The Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the early stages of the 2021 offseason, but with the 2021 NFL Draft over the attention now turns to the regular season. There are steps along the way, mandatory minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and training camp, but the position battles which will take shape throughout the offseason are worth discussion.
Sure, things could change between now and the start of training camp. Injuries, acquisitions and players emerging can alter the outcome of these battles, but there will be several key battles taking place. In this series, myself and Dave Schofield will be giving our analysis and prediction for each training camp battle which will unfold at some point this offseason.
Today we take a look at a position/battle for the Steelers’ special teams. The battle between incumbent punter Jordan Berry and 7th round rookie Pressley Harvin III.
Despite the typical special teams camp battle which merely has a kicker in camp to take repetitions from the starter, this has a much different feel. The Steelers spent a 7th round pick on Harvin, not a ridiculous amount of capital, and Berry has been on thin ice for over a year now. Let us not forget about Berry being cut last season when the team signed Dustin Colquitt, but Berry returned when Colquitt wasn’t getting the job done.
Will this be the year the Steelers have a new punter? And if so, will Harvin be able to keep that job for years to come?
Who wins the battle? Dave and I give our predictions below, but be sure to let us know what you think in the poll below, and be sure to explain your vote in the comment section!
Analysis: For anyone who listens to my “Let’s Ride” podcast, or has checked out the “Steelers Preview” podcast for any duration of time knows my disdain for Jordan Berry. It isn’t Berry as a man, but as a player. His inconsistencies drive me crazy when watching a game, and it is a reason I was extremely happy to see the Steelers spend one of their 7th round picks on Pressley Harvin III in the draft. Competition for Berry is important, but it is also a situation where the Steelers could have found their future punter for years to come. Harvin has to win the job, which might seem like a simple task, has been proven difficult.
Prediction: I want to believe Harvin will have an easy job defeating Berry, but I know it won’t be easy. However, I do see Harvin being the Steelers’ kicker when the regular season begins. Similar to 2020, the Steelers thought they had found their punter, only to have Berry return. Consistency is the name of the game, and the biggest question for Harvin entering the NFL. Master this skill, and he will have a long career in Pittsburgh. I think Harvin gets it done, and there will be great rejoicing throughout the fan base.
Analysis: This is all about upgrading the position. Nothing is going to be handed to anyone as teams are not usually dedicated to their punters. As long as the job gets done, it belongs to the same person. Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since the Steelers had a punter that they felt gave them an advantage with their special teams.
Prediction: Pressley Harvin is going to have to do something to show he can’t get the job done in order to not win this battle. Even if the two appear to be about equal, going with the player who they spent a draft pick on and could have longer-term would make the most sense. But if Harvin doesn’t appear to be the best option, he could get the Colin Holba treatment. I don’t see that happening and think Harvin will be the guy Week 1.
Who will win the Steelers camp battle at punter?
This poll is closed
Pressley Harvin III