INDIANAPOLIS — The Steelers have many issues, but one of the most significant issues that keeps popping up for the team is that they lose the field position battle. Pittsburgh’s offense is given long fields while the defense is put on short fields, and it all reflects on the special teams, specifically the punting situation.
The Steelers have given Pressley Harvin III every chance to get this job. They have brought in competition, and he won, and yet, through his three years in Pittsburgh, he has not put together one complete season. To begin this season, Harvin may have put things together. His game against the Raiders in Las Vegas was his best. But after returning from his hamstring injury, he has not been the same. With two punts under 25 net yards on Saturday, he put the team behind the eight-ball on-field position far too often to justify keeping him around beyond this year.
If Pittsburgh will grime out wins and their offense will struggle, they need someone to flip fields. Harvin’s flat punts leave the team out to dry. He is consistently outdueled each week against opponents, putting an already struggling offense in even tougher spots when the field position battle gets so lopsided and opposing offenses start on short fields. It seems like it is time to move on. This isn’t working.
Please make no mistake: when you look back at some of Pittsburgh’s early season wins, their punter was on a hot streak and gave them a great field position. It’s a minuscule thing in the grand scheme of things, but when the Steelers have such razor-thin margins for their keys to victory, that matters a lot.
Pittsburgh will likely move on at this point, and they have to do so. Harvin, at any rate, is not cutting it as the team’s punter with his inconsistencies over the past three seasons. It seems like many things, and this is one of those coming to an end after the 2023 season for plenty of solid reasons.