• Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Steelers 2-a-days: Miles Killebrew, Christian Kuntz important parts of special teams unit

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jul 1, 2022

Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will run through the Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man roster, assessing each player’s prospects for the 2022 season. The breakdown will go through the roster. in mostly alphabetical order, two per day, between June 11 and July 25. Contract data courtesy of spotrac.com.

S MILES KILLEBREW

Live: 7th season

Contract status: Cap of $1.517 million reached in 2022, signed through 2023

Outlook 2022: The Steelers got more than enough return on their $1.127 million investment in Killebrew last season based on just two games. Killebrew blocked punts in games against the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers. The former was an important aspect of a big season-opening win; the latter in an unlikely comeback that ultimately came to nothing. But the fact that Killebrew alone accounted for a sixth (two of 12) of blocked clearances in the NFL last season shows why the Steelers signed him and why they kept him. Killebrew also blocked a punt with the Detroit Lions in 2020.

Killebrew ranked second over the Steelers in special teams snaps played last season with 335. A “base” special teams, he also contributed 44 snaps as a subset safety. Although his role in defense (if any) is always limited, Killebrew is well liked by coaches and teammates alike and, in addition to the occasional “splash” he brings to special teams, he is reliable and knows all the units. special teams. This is why he will find a job in 2022.

“I really feel like I’ve progressed as a long snapper over the past three years,” said Christian Kuntz, who left Duquesne as the Northern Conference’s all-time sack leader. East. https://t.co/WW46kABhBj

— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) September 3, 2021

ML CHRISTIAN KUNTZ

Live: Last season was his first appearance in regular season games, but he had spent time with four NFL teams on offseason or camp rosters or practice squads since 2017.

Contract status: Cap of $825,000 reached in 2022, after which will be an exclusive royalty-free agent

Outlook 2022: A former standout athlete in Chartiers Valley who played football at Duquesne University, Kuntz made his NFL debut at age 27 last season. In his fifth NFL training camp, he finally earned a spot on the roster by winning the long snapper position by defeating incumbent Kameron Canaday.

From there, Kuntz fell into the relative obscurity that comes with the long snapper position — and that’s a good thing. Typically, the only times their names come up is when something is wrong. And Kuntz offered no such blunders – even working with an inexperienced rookie in the holder and punter Pressley Harvin III. Chris Boswell landed over 90% of his kicks, some in late game pressure situations, and some of the credit for that goes to Kuntz. As a reward, he shows up for training camp with no competition on the roster. It’s a compliment from the Steelers on how they viewed his performance last season.

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Chris Adamski is an editor at Tribune-Review. You can contact Chris by email at cadamski@triblive.com or via Twitter .