With the draft coming up, free agency not too far behind us, and extensions expected for several Pittsburgh Steelers’, many forget about the special teams and the changes that can happen over the next season. Let’s take a look at each special team position.
What a lot of people forget when talking about extensions and upcoming free agents is that Mr. Reliable Shaun Suisham is one, an upcoming free agent whose contract expires at the end of this season. The more I read about it, the more it seems like people believe that Shaun Suisham should not be resigned and a younger kicker should be brought in. Let me tell ya, that’s not the case. Even though Suisham doesn’t have the biggest leg, inside the 45 he is money. Yes, he had one bad game against the Raiders, ONE bad game, but made every single kick other than that game the entire season. He is a fan favorite in Steel Town as well. He isn’t too old for a kicker, 32 years old, when kickers usually play until their 40’s. We have already seen how it fared when the Steelers brought in veteran punters last season, and the same could happen with bringing in veteran kickers at the minimum salary. Also, you don’t how a rookie kicker will fare either. Sticking with Shaun Suisham for the next couple seasons is in the best interest of the Steelers, even if it costs them $1 million a year. He deserves a multi year deal at the end of the season, and it seems like I am one of few people who think so.
The difference between the kicking and punting position this season is that the Steelers know who their kicker is, but they don’t know who their punter is. The two currently going into camp to battle for the punting duties are Brad Wing and Adam Podlesh. Wing is the young gun, while Podlesh is the veteran. This is very similar with the situation the Steelers had in camp last year, as they had Drew Butler and Brian Moorman in camp, but it seems like Moorman was only there to give the young punter all the tricks he knew. Podlesh is probably in the same situation, he is just pushing Wing and showing him all the tricks of being a punter in the NFL. However, if Wing doesn’t keep his act straight, he will be out of the Steel City in a heartbeat, with the Steelers not dealing with any of that especially from a punter. Wing has tremendous potential, he just has to stay out of trouble. If he does and plays the way he did in college, the Steelers could have a monster on their hands when it comes to the punting duties. Both Podlesh and Wing are on 1 year contracts, so the Steelers will deal with signing punters again next season if both don’t work out, however if one does, which it should be Wing, maybe he will get a couple years back with the Steelers.
The Steelers have one of the best, if not the best long snapper in the business with Greg Warren. Undrafted in 2005, he has stuck with the Steelers for 9 seasons now. That’s unheard of when it comes to a long snapper. You never hear his name, which is good when it comes to those duties. Along with Suisham, people believe that the Steelers need to get young at long snapper position, doesn’t that just sound crazy. When you have a veteran who has played for you for the past 9 seasons and rarely screws up, why get a younger one. It’s not like it’s that important of a position anyways, and Warren has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh. He comes back year after year on a one year deal, and he will more than likely continue doing that. He has gotten older and has had knee problems, but he still does his job and you never hear his name. He deserves to come back year after year to Pittsburgh. Every year, he has competition, and every year he has come out on top.
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