The Pittsburgh Steelers, and NFL for that matter, have officially hit the offseason. With a month before contracts officially expire, and the new league year begins, the Steelers will need to start game planning their future.
In this series we will look at every position group of the Pittsburgh Steelers and what the team will do with the players that were on the 2021 roster, and how they should rebuild the spots heading into the 2022 season!
Today we breakdown the Steelers’ Special teams units. While they aren't the flashiest players on the team, this group still represents a third of the game and are a big part in winning or losing a football game. It was a weird year for the ‘teamers in 2021, and they will have to be better moving forward.
The 2021 Roster
Chris Boswell (1-Year $4.94 Million)
Pressley Harvin III (3-Years $845K)
Christian Kuntz (1-Year $825K)
2021 was an interesting year for the Steelers special teams players. There were moments of brilliance and moments of flat out ineptitude. When the year started Pressley Harvin III looked to be one of the new golden boys of football as a punter. By the time the season ended he was a scapegoat on this team and now there’s talk about replacing him. He did experience more tragedy than a normal human should off the field within the last calendar year. With that said, there is reason for hope that Harvin will bounce back heading into the future.
Chris Boswell was his consistent self, as usual. The Steelers kicker was once again one of the best in football and if it wasn’t for Justin Tucker making a ridiculous field-goal in Detroit, I believe he makes the All-Pro team. The only problem was when special team‘s coordinator, Danny Smith decided to let Boswell roll out on a fake field goal pass against the Cleveland Browns. The play got Boswell de-cleated and knocked out for the rest of that game. Thankfully, the Steelers still held on to win, but that decision could have proven to be a very costly one.
Finally, Christian Kuntz won the battle for the long snapping job during the preseason. He was steady all year long and relatively unnoticeable. That’s everything you could ask for out of a long snapper.
Should they look to add a player
The Steelers are in no rush to do anything drastic with their core special teamers. I do think they need to bring in another punter for competition for Pressley Harvin III. Aside from bringing in a punter, most likely an undrafted free agent, I would also consider a Chris Boswell extension to not only lower his cap hit slightly this season, but to make sure he remains a Steeler for the rest of his career. Aside from that, I am not worried about any more moves within the special-teams ranks.
How should the group look in 2022
Realistically, and probably the best option moving forward, is the core three players from last year remaining the same in 2022. Allow Pressey Harvin III an offseason to not just get back to his normal self after facing so much tragedy in his life, but also to improve after his first season as a professional. Chris Boswell should be a Steeler until he no longer wishes to play football, and Christian Kuntz should continue to be the guy snapping the ball in the middle. If Harvin can regain form, I think this could be one of the best special team trios in the league. But the big question remains, can Harvin get back to that place?
But what do you think? What should the Steelers Special Teamers look like at the start of the 2022 season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Check out the other position previews below: