Colin Holba Avoids The Spotlight In Debut

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted eight players this year. Only five of them were healthy enough to play for them during the team’s preseason opener. But only four of them were actually talked about. Sure, a lot was made of T.J. Watt and Joshua Dobbs, both of whom played extensively. Brian Allen and JuJu Smith-Schuster were noticed as well.

Colin Holba? Nobody really seemed to realize he was playing. And, generally, that is a good thing when you are a long snapper, so he has that going at least.

But while I will be the first to admit that I am far from an expert on special teams performances—or at least the specialist positions—I do hesitate to wonder about a couple of his snaps that the sixth-round pick had against the Giants.

It is worth noting that the Steelers did use both long snappers on the roster, the other being Kameron Canaday, a first-year player who was on the Cardinals’ roster for the first few games a year ago before he was cut, making a couple of bad snaps in the process.

So the goal is obviously to make sure that Holba is a guy who is going to pan out, rather than hoping that somebody who has already been cut one is going to be the answer. That means that his snaps are going to receive greater scrutiny than normal, something that we never really thought about when it comes to Greg Warren.

That includes the amateur eyes of those like myself who quite honestly surely have a lot to learn about what makes a good snap, aside from the obvious. But two snaps did catch my eye in the second half, and perhaps it’s worth talking about them.

On Chris Boswell’s first field goal attempt of the game toward the end of the first half, it was my impression that Holba’s snap came a bit too far into the holder’s chest, which seemed to give him a slight struggle to get the ball down. But Boswell connected from 48 yards out.

The second snap came later toward the end of the game, about through the middle of the fourth quarter. The offense just sputtered, throwing two incomplete passes and then failing to execute a draw run on third down, resulting in a punt attempt from their own 35.

With Holba as the long snapper, he certainly didn’t appear to get all he could muster on the release backward. The ball hung up a little bit en route to the kicker, but Jordan Berry was still able to boot it 54 yards, and the coverage got there to secure a 51-yard net.

With no harm, no foul on either encounter, and with my admittedly rudimentary analysis, I don’t think we should be prepared to sound the alarm on the long snapper front. But I do think it’s something we should pay attention to.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Kevin Artis

    kickers, holders and long snappers are people too…….lol

  • NinjaMountie

    I didn’t notice the FG one and, in all honesty, that one wouldn’t worry me as that just happens.
    I did notice that I didn’t think the snaps had as much zip on them as I was used to seeing around the league. Maybe it was just me (and you) that thought this. I doubt it, though.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Man Greg Warren really set the standard

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I was watching this too. This was the first time I ever remember watching for the long-snapper’s quality of play!

  • capehouse

    Both his first 2 snaps on punts were off. The 2nd more than the 1st. Didn’t notice the FGs and XPs, but I was watching intently on that 1st punt to see how he did. Looked a little jittery and then was knocked back and fell over lol.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    they need to bring greg back if only as a teacher.

  • T R

    good eye matthew i kinda notice holder struggled on that snap too.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    According to the snap count that Dave published; Holba and Kanady each had 5 snaps apiece but there were two field goal attempts and 6 punts (8 snaps). What am I missing here?

  • Boots

    Two extra points

  • israelp

    Who was the holder?

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    That’s why you’re an above average Steelrs fan! Thanks!

  • Boots

    Hey, it’s preseason for all of us, but thank you!

  • Matthew Marczi

    The first punt snap looked good to me. I’ll have to take another look at it. His blocking after the snap did look like he got pushed around.