On Wednesday before practice at Saint Vincent College, punter Pressley Harvin III spoke to the media about the last few days of training camp and his performance thus far along with the punting competition with Cameron Nizialek.
When asked about his absence from the team last season and how the Steelers turned back to him after Corliss Waitmann played well when he was gone from the team, Harvin pointed to overcoming that adversity and bouncing back with a strong close to the season.
“I felt that we’ve played everything in our cards the right way last year,” Harvin said to the media on video via Steelers.com “And I was able to go back home, be with my family for a little while and got back and I knew the road was going to be a little tough, but I continued to just keep progressing down the road and just kept trying to get better. And that playoff game, when I did get a chance to come back after Baltimore, that was one of my best games of the year, the game we needed it the most.”
Harvin missed Week 16 & 17 last season due to the tragic passing of his father on Christmas morning. Harvin actually was able to bring his father to Pittsburgh’s Week 15 game at home against the Tennessee Titans, which they would go on to win.
While Corliss Waitmann did punt well in Harvin’s stead as he mourned the loss of his father with family, the team did him right by going back to him after he returned, releasing Waitmann to make Harvin the undisputed punter for Pittsburgh. In Waitmann’s two starts last season, he had seven punts for an average of 52 yards per punt attempt. For comparison’s sake, Harvin averaged 42.6 yards per punt on the season last year, struggling at times with directional punting and hangtime to properly flip the field.
However, Pittsburgh showed that they are a class act franchise and stuck by Harvin during his struggles both on the field and at home, not giving up on him like the trust they put in K Chris Boswell, who endured a poor 2018 season before rebounding to become one of the best kickers in football. It appears that that trust and confidence shown by the Steelers to Harvin has left a mark on the second-year punter, who has been booming it as of late at training camp, sending punts across the field with the hangtime needed for the coverage team to get down and prevent a big return from occurring.
2021 was a season of adversity for Pressley Harvin III who had to overcome up and down play as well as the loss of his father while trying to make his mark in the league as a rookie. However, he has handled that adversity with the mindset you love to see from a young man, not letting the lows get him down, and understands the opportunity at his disposal this year. Having the talent coming out of Georgia Tech to make Pittsburgh invest a draft pick into him indicates there is a fair amount of upside with the young punter who has just made it through his first NFL season and looks primed to take a step forward in 2022.