back to a much later date in the summer and that means he’s certainly not guaranteed to be the Steelers kicker in 2019. You can bet the Steelers will try to put as much stress on Boswell throughout the remainder of the offseason and the preseason in an effort to make sure his poor 2018 season can be put behind him once and for all.
In closing, Boswell said Tuesday he doesn’t pay any mind to several past great NFL kickers usually having a bad season or two during their careers as a reason why he thinks he’ll now likely be able to bounce back from his poor 2018 season.
“I’m not going to seek comfort and look at that and be like, oh, everything’s fine with me. I’m going to be okay,” Boswell said. “I mean, I have to really get after it this offseason, like I have been, and show up here ready to kick and compete and just kinda take it from here on out. I’m not looking at any other kickers in their years. It’s just kind of, you know, what am I going to do to be better from here on out.”
It’s good that Boswell now got this initial OTA media session behind him. In fact, there’s really no more questions for him to answer until well after training camp and the preseason gets underway. Will Boswell be able to bounce back from his poor 2018 season and continue to be the Steelers kicker for several years to come? That question is certainly tough to answer right now but it sounds like he’s doing his best to prove that 2018 was just a fluke. That includes using video to compare last year to his previous years.
“Yeah, every year we look at the years past, what I do different compared to what I did last year, compared to what I did in my first game here,” Boswell said. “And there’s little things here and there, but I mean, we just got to make it go through the pipes.”