2021 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 2021 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, though some have remained largely static.

We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp, this time back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, 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: 6

Additions: 2

Deletions: 1

Players Retained:

Chris Boswell: Outside of a major blip in 2018, Chris Boswell has been one of the best kickers in NFL history since coming into the league, and he’s even expanded the Steelers’ range. He’s 9-of-12 from 50-plus with the most makes from that distance in team history, and his 59-yarder a year ago is a club record.

Jordan Berry: While Boswell was once challenged during that 2018 season in which he struggled, Berry was actually released a year ago. Dustin Colquitt was the Steelers’ punter for the first five games last season until he was cut. Berry came back and actually had perhaps his best season, but the team clearly isn’t content, given that they drafted a punter.

Kameron Canaday: Canaday is now entering his fifth season as the Steelers’ long snapper, but he has not established himself as one of the top players at his position in the league. He can be upgraded, but he does well enough that it’s not a priority.

Christian Kuntz: Just in case, they do have another long snapper on the roster in Kuntz, who has spent time on the 90-man roster in each of the past two offseasons. He was even on the practice squad for a time in 2020.

Players Added:

Pressley Harvin III: A seventh-round draft pick, Harvin comes in at punter at a time in which Berry is clearly being challenged. While he is known for his big leg more than anything, he also has finesse to his game, but is a work in progress with respect to consistency. The starting job is not guaranteed to him, but he figures to be given every opportunity to take it.

Sam Sloman: Sloman was a seventh-round pick by the Rams a year ago who played in seven games before being released. He went 8-for-11 on field goal attempts and 18-for-21 on point-after tries. Just recently signed, and figures to be a camp leg more than a serious challenger to Boswell.

Players Lost: 

Corliss Waitman: Signed as a college free agent last year, Waitman spent the 2020 season on the practice squad as a punter who is also capable of kicking, but he didn’t get an opportunity to do either in a year in which the team had multiple starters in both spots.

Notes and Camp Outlook: 

Though the Steelers have multiple players at all three specialist positions, the only one that is really in contention is the punter position, which we all know. Berry has a slim chance of retaining his job, but all the momentum is behind the big-legged rookie who can throw a pass. Outside of that, there doesn’t figure to be much to see here. We’re talking about training camp participants, and perhaps practice squad candidates.

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