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Challenge, he's got game, mindset

Posted Dec 14, 2017

Learn more in this week's edition of Coordinator's Corner.

Each week one of the Steelers coordinators will share their insight in an exclusive interview that can be heard on SNR every Thursday in the 3 p.m. hour.

This version of Coordinators Corner will give you a sneak peek of what to expect, but it just touches the surface. Read what they have to say, but take my advice, listen every Thursday for the full interview. It will be worth your time.

Featured this week is special teams coordinator Danny Smith.

Meeting the challenge: A few weeks ago Coach Mike Tomlin threw out a challenge to Chris Boswell to hit a 50-yard field goal. Like with everything else he has done recently, Boswell has met the challenge. Smith said meeting that challenge isn’t just telling somebody to do it, but it’s more about the entire mindset behind it.

“You have to practice those things,” said Smith. “Nothing is too big for this guy. It becomes a mindset. It’s just a matter of emphasis.”

He’s got game: While some might think kickers just walk out on the field and kick the ball, with not much more thought going into it, they are dead wrong. Just like the offense and defense game plans, special teams does the same, and that includes Boswell and Smith formulating a plan during the week.

“You have to game plan on kickoff, where you are going to put the ball,” explained Smith. “You talk about hang time, placement, and distance. Who you are playing, what kind of returns they have, and what direction they are going in. He has to be ready for that. I talk about a kicker with game. There are a lot of strong leg guys out there riding around these neighborhoods that think they can kick. There is a lot more to it than putting it on the tee and kicking it. What separates these guys is execution under pressure. Now you take the operation, snap, hold, kick, timing, the footwork. All of those things. It’s a big deal. It’s a real big deal.”

Great mindset: Things have been going well for Boswell as of late, with four game-winning field goals. So the question is, when things go well do you just leave him alone, or do you still work on things?

“It all depends on who the kicker is,” said Smith. “Boz and I have a great relationship and different things we go through week in and week out. It all depends on the kicker and his mindset. This kid has a great mindset. There is a lot of communication involved.”