Big day if you’re a big fan of special teamers. After Mike Tomlin noted an open battle to be the starting line snapper and the more obvious punter/holder battle, kicker Chris Boswell spoke with reporters to weigh in on the competition. He offered the professional, and I assume true, answer that he’s comfortable with whoever the team decides.
“We have two great caliber snappers and two great punters and holders,” Boswell told local media Wednesday via the team website. “I’m fortunate enough to get to work with all of them and take reps with each of them. Reps are split 50/50. It’s basically depends who is up in that half or that punt as to who holds.”
At snapper, Kameron Canaday and Christian Kuntz are going down to the wire. At punter, Jordan Berry and Pressley Harvin III have been locked in a tight race throughout. On the surface, it would feel that Canaday and Harvin currently have the edge. But the Steelers have surprised with special teams decisions before. In 2017, they picked Canaday over their draft pick, sixth rounder Colin Holba. Last season, they released Jordan Berry for Dustin Colquitt, though Berry was brought back a month into the year.
Field goals are an operation. A unit. There’s a snap, a hold, and a kick. Which means there has to be a lot of trust in each guy to do his job. Boswell says he’s confident in the job everyone is doing.
“Both of them are great. Both of them are doing a great job. It’s just about getting comfortable with each guy and building confidence.”
It’s unclear who will win out at either of those spots. Frankly, the team probably hasn’t yet decided, using the finale against Carolina as the final test. Boswell won’t know either. Nor will he have any input on who the team ultimately keeps.
“No. That’s an upstairs answer. Whoever they pick, whoever they roll with.”
Save for that first month of 2020, Berry and Boswell have worked together since Boswell was signed by the team in 2015. Those two naturally have built up more trust that’s hard for a rookie like Harvin to replicate. But Boswell praised the job both have done.
“I’ve been with Jordan going on seven years now. So there’s a big comfortability there. Bu Pressley is doing a hell of a job. He’s a good young rookie.”
The harsh reality is August 31st will by a joyful day for two players, one long snapper and one punter. It’ll also be a somber one for two others. The snapper and punter who turn in their playbook. But Boswell believes whoever doesn’t earn the job in Pittsburgh won’t be out of work for long.
“I know no matter who they pick, a snapper and a punter will go somewhere else and play. Because we have four great guys here right now.”