If there’s one issue that’s followed punter Pressley Harvin III, it’s consistency. More specifically, a lack thereof. And in Year Two, it’s still something he’s working on and an aspect Steelers’ special teams coordinator Danny Smith acknowledged in a recent interview with reporters.
In an article written by 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Limberg, Smith told reporters what he’s looking out of Harvin.
“He’s got to establish consistency in his game,” the always honest Smith said, per The Fan’s article.
Harvin has all the tools to be a NFL punter. It’s what got him drafted in the seventh round last year. He impressed during the pre-draft process, punting well in the rain during his Georgia Tech Pro Day, one Smith attended. Harvin went into the summer battling incumbent veteran Jordan Berry. It was a tight battle but one Harvin won out, though Berry quickly landed on his feet and signed with the Minnesota Vikings, performing well last season.
Harvin’s highs are evident. They were obvious during camp. According to our camp recap and the numbers I personally tracked, Harvin had four of the five best hangtimes during special teams sessions, including the best hangtime I’ve ever seen in a camp setting.
Here are the top five numbers:
1. Pressley Harvin: 5.23 (Steelers Depot camp record)
2. Pressley Harvin: 5.09
3. Jordan Berry: 5.05
4. Pressley Harvin: 5.02
5. Pressley Harvin: 5.01
But Harvin also had three of the five worst hangtimes, including the two lowest, coming in at 3.21 and 3.40.
It was the same story with his yards. He had the best boot by far, a 64-yarder, but also the worst, a 29-yard shank that went out of bounds.
The regular season was no different. Harvin had impressive moments but just as many if not more negative ones. His average, total and net, suffered. He finished with a 42.6-yard average and a 38-yard net average. A 42-yard net is considered good in today’s NFL and, Harvin’s number was far from that mark.
Lack of consistency was something we noted in our pre-draft scouting report of Harvin, writing:
“The biggest issue with his game is inconsistency. Lot of great punts. Also a lot of shanks. In this first clip against Clemson, he had just 3.27 seconds of hangtime on a 36-yard punt. In the second against Georgia, this one goes 3.36 seconds and just 36 yards.”
And concluded by writing Harvin wasn’t worth the draft pick due to the up and down nature of his play.
Despite the ups and downs, Harvin will enter the summer as the clear favorite, and Smith expressed confidence in his ability to grow as a player, as the article points out several times. But punters don’t get a long leash, and if his inconsistency continues, Pittsburgh could turn to the veteran market for his replacement. With an offense that figures to struggle, Steelers’ punters will be busy this year. And Pittsburgh can’t give away precious field position.