Smith: 'We gotta make some kicks'

Danny Smith had coached special teams in Philadelphia, Buffalo and Washington, D.C., prior to joining the Steelers.

The Steelers signed kicker Chris Boswell, a Fort Worth, Texas native who attend Rice University. Boswell spent some time on the Texans practice squad in 2014 and with the New York Giants during the 2015 preseason.

And in his previous 18 NFL seasons, the Steelers' special teams coordinator since the 2013 season hadn't seen a team have to resort to a fourth kicker a mere five weeks into a regular season, the way the Steelers have this season.  

"Never," Smith confirmed.

That's made Smith's third season with the Steelers as unique as it has been challenging.

"You gotta play the hand you're dealt," Smith maintained. "That's the hand we're dealt. My job is to coach them and that's what we're doing.

"Each year you prepare, prepare, prepare and you're hit with new things. Those who are successful continue to adjust and move along."

The Steelers have already moved along from Shaun Suisham (knee) to Garrett Hartley (hamstring) to Josh Scobee (3-for-7 on field goals from 40-49 yards) to Chris Boswell in advance of their fifth game of the season on Monday night at San Diego.

Boswell became the next man up after winning a tryout last Saturday at Heinz Field that included former NFL kickers Kai Forbath and Randy Bullock.

Forbath made 60 of 69 career attempts for the Redskins (87 percent) from 2012-15 (1-for-2 this season).

Bullock, a former fifth-round draft pick, connected on 61 of 76 career attempts for the Texans from 2012-15 (5-for-6 this season, 3-for-5 on extra points).

"(Boswell) had the best workout and deserved this opportunity," Smith said. "It wasn't great (weather) conditions. We worked at both ends of that field and this kid had the best workout, without a doubt."

Boswell kicked in the Senior Bowl in 2014 and had remained on the Steelers' radar since then.

"We had reports on him from that," Smith said, "but not a big study until very recently."

Boswell has, in Smith's estimation, "a pretty good leg."

What he doesn't have is NFL regular-season experience (Boswell was with the Texans in training camp in 2014 and with the Giants this summer).

He's about to get some, and with it will come specific if not great expectations.

"The kid has to do his job like anybody else," Smith said. "Everybody in this program is being evaluated on a consistent basis and he's no different than anybody else. He'll be evaluated every day.

"We're just looking for some consistency. We gotta make some kicks."

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