2022 Pre-Training Camp Roster Review: Specialist

The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft took place. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed since then. The changes apply to almost every position on the roster. Some are major changes and some minor, though some have remained largely static.

We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp. This year, it’s back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. It would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.

Position: Specialist

Total Positional Figure: 5

Additions: 1

Deletions: 2

Players Retained:

Chris Boswell: One of the greatest kickers of the greatest era of kickers, Chris Boswell slips under the radar only for playing in the same time as Justin Tucker, and the perception that he doesn’t have the most booming leg. Yet he made eight field goals from 50-plus last year, shattering a team record and perhaps signaling a new era for Tomlin’s approach.

Pressley Harvin III: Last year’s seventh-round draft pick, Harvin had an awful rookie season, for reasons that include family tragedy. He is looking to rebound in a huge way entering year two, and Danny Smith at least said that he looked good in the spring.

Christian Kuntz: Kuntz beat out Kameron Canady last year and had a pretty quiet first season overall. That’s about as interesting a description you can write for a long snapper.

Cameron Nizialek: A rookie punter last year, Nizialek spent a short period of time on the practice squad along with some other specialists, but entering camp, he is the only depth specialist who survives from that group.

Players Added:

Nick Sciba: A rookie free agent, Sciba was signed following rookie minicamp as a tryout. He replaces Sam Sloman as a second kicker on the roster.

Players Lost: 

Sam Sloman: Sloman made 10 out of 13 field goals and 23 out of 26 extra points during eight games of play in the 2020 season. He spent time on the Steelers’ practice squad last year, but was let go after the team tried out and signed Sciba.

Rex Sunahara: The West Virginia product spent a very short period of time on the Steelers’ practice squad last season, and was signed as a future player some time after the year ended, having previously had another reserve long snapper in the mix. He was one of three players waived to make room for the original college free agents the team signed after the draft.

Notes and Camp Outlook:

For Boswell, it’s a matter of how soon he gets paid. Entering the final year of his contract and firmly established as one of the best kicker in the league, it is viewed as a given that he will be given an extension.

There is currently only one long snapper on the roster, but that could change. Harvin will be challenged for his roster spot, as would be expected after his struggles last year; because of this, it wouldn’t be surprising of another punter is brought in.

The Steelers could be monitoring Corliss Waitman, who spent time the past two years on their practice squad and who performed well in two games last season while Harvin was tending to his family after his father passed away. Waitman was signed by the Broncos after his release, but Denver also has incumbent veteran punter Sam Martin, a nine-year veteran who has been with them for two years. while he has a chance to win the job, Waitman probably shouldn’t be considered the favorite.

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