The Pittsburgh Steelers,have had their share of problems in the punting game in recent seasons, with no real consistency at the position and a revolving door of punters .
Names like Dan Sepulveda, Jeremy Kapinos,Zoltan Mesko, Mat McBriar, and Drew Butler have came and went, none able to establish any stability at the position.The Steelers punting game has finished (25th,2014),(31st,2013),(25th, 2012), (19 th, 2011), ( 17th 2010), (20th 2009) in net average per punt the past 6 seasons.
The Steelers relied on rookie kicker Brad Wing in 2014 hoping to finally fill their long time punting void. The results were mostly underwhelming, although Wing did show some ability.
Wing 24, is an Australian punter who came to the NFL out of LSU ,he originally signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent in April of 2013 but was cut in August that same season.
Wing signed with the Steelers in January 2014 and made the final roster. He averaged 43.7 yards a punt ranking 29th in the league and had a 38.8 net average.
Brad Wing must show great improvement heading into his second season and seems determined to do so after the 2014 season…
Brad Wing:“I would have like to have performed better statistically,it’s always about the next punt. Now that the season is over I can go back and review each punt. There are a couple I would like to have back here and there and there are some I am really happy with. It’s about focusing on the positives. Every player is going to have ups and downs and you are never going to be perfect every time. It’s about keeping the non-perfect performance to a minimum.”
“I am aware of the situations in the past. There have been a lot of names that came through here. I would like to be the guy who ends that. I love it here, the organization, the coaches are second to none. Teammates are great. This is where I want to be. I have grown to love Pittsburgh. I don’t want to go anywhere else.
Wing may have his hands full during training camp as the Steelers have brought in some competition .
This past April, the Steelers signed another punter Jordan Berry. Berry 24, just so happens to also be an Australian punter. He played college football at Eastern Kentucky and he averaged 43.4 gross yards per punt as a senior in 2013. He also had a career long punt of 77 yards.
Berry’s big knock may be he has no NFL experience to speak of and that may be the edge that Wing needs to beat him out this pre-season.
Nonetheless, this will be one of the more intriguing battles of training camp and the pre-season as the Steelers continue to search for a long-term solution at the punter position.
Will the answer be from down under ? We are about to find out!
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