Zoltan Mesko’s days with the Steelers appeared to be numbered when Mike Tomlin stated his displeasure with Mesko’s “junior varsity” punts. Unfortunately for the former New England Patriot, his last performance in Oakland, which included a blocked punt, and inconsistent play led to his release.
Mesko ranked at the bottom or near the bottom of categories like “average yards per punt” (31st, 42.5), “net yards per punt” (29th, 36.7), “punts inside the 20″ (t-32nd, three). With Mesko out of town, the Steelers needed to fill their void at the punter position.
Instead of signing the familiar Drew Butler though, Pittsburgh’s front office opted to ink veteran Mat McBriar to take Mesko’s place according to Darin Gannt of Pro Football Talk.
A two-time Pro Bowl performer (2006 and 2010) with Dallas, McBriar led the league in “average yards per punt” during both seasons. The former Hawai’i Warrior played in 13 games with the Philadelphia Eagles last fall and finished 15th in “average yards per punt” (46.5). McBriar ranked dead last however in “net yards per punt” (36.5) and “punts inside the 20″ (13).
His poor performance led to his release in favor of Donnie Jones back in March, and the Australian has been a free agent ever since.
How much of an upgrade that McBriar will be is still a question, but he cannot possibly be any more inconsistent than Mesko was during the first seven games. Then again, we all said that there was no way that Mesko would be as inconsistent as Butler was last fall.
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