Tomlin Wishes K Chris Boswell Put The ‘Ball Through The Upright’ More This Season

On Monday, HC Mike Tomlin spoke to the media in his weekly press conference where he talked about the team’s victory at home against the Cleveland Browns and gave some of his thoughts on the season as a whole as the Steelers’ 2022 season comes to a close with Pittsburgh being eliminated from playoff contention.

Tomlin was asked about K Chris Boswell and if there is any concern with him after what could be considered a down year. Tomlin answered that he hasn’t really thought about Boswell in that light fresh of the season coming to an end but acknowledged that Boz wasn’t his normal clutch self at different points throughout the season for the Steelers.

“You know, I haven’t began to assess it in that way yet,” Tomlin said to the media Monday on video from the team’s YouTube channel. “I’m sure that I will, and he will. We acknowledge and I acknowledge that the ball didn’t go through the upright at times and largely as much as we would like it to.”

Boswell played in 12 games this season after he suffered a right groin injury ahead of the team’s Week 8 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, landing him on IR. He ended up returning to kick in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens and finished out the rest of the season as Pittsburgh’s kicker after Nick Sciba and Matthew Wright filled in for him during his absence.

When Boswell was in the lineup this season, he struggled based on his recent standards. He made 20/28 field goal attempts (71.4%) while converting all his extra point attempts (18/18), hitting a long of 59 yards on the year. This season is Boswell’s worst FG percentage since 2018 when he converted on just 65% of his tries, leading many to believe that Pittsburgh would move on from him in the offseason.

The Steelers stuck with Boz and he rewarded them by becoming one of the best kickers in the league and one of the best kickers at home in Acrisure Stadium, regularly nailing 50+ yard field goal attempts in crucial moments when the team needed it most. However, Boswell just signed a four-year extension this past offseason with Pittsburgh worth $16.8 million, making him one of the highest-paid kickers in the league. That’s a pretty penny for a kicker that is making just over 70% of his attempts, but to Boswell’s credit, he did deal with injury throughout the season.

Moving on from Boswell wouldn’t move the needle much for Pittsburgh in terms of cap savings based on the dead cap they’d be hit with should they release him. Still, Boswell mentioned after signing his extension this summer that he must prove that he is worth the investment Pittsburgh made in him. Given the similar production the Steelers had with Wright during Boz’s absence, perhaps we could see some competition brought in this offseason to push Boswell in hopes of a redemptive season in 2023.

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