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Steelers Position Reviews: Specialists

Here is the next in a position-by-position series on the Steelers at the conclusion of the 2023 season as they head into the start of the NFL free agent period, which opens March 13.

Specialists (3): PK Chris Boswell, *P Pressley Harvin, LS Christian Kuntz 


A Last Look at 2023

After an injury-plagued 2022 season Chris Boswell returned to form as one of the best placekickers in the NFL.

Boswell made 29 of 31 field goals in 2023 (93.5 percent) and all but one of his 28 PAT attempts. The strong season put Boswell's career field goal percentage at 87.1, which places him sixth on the NFL's all-time list.

The 32-year-old made six of his seven field goal attempts from 50 yards and beyond, with the only miss coming from 60 yards. He now has made 30 of 37 career field goal attempts from beyond 50 yards. His 30 career makes from beyond 50 yards are more than the rest of the placekickers in team history combined.

Boswell also posted a career-best 55 touchbacks in 2023, showing his leg is as strong as ever.

Punter Pressley Harvin had a disappointing 2023 season and was released earlier this week.

The third-year veteran kicked in 15 games in 2023, averaging 43.8 yards per gross punt and 39.1 yards in net punting. Both were in the bottom of the league.

Harvin did place 30 punts inside the opposing 20, which was tied for seventh-most in the NFL, but his career splits early in the season to later in the season were too severe to overlook. Harvin averaged 46.3 yards per punt in September. His numbers decreased each month thereafter, sinking to 41.6 yards per kick in January games.

Veteran Brad Wing replaced Harvin for two games he missed due to injury and averaged 45.0 yards per kick.

Long-snapper Christian Kuntz is solid, and the former college linebacker also recorded four tackles in coverage.

In the return game, Calvin Austin was the primary punt returner, averaging 8.6 yards on 29 attempts. As a team, the Steelers averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return.

One stat that stood out

The Steelers were tied with six other teams for second-fewest missed field goals with two. Only the Titans with one, had fewer.

The Steelers led the NFL in missed field goals in 2022 with 10.

Looking Ahead to 2024

At 32, Boswell could easily kick for several more seasons. That position is as solid as they come in the NFL.

Boswell needs just 31 career points to become just the second player in Steelers' history to reach 1,000 for his career. Gary Anderson with 1,343 is the other.

The Steelers will obviously be on the lookout for a new punter in 2024 after moving on from Harvin. Whether that comes via free agency or in the draft remains to be seen. But there figures to be some kind of punting competition in training camp for the job.

With the new rules governing kickoffs, that part of the game has become less important than ever before. 

If the Steelers can solidify their punting, they could have one of the better overall special teams units in the NFL.