Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko (14) makes a punt during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Butler probably thought that his job as the Steelers’ punter was safe after veteran Brian Moorman was released over the weekend. Although the competition was heated, the youngster earned the nod over Moorman after he averaged 45.4 yards per punt (16 overall) during preseason play.
Butler’s job-security did not last very long though, and his inconsistent play during last fall and the 2013 preseason caused the team to replace him with the recently released Zoltan Mesko.
The former Patriot was the team’s fifth round pick back in 2010, and had his best season in 2011 when he finished third in the league in net yards per punt (41.5) and 11th in overall average (46.5). Mesko was set to make $1.323 million this fall, and his poor 2012 season in which he finished with the lowest net punting average of his career (43.1) did not help his case to stay.
The Steelers also reportedly released cornerback Isaiah Green as well. Green, who finished preseason play with four tackles, was waived so the team could sign his replacement in the form of Antwon Blake.
I was a bit surprised that Pittsburgh’s brass signed a cornerback with Blake’s frame (5’9″ 198 lbs.). Then when I read that he recorded 12 tackles on special teams and recorded one fumble during the 2012 campaign in Jacksonville, I knew that the second-year cornerback would probably be used to upgrade the Steelers’ much-maligned special teams units.
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