The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted from the postseason in the opening round, which unfortunately marks the fifth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—a new record for the franchise since the merger. Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-7-1 and making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from the majority of the offensive line to Mike Hilton, Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Vince Williams—not to mention Stephon Tuitt, essentially.
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 2021 season.
Player: Chris Boswell
Experience: 7 Years
Now that we’ve completed the exit meetings for the starters on offense and defense, it’s time to turn our attentions to the specialists before moving on to the rest of the depth chart. There was a lot of change in this area in 2021, but the mainstay was kicker Chris Boswell, who continues to be among the best in football.
Boswell has completed at least 90 percent of his field-goal attempts in each of the past three seasons, and has also achieved that mark in five of his seven seasons overall. The dreadful 2018 season, which nearly cost him his job, during which he went 13-for-20 (65 percent) is the only reason he’s not giving Justin Tucker a run for his money as the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history at 90.86 percent (Tucker is at 91.06; Harrison Butker is at 90.12; Younghoe Koo is at 90.00; all are active kickers).
The 2021 season was another predictably strong season, of course, during which he broke his own franchise record for the most field goals made in a single season with 36, out of 40 attempts, for a 90-percent hit rate. He did miss two extra points, though he missed four a year earlier.
Notably, he went 8-for-9 from 50-plus yards, firmly establishing himself as the greatest distance kicker in team history. He is 17-for-21 in his career from the 50-plus range, and owns a franchise-record long of 59 yards.
Boswell transformed how head coach Mike Tomlin approaches the game because of his consistency and range. He’s never had a kicker like him before; few have, in fact. He may not be noted as having the biggest leg in the league—he probably wouldn’t be asked to attempt a 70-yarder even in the final second of a Super Bowl in which they trailed by one—but combined the range he does have with the consistency he’s shown for all but one baffling season in his career, and you have certainly one of the great kickers of this generation, and of NFL history. It’s only a shame he’s had to share it with Tucker, or else he’d probably have another Pro Bowl or two to his name.