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Steelers All 91: K Chris Boswell

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All 91 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 91 members of the Steelers 2019 training camp roster.

9 • Chris Boswell, fifth-year kicker

Last year: Perhaps no Steelers returning starter enters training camp in a less-secure position with regards to their job. Boswell, fresh off a contract, had a miserable 2018, cost the Steelers at least three games with questionable misses and was mercifully placed on the injured reserve with a groin injury before the end of the season.

Stats: After making at least 84% of his field goals in each of his first three seasons, Boswell made just 65% (13 for 20) in 2018. He also missed a career-high five extra points.

He was particularly troubled on field goals from 40 to 49 yards. After making at least 75% from that range from 2015-17, he was just 50% a season ago.

Finished with 82 points, tied for second on the team.

Accolades, Highlights:

Was 2 for 2 with a 49-yarder in a three-point win at New Orleans on December 28.

Camp outlook: Mike Tomlin said he is going to find ways to put some pressure on Boswell’s kicks during training camp to try to simulate game situations. Boswell will battle with undrafted rookie Matthew Wright out UCF.

Projected role: Wright’s numbers at UCF weren’t particularly impressive and Boswell has a pretty clear talent edge if he can return to form. If he doesn’t, the Steelers will likely cruise the waiver wire for a more-experienced second option.

Coverage links:

Boswell Staying the Course After Rocky 2018

Gauging the Steelers Confidence in Chris Boswell

The rest of the 91:

Steelers

Report: Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Has Told Teammates He’ll Retire

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Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has told teammates that he will retire, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Former Steelers guard Ramon Foster, now of DK Pittsburgh Sports, reported on Jan. 12 that Pouncey was “50-50” on whether he would return for the 2021 season.

The 31-year-old Pouncey just finished his 11th season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has one year remaining on his contract, which would pay him $14.475 million if he returns. Just $6.475 million of that is guaranteed. The Steelers would save $8 million in cap space if he retires.

Pouncey made the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in 2020 and has also been a five-time Associated Press All-Pro. He was also a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team, largely giving him Hall of Fame credentials.\

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JuJu Smith-Schuster Asks Fans to Give him Space

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JuJu Smith-Schuster is experiencing the negative side effect of living so much of his personal life in the public eye. The Steelers receiver, who is looking for a new NFL contract, took to Instagram to ask fans to leave him alone.

This stems from allegations that fans are showing up to his family home in California while he is there. Obviously, fans have no right to show up unwelcome anywhere to stalk an an athlete or celebrity, but this is just another example of the polarization of Smith-Schuster’s career. While he’s received much criticism, most notably this past season, for his sometimes over-the-top behavior and seemingly prioritizing his brand at all times, he also has many avid supporters who would stop at nothing to defend one of their favorite players.

Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent in March for the first time in his professional career. If the Steelers should try to bring back the receiver has become a hot debate among Pittsburgh fans, so much so Smith-Schuster himself addressed the situation during a live Twitch sessions with fans.

Even Smith-Schuster’s play on the field is often up for debate. He totaled 97 receptions, but for only 831 yards with an average of just 8.6 yards per catch, which is significantly lower than his average from past seasons, including 15.8 his rookie year and 13.1 in 2019.

When it comes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s always best to just stay tuned.

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Steelers’ Vance McDonald Reflects on Stiff Arm Moment, Relationship with Ben Roethlisberger

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Steelers tight end Vance McDonald spoke to the media after officially announcing his retirement from the NFL. McDonald responded to a question about the play he’s most synonymous with by saying he embraces the famous stiff arm moment. He also detailed his interaction with Ben Roethlisberger when he told his quarterback he was planning to retire.

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