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Thread: Shaun Suisham continues working with Chris Boswell

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    Shaun Suisham continues working with Chris Boswell

    Shaun Suisham continues working with Chris Boswell

    By BRYAN DEARDOFri May 31 2019

    Shaun Suisham is back for a third go-around with the Steelers.

    The team's kicker from 2011-14, Suisham returned to the team 15 weeks into the 2018 season to work with current Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell, who was near the end of a rocky season with the black and gold. Suisham was back at the team's facility this week while continuing his work with Boswell, who is trying to keep his job entering the 2019 season.

    "It's just good to have another kicker out there, throwing ideas off each other," Boswell told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after Suisham initially re-joined the Steelers last season. "He was in the league for 11 years, so it's always good to have a guy like that around watching. It's good to have a guy of his caliber."

    This offseason, the Steelers, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, told Boswell that they would delay his $2 million roster bonus (that was due in mid March) until after the team's final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. Boswell would have been cut if he didn't agree with this decision.

    "[The] Steelers want to see more before deciding to give him a chance at redemption," Dulac wrote.

    On Tuesday, during Day 4 of Steelers' OTAs, Boswell spoke to the media for the first time since the end of the 2018 season. While he didn't reveal what led to his disappointing 2018 season, Boswell seemed confident that he would bounce back in 2019.

    “I’m out there to do a job," said Boswell, who will face competition during training camp. "I didn’t do that job to the best of my abilities, and that’s what it comes down to.”

    Boswell, an extremely even-keel person, was asked if he plans to change/alter his approach for this year after last season's disappointment. He missed several crucial kicks in 2018 that included a pair of misses in the team's Week 14 loss to the Raiders. He also missed a field goal attempts in Pittsburgh's Week 1 tie in Cleveland, the team's Week 2 loss to Kansas City, Pittsburgh's Week 12 loss to Denver, and in the Steelers' Week 15 victory over New England. He made both of his field goal attempts in Pittsburgh's 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16.

    “Nope," he said. 'I’m gonna stick to what I did going into my fourth year here. It didn’t work last year but I’m not just gonna scratch everything. I’m here to do a job and I’m gonna focus on that job and the next kick.”

    Instead of parting ways with their kicker following an extremely disappointing 2018 season, Pittsburgh has decided to stick with Boswell entering the 2019 campaign. Even though that means paying a substantial among of money for a kicker that made just 65 percent of his field goal attempts last season. Prior to last season, Boswell had made 89.5 percent of his regular season field goal attempts. He still hasn't missed a field goal in the playoffs, making all 15 of his attempts during Pittsburgh's 2015, '16, and '17 postseason appearances.

    Pittsburgh's belief in Boswell does not mean that he will be handed the position. Shortly after the 2019 NFL Draft had concluded, Pittsburgh signed free agent rookie kicker Matthew Wright, who made 98.6 percent of his extra points and 77.5 percent of his field goal attempts during his time at Central Florida. During the team's rookie minicamp, Write beat out fellow kicker Matt McCrane, who replaced an injured Boswell late in the 2018 season. Against the Bengals in Week 17, McCrane, made all three of his field goal attempts and was awarded a game ball following Pittsburgh's 16-13 victory.

    Boswell isn't worried about beating out Wright. Instead, he said that he is focused on himself and what he needs to do to ensure that last season was simply a fluke.

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  2. #2

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    Kicking reminds me a bit of a golf swing. I lived on a golf course and at the range years ago, got into that 10 handicap range. Then hit this summer where I couldn’t hit a ball. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was slicing everything into the trees for months. Then one day it just corrected itself. To this day, i don’t know what that was about. I suspect kickers go through similar things. Boz is a great kicker and I suspect he just had a mental hitch. I expect a big year from him.

  3. #3

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    Let’s put it this way, Boswell will be available for you in the last round of your fantasy draft.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.


    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.

  4. #4

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    Danny Smith already confident Chris Boswell has regained his Pro Bowl form - ‘I’m of the mindset that he’s the guy we had two years ago’

    With training camp still more than a month away, the Steelers special teams coach believes his troubled kicker is already back to being the player he once was.

    By Simon Chester@SimonAChester Jun 18, 2019

    While the Pittsburgh Steelers decision to move back the due date of Chris Boswell’s 2019 roster bonus until after the final preseason game of the year was a clear sign of the doubts they have about their Pro Bowl kicker, it would appear that not everyone in the organization has lost faith in him.

    Indeed, in light of the comments of his special teams coach during mandatory minicamp reported by Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is every chance that Boswell would already have received his $2 million roster bonus this offseason had the financial decisions been left up to Danny Smith.

    “I don’t want to go into last year. That’s not for the public, what we discuss. It obviously was off, and it wasn’t acceptable. We’ve made corrections, and we’ve worked hard at it together. I’ve seen a great deal of improvement. I’m of the mindset that he’s the guy we had two years ago. Right now, that seems like what we got. We’ll see when we get into the team settings.”

    Considering that Smith seemed unaware that anything was off with Boswell last year until the season began, it would be understandable if fans were less than confident in his current evaluation of his kicker at this point in the offseason. However, it appears that just 10 days of OTAs and three days of minicamp have been more than enough to significantly impact how Smith feels about his kicker after a disastrous season.

    “Obviously, we need an improvement there. He’s been very good in the OTAs. It has to carry over into the team settings. We put him in team settings, and he’s responded. We know what he’s capable of, and that’s a positive. We have to get back to what he was capable of. That’s where we’re headed.”
    Stopping short of naming him the starting kicker before training camp has even begun, it seems that Matthew Wright will need to go above and beyond if he is to convince Smith he is the right man for the job this season.

    “You’ll know it when I know it. We’ll see that together. When we get in those critical situations, you’re not going to have to ask me. You’re going to know, and I’m going to know. If he hits that game-winner like he did, he hits those long ones like he did, if he’s banging balls, you’re not going to come looking for me. But once that [ball] goes wide right, and we lose 19-17, you come looking for me.”

    But if turns out the Steelers made a mistake in keeping Boswell over Wright once the real games begin, some might suggest that the kicker should not be the only one being shown the door.


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