Last week, running back Isaac Redman was a casualty of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office. Now, the organization has added another name to their hit list. On Tuesday, punter Zoltan Mesko was released, and the Steelers signed Mat McBriar to take his place.
Mesko has struggled all season long, and has put up some of the worst punting numbers in the NFL. The four-year veteran is 31st in the league in punting with a net average of 36.7, and of his 34 punts this year, he has placed only three inside the 20-yard line.
The misfortunes of Mesko continued this past Sunday against the Oakland Raiders when he bobbled a snap that resulted in a blocked punt.
The Steelers hoped that Mesko would be their answer at the punting position. Prior to the 2013 regular season, Pittsburgh cut long-time veteran punter Brian Moorman and released second-year punter Drew Butler before adding Mesko to the roster.
Hopefully, McBriar will be an improvement, and a much-needed fixture for the next few years. McBriar will be the fifth punter the Steelers have had since 2011. Before Mesko, Butler punted for the team during the entire 2012 campaign, and in 2011, punters Daniel Sepulveda and Jeremy Kapinos shared time on Pittsburgh’s special teams. Furthermore, McBriar, a 10-year veteran, will help in the team’s battle of field position against opponents.
As for the Steelers’ decision to release Mesko, I feel that it’s long overdue. It’s something that probably should have been done coming out of the bye week. I can even go further and say that Mesko shouldn’t have even been on the roster to begin with. Possibly keeping Butler as their punter would have been the best choice.
Butler was much younger than Moorman, and was definitely the cheapest way to go considering that he was on a rookie contract. And with the history of salary-cap woes Pittsburgh has, they could use every penny.
Well, the subtraction of Mesko and the addition of McBriar should only help the Steelers’ punting game, because it can’t get any worse than where it is now.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+.