Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: P Pressley Harvin III
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The beleaguered second-year punter received some words of support and kudos for his performance during spring drills from his special teams coordinator, Danny Smith, after a rough rookie year.
The Steelers had a wealth of draft picks in 2021 and they saw an opportunity in the seventh round to add competition to the punter position, as they had long been something less than sold on incumbent starter Jordan Berry. They used one of their final picks to add Pressley Harvin III, who after a close battle in training camp ultimately was given the starting job.
That’s about as good as it got for him, at least in most fans’ eyes, who wanted him to be cut in-season. It was a struggle for him both on and off the field, as he was dealing with personal tragedies at the same time as he was going through a major life transition.
That’s no excuse, of course, and it certainly won’t be valid entering the 2022 season. The Steelers do have another punter on the roster in Cameron Nizialek, but they could always add more competition—such as if Corliss Waitman is ever let go.
But at least so far, in the early goings, Danny Smith is seeing better performances out of Harvin. “He’s great”, he told reporters earlier this offseason, though with a hint of jest. “We’re undefeated, unscored upon, he got a 58-yard average and we got a 45-yard net, he’s killin’ people right now and it don’t mean shit”, he added.
In other words, he might look pretty good now, but now is not when he needs to look good—or rather, now is not when the Steelers need him to look good. But he does personally need to look the part every step of the way to convince the team that this is still his job. And at least up to this part he has apparently been able to do that.