The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to add some competition at long snapper, bringing in XFL long snapper Antonio Ortiz for a tryout. The news was reported by the official XFL Twitter account and XFL reporter Anthony Miller.
Antonio Ortiz invited to @Steelers camp!#XFL | #LeagueOfOpportunity pic.twitter.com/QbwApolNar
— XFL (@XFL2023) May 26, 2023
Ortiz comes via the XFL, where he played for the XFL-champion Arlington Renegades. He signed with the Chicago Bears in 2020 but couldn’t latch on with the Bears. He was waived following rookie minicamp in Chicago and worked out with the Dallas Cowboys as well. He was a participant in the 2021 NFLPA Bowl upon finishing his career with the TCU Horned Frogs. He also received an invite to the Hula Bowl.
The Steelers did have a notable long snapper at rookie minicamp, as former Ravens tight end Nick Boyle worked with the team at the position during minicamp.
He was taken in the second round of the specialist portions of the XFL Draft, and at TCU he was a semifinalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award in 2021 for the nation’s best long snapper. He started 44 games as the long snapper for TCU from 2018-2021. He comes from a football family, as his father Fred played college football at UTSA.
Currently, the Steelers just have Christian Kuntz on the roster as the team’s long snapper, a role he’s held for each of the last two years. It’s never bad to look to add some competition, and it’s clear that Ortiz has impressed enough in his tenure with Arlington to earn a look in Pittsburgh. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Ortiz is inked to a contract if he impresses in his tryout with the Steelers just to add some competition for Kuntz.
Kuntz went uncontested last year in training camp, although the team had two long snappers in camp in 2021 with Kuntz and Kameron Canaday. Kuntz ended up winning the job over the incumbent Canaday, so we’ll see if history repeats itself if Ortiz does indeed sign a contract.