Steelers Might Want To Look Closely At 49ers P Colton Schmidt

As the Pittsburgh Steelers head into their preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, you cant help but think that the battle for the punting job is still wide open much like it was at this same time last year.

With Brad Wing being majority inconsistent so far during the preseason and Adam Podlesh still tucked away on the did not report list, the Steelers will definitely be watching the transaction list closely over the course of these next few weeks.

One team to keep a close eye on is the San Francisco 49ers as Colton Schmidt has had a good showing so far during the preseason. Schmidt, who is not expected to beat out incumbent Andy Lee, currently has a 48.9 average and a 46.1 net average on seven punts during the preseason. Four of those seven punts have been inside the opponents 20 yard-line and the four that have been returned resulted in 19 total yards.

Schmidt was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers in July of 2013 out of California-Davis. He had a 48.7 average last preseason on six punts with a long of 62 with the 49ers, but wound up being waived after the third preseason game. He was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns but waived again a few days later right before the start of the 2013 regular season.

At California-Davis, Schmidt finished his collegiate career with 235 punts for 9,664 yards and a school record 41.1 gross punting average. He also served as the team’s kickoff specialist with 34 of his 62 kickoffs resulting in touchbacks.

As a member of the 49ers, Schmidt has kicked off a total of fifteen times during the 2013 and 2014 preseasons and has three touchbacks. If that’s not enough, he can also kick field goals and extra points in an emergency situation.

Schmidt might not turn out to be anything special in the long run, but if waived by the 49ers over the course of the next few days, it might be worth it for the Steelers to at least kick his tires.

In addition to Schmidt, the punting battles in Dallas and Jacksonville could both produce losers that might be better than what the Steelers currently have right now. Tom Hornsey and Kasey Redfern are the two names to watch for on those two teams that could be waived over the course of the next few days.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Wing scares me

  • Rob S.

    Forget the waiver process, at this point I’d see if they’d take a 7th rounder for him.

  • kev4heels

    Good call Dave. Hope we take a good hard look at him.

  • joed32

    3 out of 15 on the kickoffs isn’t good but we don’t need him for that, just the punting.

  • SteveM2

    ….AND Schmidt can kickoff? Heck yeah, the Black & Gold should give serious consideration to employing his services ASAP.

  • SirVegas

    Brilliant Dave

  • steeltown

    Kick the tires

  • Still_JPDQ

    I’ll basically repeat what I said in a previous thread:

    I wouldn’t give up on Wing just yet. I watched this guy play at LSU and remember him being a great weapon in terms of flipping the field. He’s been inconsistent so far with the Steelers, but the guy’s basically a rookie. We should have the same (realistic) expectations for him as the rest of the rookie class. There’s no denying he has a huge leg and great hangtimes, which can be just as important as distance if your opponent never gets to return a punt.

    Either way, he didn’t just forget how to punt over the past year. I think he’s acclimating to playing in the NFL and may be battling some nerves. We’ll see. And that’s not to say you shouldn’t bring in another punter for competition, which is always a good thing. Just that I’m not ready to write him off yet. It’s funny, Steelers’ fans that want rookies to come in and replace the “old and slow” guys also want them to be All-Pros before their first regular season even starts.

  • steeltown

    I agree for the most part, I think he could be a weapon for us if he ever puts it all together, but we should still bring in someone like Schmidt to compete with him in practice and this last preseason game. Let’s see how Wing responds to having competition, maybe that will light the fire.

  • Still_JPDQ

    Agreed. I think competition is absolutely necessary for the 2014 Steelers at literally every position on this team, with the exception of QB.

    At some point, you have play the cards you’re dealt. The only remaining card I’d like to see come our way is the re-signing of JH. I have to believe the FO is seriously considering this. We will be playing our backup LBs as starters at some point this season… would you rather see Harrison or Carter assume that role?

    I’m not saying this team is as bad as the Eagles game made them look, but a couple of key injuries and it will get ugly f-a-s-t.

  • steeltown

    I agree, I wouldn’t want Harrison if it meant we’d be losing young potential to his roster spot, but Carter is gone after this season anyway and So’oto and/or HoJo can be placed on the PS

  • ApexSteel

    Just sign a damn punter.

  • NW86

    Why give up a draft pick when they will be cutting him in a few days? The 49ers have one of the best punters in the league, so the only reason this guy was there is as a camp body.

  • Rob S.

    True, but there is no guarantee the Steelers would get him in the waiver process. There are 10 other teams that have waiver priority over them. Now I don’t know what their punting situations are, but I’d rather not take the chance.

  • WilliamSekinger

    ‘It’s funny, Steelers’ fans that want rookies to come in and replace the “old and slow” guys also want them to be All-Pros before their first regular season even starts.’ << THIS !!

    Totally agree. It is frustrating sometimes reading comments from fans that slam the team for keeping 'old and slow' vets, but then turn right around and slam the team for performing poorly at positions that have rookies and 2nd year guys.

  • treeher

    Sounds like a good candidate to compete and if he’s even close to Wing, I’d sign him. Do we have any insights on Schmidt’s consistency? Wing’s inconsistency bothers me greatly – I envision a 25 yard punt straight up in the air from the end zone …

  • Wouldn’t it be great if we could go into a season with some stability at the punter position, perhaps even with a punter who was actually really good? Ah, we can dream…

  • Still_JPDQ

    Yeah, you can’t have it both ways. You just can’t. And I understand the fascination every year with undrafted guys and free agents, etc, but there’s a reason they are undrafted or not getting re-signed. Generally, they aren’t starter material. There’s just not that many Willie Parkers out there.

    As I’ve mentioned before, my overall interest in watching pro football is at an all-time low, so for me, part of my waning interest in the Steelers, for example, ARE guys like Keisel, Polamalu, Miller, Taylor and Harrison. They are the last link for me to what I consider legit Steelers of the Pre-Modern-ArenaFootball-NFL. And I think all of them are character guys, which is important. I don’t give a damn about fantasy football and I sure don’t give a damn about the Pounceys, Mike Wallaces and LeGarrette Blounts that are showing up more frequently in black and gold uniforms. But that’s just me.

    Hope springs eternal, and everyone’s undefeated in Week 1. I get it.

  • I would he sucks.

  • Pretty childish replay to the guy that practically wrote a book with his own insight in a few comments. You failed to give any thought whatsoever, with your opinion.

  • Still_JPDQ

    You’ve got your opinion and I’ve got mine. Only difference is that I can support my opinion and contribute to a discussion, while you contribute nothing.

  • Still_JPDQ

    Ha, didn’t see your reply until a few minutes after I posted mine. You want a book? I can write a book. That was just the first paragraph. Of the introduction. To the Cliff Notes.

  • SteelersDepot

    As expected, Schmidt waived today. We’ll see if Steelers have interest.

  • SirVegas

    Schmidt just released by the Niners, go get him

  • Steve

    Wing has nice hang time but must be consistent and learn how to punt out of bounds.

  • Rubem Dornas

    Sign him!

  • SteveM2

    Yep; there Schmidt is, for the taking.