When Chris Boswell was unavailable to the media during the first week of OTAs, there were some fans and local reporters who took exception to his desire to remain out of the spotlight, but the beleaguered kicker appeared to be more than willing to speak on Tuesday when the Pittsburgh Steelers resumed their offseason training program.
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell stopped to talk to local media today after OTAs for the first time since his erratic 2018 season, and his sense of humor is still intact.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 28, 2019
"This should be interesting," he said.
Reportedly drawing a large crowd for the first time he has spoken publicly since the 2018 season ended, Boswell was keen to put his struggles of last year behind him.
Chris Boswell drew a big media scrum after OTAs Tuesday. Has his approach changed from 2018? "Next kick," he said. "I know I've got to be better than last year but I'm not even paying attention to last year." Boswell would not discuss the groin injury that landed him on IR at end— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 28, 2019
Preferring instead to focus on improving in 2019, it would seem that Boswell is not overly concerned by the competition he will face in rookie Matthew Wright this offseason, clearly aware that his job will be safe if he can recapture the form he had shown previously.
Chris Boswell on facing competition in training camp: "We've always had somebody and I approach it the same way. No matter who is out here, it's me versus me, it's not me versus anybody. As long as I can conquer that I should be pretty good."— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 28, 2019
Despite suffering an apparent groin injury that would result in him being added to injured reserve towards the end of the season, Boswell refused to use that as an excuse for his poor performance in 2018 when talking to reporters.
“Nothing to be even mentioned or brought up, I’m out there to do a job and I didn’t do that job to the best of my ability, and that’s all it comes down to.”
Vowing to prepare himself for the season in the same fashion that he has in past years, Boswell is also not willing to turn his back on the preparation that won him the job with the Steelers in the first place.
“No, I’m going to stick to what I did the last, you know, going into my fourth year here. It didn't work last year, but I’m not going to scratch everything. I’m here to do and job and I’m going to focus on that job and the next kick.”
Having seen his field goal completion percentage drop from 92.1 percent in 2017 to 65 percent in 2018, it would be fair to question if Boswell would even have a shot to prove the doubters in Pittsburgh wrong this offseason if not for the sizable contract he signed last August. If his form does not appear to have returned throughout preseason, the Steelers will have no choice but to eat the dead money associated with his release.