The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the 2019 season much as they did the 2018 season, by allowing their playoff fate slip out of their grasp. Slow starts and slow finishes permeated both campaigns, with strong runs in between. But while the results were the same missing the playoffs, the means were quite different.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we. But that they still managed to go 8-8 without Ben Roethlisberger, and with the general quality of play that they faced along the way, I suppose things could have been worse.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2018 season.
Player: Kameron Canaday
Position: Long Snapper
Experience: 3 Years
Let’s talk about long snappers, shall we?
I make no illusions about my expertise, or lack thereof, about the nuances of the long snapper position. The most significant thing that I know is that the Steelers hold a preference toward bigger-bodied players at that spot, and Kameron Canaday is one of the bigger long snappers at 6’4”, 245 pounds.
21 other starting long snappers are shorter, while a number of others are the same height, for example. Jon Weeks of the Houston Texans is even 5’10”. His weight is more in the mid-range for the position. For reference, Colin Holba, whom they drafted in 2017 before Canaday beat him out, is also 6’4” and 243 pounds. He spent parts of last season snapping for the New York Giants, as well as the San Francisco 49ers, for those wondering, and has managed to play at least a few games every year.
As far as Canaday goes, he is one of the few long snappers in the NFL last season who did not record a tackle, though only a few recorded more than two. For obvious reasons, it is not a position that would typically rack up a lot of tackles. The exception had been the Giants’ Zak DeOssie, who was a linebacker in college and a fourth-round pick. He has 86 tackles in his career over 13 seasons.
Canaday was called for one false start last season back in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills. If memory serves, this seemed to be a really questionable call with very minor movement that was not called on the opposing long snapper later in the game, or in a subsequent week.
This was, either way, a significant improvement from last season, during which he was flagged three times for offensive holding, all against the Cincinnati Bengals and twice in the same game. If your long snapper is consistently drawing holding penalties, you have a problem.
But nothing was good about the Steelers’ special teams in 2018, was it? Chris Boswell had a truly awful year, even if one or two of his misses were ‘aided’ by a rough snap or two from Canaday. Jordan Berry had taken a notable step back as well.
This group of specialists has now been together for three seasons. Canaday is technically a restricted free agent, though I doubt they will tender him, rather choosing to simply sign him to a one-year veteran-minimum contract. There shouldn’t be a ton of demand. Maybe he even gets a multi-year extension.