'I'm hitting the ball really well'

If he's asked to make a 42-yard field goal with 1:47 left in overtime on Sept. 8 at New England, Chris Boswell intends to approach it as he would a relative chip shot at the conclusion of the Steelers' game-opening possession against the Patriots.

"Personally, it doesn't matter to me," Boswell maintained today after the fourth of the Steelers' 10 scheduled OTAs. "I didn't make 'em last year but I made 'em every other year. If it comes down to it, I'm there.

"I'm here to make kicks and whenever it is, first quarter, four quarter or overtime, that's all I'm here for."

That Boswell didn't "make 'em" with his usual relentless regularity remains one of the great mysteries of the 2018 season.

A year removed from hitting a Steelers-record 35 field goals on 38 attempts, including three consecutive game-winning kicks after which the clock read 00:00, Boswell uncharacteristically struggled, beginning with a miss from 42 yards out in overtime in the 2018 regular-season opener at Cleveland.

His accuracy dropped from 92.1 percent to 65 percent (13-for-20). Boswell also missed five extra points after having converted 99 of 102 during his first three seasons.

The Steelers went from a 13-3 division champion to a 9-6-1 also-ran.

"If I had to point to a couple of things that I think were problems that may have cost us that opportunity (to be in the playoffs), No. 1 was a lack of even an average kicking game," Steelers president Art Rooney II assessed in January. "For somewhat inexplicable reasons our kicker went from one of the best in the league to one of the worst in the league, and so games that we won close last year, we didn't win close this year."

Boswell believes he and the Steelers have gotten to the bottom of what went wrong but declined to provide details.

"That's not something that's ever going to be shared," he said. "I had some long meetings with a lot of people and just kind of getting to the bottom of everything. Every year we look at the years past, what did I do different compared to what I did last year, compared to what I did my first game here. There's little things here and there, we just have to make it go through the pipes.

"The confidence is good. I'm hitting the ball really well and I'm going to continue to do that."

Boswell is one of two kickers on the roster for OTAs along with Matthew Wright, a rookie from Central Florida.

"We're here, we're day to day, week to week, game to game," Boswell said. "As long as they'll have me I'm here for the next practice, the next kick, and that's all I'm focusing on.

"I mean, no matter who's out here it's me vs. me, it's not me vs. anybody. As long as I can conquer that I should be pretty good."

The Steelers participate in day 4 of the 2019 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex

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