Danny Smith Explains What It Means To Challenge Chris Boswell

This is a question I was really hoping someone would ask. In today’s Coordinator’s Corner, Bob Labriola did. A few weeks ago, Mike Tomlin said the Steelers were challenging Chris Boswell to hit from 50 yards out. He’s responded, nailing two of them over the last three weeks, including a 53 yard game winner to beat the Green Bay Packers. Sitting down with special teams coach Danny Smith, Labriola asked him what challenging Boswell actually meant.

“You gotta practice those things,” Smith said via the team website. “Put him in those situations and practice him. Nothing’s too big for this guy. We just added more practice, worked it, it becomes a mindset.”

Kicker is one of the most mental positions on the field, where even a slight deviation from perfect technique can mean the difference between a make and a miss. Boswell has been one of the league’s most automatic kickers, connecting on 25 of his last 26 field goals. For the year, he’s hit 32 of 35, over 91%. That’s good enough for 7th in the NFL and third among all kickers with at least 30 makes in 2017.

A strong relationship between kicker and coach also helps. Smith said he has a great bond with Boswell.

“Boz and I have a great relationship. Boz and I have different things we go through week in and week out. We met on it this morning, as a matter of fact. We evaluate things. What we can do here, what we can do there, look at this, look at that. It all depends on who your kicker is and his mindset. This kid has a great mindset and we have a great relationship. There’s a lot of communication between us involved in everything on a daily basis.”

No matter how strong a kicker’s leg is, or how good he even looks in practice, it’s all about the ability to perform under pressure. Something Boswell has proven ever since he was signed, according to Smith.

“I call it a kicker with “game.” There’s a lot of strong-legged guys riding around these neighborhoods thinking they can kick…what separates these guys is execution under pressure.”

In a very strange way, Josh Scobee is the best thing that could’ve happened to the Steelers’ special teams. It led them to the man, the myth, the legend, Chris Boswell.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • TroymanianDevil

    The Wizard of Boz

  • dany

    “In a very strange way, Josh Scobee is the best thing that could’ve happened to the Steelers’ special teams”

    Colbert justifying the 6th rounder. Scobee ruined that 2015 patriots game, my guess is Boswell will be the hero this time around. As has been the case all year

  • T3xassteelers

    Man, boz deserves all the attention and then some. He’s a freaking stud. Without him we easily could be like 7-6 or 8-5.. GOAT.

  • StolenUpVotes

    If it wasn’t for Justin Tucker being an alien Boz would probably be an All-Pro selection this season

  • Mark Stouffer

    Heck, even with Tucker being Tucker Boswell has a legit chance at Pro Bowl and All-Pro

  • StolenUpVotes

    I hope he earns that AP. Would be well deserved

  • Axel

    Question was Josh Shaw ever fined for deliberately jumping offside and kicking Boz in his kicking foot???? Plain as day on the replay…………..

  • Ralph Wagner

    Glad the Steelers have Boswell but it is sad that the Steelers have to depend on a kicker to win a game. Poor defense can’t get a three and out and the offense will choke. And they think there going to beat the Pats. LOL

    Come on man.

  • Ring4Shaz

    So, 3 years into his career is the first time they ever asked him to practice 50+ yard field goals?? Seems a little bit odd. Especially considering he hit one from 51 in his 2nd professional game.

  • Alex Kozora

    No. No one said that.

  • Alex Kozora

    He wasn’t

  • Steve

    Would never put it past Bilacheat, to send a man offside, to hurt Boswell. The SOB has done worse..

  • Steve

    Have you ever seen them fine a person going offside?

  • Ring4Shaz

    No, that would be Marvin Lewis.

  • Ring4Shaz

    His foot slipped. Accident. Sort of.

  • Steve

    We will see, and if it happens I will say, I told you so.

  • NW86

    “and kicking Boz in his kicking foot”

  • ThatGuy

    Like a Boz

  • Mezzetin

    That just about sums him up.

  • Mezzetin


  • Mezzetin

    Nice one.

  • Dan

    I’m all for praising Boz, but we should be mindful it takes 11 guys to make a field goal. So props to all the blockers, long-snapper and holder for their recent performances.

  • Axel

    I am not concerned about jumping offside, it was the deliberate kick to boswells kicking foot, watch the replay it’s pretty obvious

  • Axel

    So much for player safety and intentionally trying to hurt another player

  • Axel

    It was not the offsides I was referring to, it was deliberately kicking Boz in his kicking foot. The replay video is crystal clear. So much for player safety. It’s like intentionally stomping on a QBs hand when he is on the ground. Not only is it a penalty but it is also a complete bitch move