Steelers News

Pressley Harvin Admits Adjusting To Holding Duties Has ‘Been A Grind’

While it might not be the case for every team, generally speaking, part of a punter’s job in the NFL is also to serve as the holder on the field goal unit. That is not a role that a team can afford to have taken lightly, because failure to get the football properly placed after the snap can easily lead to a shanked field goal attempt.

That was a factor in the decision for the Pittsburgh Steelers this summer when they drafted punter Pressley Harvin III to compete with veteran Jordan Berry, with whom he had a very good working relationship with kicker Chris Boswell as his holder.

By the end of training camp, however, the coaching staff said that Harvin was at a level in that area to the point where it wouldn’t weigh significantly. The fact that they also changed long snappers probably didn’t hurt, either. Still, by no means does the rookie punter take his role as holder as a secondary responsibility, even after Boswell said that he has a lot of confidence in him.

It’s been a grind”, he said of how the process has gone during his rookie season to become a skilled holder for the field goal unit. “I’m to the point now that I feel like it’s not just one part that’s lacking. I have to critique myself and hold myself to a higher standard with that, and got myself to the point where I am now”.

The field goal is the product of a process, from the snap to the hold to the kick, and all of those parts have to be in sync and in rhythm. That’s why any good group of specialists—in this case, Boswell, Harvin, and Christian Kuntz—tend to be close and put in extra time together. All of their jobs may depend on it if they don’t execute.

“I feel like it’s one complete moving piece”, Harvin said. “I’m just continuing to get into that role and just continuing to be a big part of his success, as well as our entire special teams success on that play. We always hold each other to make sure we do everything 33 percent. My 33 percent every day is just consistently getting better”.

Compared to the week before where he literally had to do Boswell’s job after the kicker suffered a concussion, this Sunday was probably a breeze. But nevertheless, the rookie had a high-stakes fourth quarter with three field goal attempts.

The first two attempts were from beyond 50 yards, and the final attempt was from 40, and to put the Steelers ahead by two points with just a couple handfuls of seconds remaining on the clock. Harvin performed in that pressure situation, and Boswell is 15-of-16 on the season, new holder and long snapper and all.

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