Steelers Fans Hoping They Won’t Have To Remember Kameron Canaday’s Name

It has not been too far off from a full decade since the last time that the Pittsburgh Stelers took the field without the services of long snapper Greg Warren. The long-time veteran suffered season-ending knee injuries in 2008 and 2009, but for the past seven seasons, and for the three seasons prior, he never missed a game, or a snap.

The 2017 season, however, will offer a brave new world in which every snap on special teams runs the risk of being an adventure, since Warren will no longer be there, his career essentially coming to a conclusion this offseason as a result of the long-term effects of those season-ending knee injuries.

Warren was always Plan A, but when it was determined that it would not be worth the risk to his long-term health to attempt to continue playing, the Steelers released him with a failed physical designation. So Plan A did not work out. And neither did Plan B, which was, essentially, draft a new Greg Warren and plug and play him for the next decade or so.

That plug and play guy was supposed to be Colin Holba, whom the Steelers used a sixth-round pick on, but the rookie lost out on the competition for the job with Kameron Canaday, a first-year long snapper who last season already won, and then lost, a starting job with the Cardinals.

The 2016 undrafted free agent won the long snapping job in training camp and entered the regular season with Arizona as their starter, but he only lasted three games before he was released. In that span, one botched snap resulted in a recovery for the opposing team for a touchdown and another low snap resulted in missing a potential game-tying field goal.

Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians was not particularly complimentary about Canaday as he sent him out the door, but he is now the Steelers’ starter at long snapper with Holba now looking for a job. It’s not entirely clear what he did to lose the job or what Canaday did to win it, but the draft pick was the only one with a snap that actually produced a miss during the preseason.

Neither of the two, from my layman’s eye appear to possess the consistency of accuracy or velocity that kept Warren around for well over a decade, and I worry that we may be entering a period of time in which fans are actually going to have to think about the snap on punts and field goals.

Imagine, for example, that the Steelers score what should be the go-ahead touchdown with time expiring during regulation in a game. All they need to do to secure the victory is to complete the point-after attempt.

Would you have even given it much thought a year ago? What about now? It’s not particularly comforting to think that a player who was cut because he messed up two snaps that contributed to losses in a three-game span was the better option.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • Grant Humphrey

    Good stuff Matt.

  • MP34

    I just found Arians’ comments, still not a fan. I wish this kid the best of luck, I hope he has a long, successful career.

  • RickM

    I won’t repeat earlier things/details I’ve mentioned. It’s just not the route I would go based on his 3 games last year. But I genuinely hope the young man proves me wrong and shows he can now handle the pressure of the regular season. Good luck to him.

  • Boots

    Here’s another thought process on it, though. He did enough to win the job at two places. I think it’s fair to say nerves could’ve played a roll in finding himself in a game winning situation in his first ever game and it carried over a little, but didn’t seem to wreck him mentally, as evidenced by his ability to come back this year and have a seemingly clean preseason and win another job against a kid that had actual draft capitol spent on him. Hopefully it has thickened his skin and he can go on to have a successful career with us! I’m actually more comfortable with that than a rookie that probably had a job handed to him simply bc he was drafted.

  • RickM

    The only trouble with that is he beat out a rookie in Arizona in 2016 as their long-time snapper retired. And he also beat out a rookie here after our LS retired.

  • Boots

    He still went out and won two competitions, one decidedly not in his favor, and that’s nothing to sneeze at in this league.

  • Lee Foo Young

    Your worry is also my worry.

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    Thanks for scaring me even more… We have the Wizard of Boz (we need to him locked up long term) but thats only part of the equation. Im scared that the 6/6 field goal goal performance cant happen again. Hopefully we won’t need it but it’s always nice to know we have it.

  • Limousine Liberal

    Doesn’t matter. We’re going to have 100% red zone efficiency and alway go for, and convert, 2PCs. Non-issue. And punts? Please. They should cut the punter altogether and keep another DB.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Lotsa people thought I was crazy when I said using a draft pick on a LS was NOT a bad thing (in the 6th rd).
    Hopefully we will not get an illustration of this via our FG team this season (i.e. missed FGs!!)
    Remember, FGs were our lifeblood in KC.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    not having high hopes for canaday.

  • Iulo

    The Holba experiment ended very fast…. I hope he can be back for next camp so he can show if he polished his technique… and so Canaday doesn’t feel he has a sure spot…
    hope this doesn’t end like the Kicker experiment PIT had after the unlucky (and stupid) injury of Suisham…. I still get headache when I think about that time with Scoobe…