There’s not much attention paid to kickers until a crucial game-winning situation arises when a field goal attempt has to go in. Then football fans sit up, take notice and voice their opinions on the kicker depending whether their team triumphs… or not.
Teams usually don’t use a draft pick on a kicker or punter, they pick them up as free agents. The Steelers have only used one draft pick in the past ten years on one. They selected punter Daniel Sepulveda with a fourth round pick in 2007 and he proved a success until his retirement four years later because of knee problems.
Going into the last year’s training camp, Shaun Suisham was the Steelers reliable kicker after taking over those duties in 2010 from Jeff Reed, who had been efficient on the field but capricious in his not so private life.
Suisham was injured making a tackle on a kickoff return in the Steelers first exhibition game and placed on injured reserve. Garrett Hartley took over the kicking duties and he lasted three preseason games before picking up a hamstring injury that placed him on the injury list with Suisham.
With the regular season rapidly approaching, the Steelers traded a sixth round draft pick to Jacksonville for Josh Scobee. Unfortunately, the ten-year veteran had past his sale by date and was not consistent. His two missed field goal attempts against the Ravens probably cost the Steelers a win so they let him go.
CHRIS BOSWELL PRE STEELERS
Chris Boswell made his mark when he became just the sixth player in NCAA history to kick three fields of 50 yards or more in a game. He helped the Owls beat SMU when he booted field goals from 56, 53 and 51 yards in 2012, also adding ones from 43 and 28 yards.
Boswell entered the 2014 draft having kicked 54 touchbacks from 70 kick offs and was signed by the Houston Texans as a free agent before attending the New York Giants training camp the following year
CHRIS BOSWELL – A STEELER
After Scobee was let go following his misfortune against the Ravens, the Steelers began the search for a replacement. Two days later, Chris Boswell participated in a kicking contest at Heinz Field. “It was an experience,” Boswell said. “It was pouring rain, windy and all the elements you want. I hear it gets pretty bad up here so it was kind of a good test.
All I’m worried about now is being here and getting the job done for this team,” Boswell added. “I’m very thankful for this organization for giving me a chance. I don’t want to let anyone down. It means a lot to me. I’m ready to do my best.”
Boswell has been exceptional in his contribution to the Steelers making the playoffs and in the wildcard game in Cincinnati earned a lot of respect and deserved recognition.
He has a simple outlook on his job with the Steelers. “Kicking is kicking,” he told reporters after his first practice on the South Side and that philosophy has stood him in good stead.
The Steelers kicker made his pro football debut in front of a national television audience on Monday Night Football and wasn’t fazed by playing in front of a. “It doesn’t really matter who’s watching, if it’s on your own or if it’s Monday Night Football”
The boy done well that night in San Diego kicking a 47-yard field goal and converting three extra points to help his team take the 24-20 victory.
After his debut, he was his normal modest self. “I am happy to do my job for the team and happy to be guaranteed one more game.”
With Ben Roethlisberger absent the following week against the Cardinals, his four field goals from 47, 48, 51 and 28 yards helped the team win 25-13, prompting Mike Tomlin to observe about his kicker, “He’s doing a solid job.”
Boswell’s post-game comments:
You made it look pretty easy today. Were you nervous at all?
No. I don’t really think too much when I kick. I just kick the ball the same, no matter where you are.
Did the wind play much into it?
I didn’t really pay too much attention to the wind. I knew if I hit a good ball – end-over-end – that the wind wouldn’t affect it too much. So as long as I got good contact and good rotation, I just picked my spot.
How much confidence does this give you?
It gives me a good amount of confidence. Next week is a new week. I can’t just expect to ride this forever. I have to get back to work.
After the wildcard game, Boswell said, “I try to do the same thing every time. No matter if its preseason, season, or playoffs, kicking is kicking and it comes down to what you do every time.
The footballs don’t change, field goals don’t change. It’s just sticking to what you do every time. I’m just happy I could go out there and make them. I’m doing the best I can do and just trying to do my job.
I’m just waiting for the call. As soon as I hear it I run out there. I love that he trusts me that much. I just hope I don’t let anyone down and keep kicking them straight.”
Chris Boswell was superb during the regular season, but in the playoffs he was just outstanding with a 100% success rate. On a miserable rainy night in Cincinnati, the Steelers kicker ensured the team made it past the wildcard game and he did his best in Denver to see his team through to the Championship game.
Voted SteelerNationUK’s MVP for 2016>>>