Foster relayed the abuse his teammate experienced to The Athletic's Ed Bouchette: "The death threats that guy received, the 'you suck,' the 'they should cut you, we hate you,' you ignore it but you still hear remnants of it. You don't want to go anywhere, you don't want to talk to anybody, you want to fix your problem."
Boswell has bounced back in a big way so far this season, making all 10 of his field-goal attempts and all nine of his extra-point tries.
After being named to his first Pro Bowl in 2017, Boswell signed a four-year $16.8 million contract extension last year. Foster believes that played a significant role in his struggles:
"I'm happy for him because I know that getting the new contract, the pressure of it ate on him and it showed. He was in a dark, dark spot last year.
"I think he's found a good spot to be in now. I think the competition in camp, the spring, the push-back of the signing bonus, just all of that helped him mature. They're very special, finicky guys and I say that in a respectful way. It's like the starting pitcher on game day. Nobody talks to him. That guy does nothing until he puts it on display for everybody. I think he's a football player, and the mental part of this will wear you the hell out. The criticism—people say you ought to be able to take criticism, you're right but there's a very fine line on believing it and trust in yourself."
The 28-year-old Boswell is in the midst of his fifth NFL season and has been one of the top kickers in the league for the bulk of his career.
In three of his five seasons, including this year, Boswell has posted a field-goal percentage of 90 percent or better. Despite his disastrous 2018 campaign, Boswell is the eighth-most-accurate kicker in NFL history on field goals at 86.4 percent.
Unfortunately for Boswell, his return to form hasn't led to team success for the Steelers. With running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown gone and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out for the season due to an elbow injury, Pittsburgh is off to a disappointing 1-4 start.
Backup quarterback Mason Rudolph is also on the shelf with a concussion, which means the Steelers are down to third-stringer Devlin Hodges, and that could make Boswell an even more important factor for Pittsburgh moving forward since points may be hard to come by.