UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Steelers brought in legitimate competition for Pressley Harvin III in the form of Braden Mann from the New York Jets. Mann got an opportunity to show off what he could do against the Buccaneers, while Harvin will be the guy for the team on Saturday against the Bills. However, so far through training camp, Harvin seems to be the guy that is showing off and building his resume this summer in a meaningful way.
On Thursday, Harvin put an exclamation point on that. Harvin has simply been the more consistent and better punter. He brings better directional punting, and while both can boom it, Harvin has grasped the intricacies of the punting job better than it appears. Harvin showed off all those traits on Thursday, including a great direction punt to the right that went over 50 yards and would have pinned a team inside their own 5-yard line from around the Steelers’ 35-yard line.
Of course, to me, everything rides on what happens in this game on Saturday since Harvin will get out there for the first time. But right now, I just have a lot of questions about Mann’s consistency despite some great flashes of ability to drive the football. Harvin has to maintain that and he should win the job.
As it stands, Harvin still needs to prove he can do it in a game setting. But this year, he seems to have waned some of the inconsistency back. The next two games will be pivotal to Harvin in order for him to clinch that job after getting the leg up during training camp. Pittsburgh needs to see that consistency translates to in-stadium environments without bad shanks, something that has plagued Harvin in his two-year career in the NFL. However, so far, Mann has not done much to prove that he should be kept over Harvin.