Steelers Punters, Ben vs. Joe, Picking Ben


The Pittsburgh Steelers are officially on summer vacation. They’ve wrapped up their minicamp and will head out to parts unknown for the next four weeks until reporting to the dorms of Saint Vincent for the Steelers’ 50th season of training camp in Latrobe. While the Steelers are enjoying their summer break we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, June 27th.

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Australia rules for punters

The Steelers haven’t had the best of luck with punters in recent years. Mark Kaboly of the Trib reminds us that the team has used six punters over the past four seasons – Brad Wing, Zoltan Mesko, Mat McBriar, Drew Butler, Jeremy Kapinos and Daniel Sepulveda. Last offseason, the Steelers intended on having a punting competition between Wing and Adam Podlesh, but Podlesh never reported due to a family issue.

This year, the Steelers will have an Australian punting throw down in training camp between Wing, from Melbourne, Australia and Jordan Berry from Essendon. The two will duke it out to see if one of them can finally solve the Steelers’ punting problems.

The team hasn’t finished in the top 10 of any of the punting categories since 2010. Brad Wing hasn’t had many “junior varsity punts” but the Steelers can step their game up from 25th in net punting yards from last season. A good punter can definitely change the game in a team’s favor.

Who would you pick?

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler posed the question: Considering all info, which quarterback has the best five-year outlook: Ben Roethlisberger or Joe Flacco? He posed the question to his fellow ESPN AFC North writers and I’ll give you one guess which was the only one to pick Joe Flacco.

Overall the writers agreed that Roethlisberger has the far superior offensive supporting cast, which gives him the undisputed edge in that category. It’s also important to remember that Flacco is three years younger than Ben so when considering a five-year outlook age has to be a factor.

The biggest downside for Roethlisberger is the question mark that remains the Steelers defense at this point. If you’re factoring in everything you have to factor them in as well, and because of that you have to give Flacco the edge in recent post season performances. Flacco can rely on his defense to bail him out if needed; Roethlisberger might not be able to.

But, overall, Pat McManamon put it the best when he said, “Flacco is very good. Roethlisberger is special.”

Poking holes in the NFL Top 100

If you’ve spent the last few days debating people online or just with yourself over why Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees were voted, “by the NFL players” to be ranked lower than Russell Wilson in the 2015 edition of the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players ranking, Bob Labriola has some facts to drop on you.

The network touts this ranking as voted on by the NFL players, and several NFL players are picked for the testimonial interviews to speak about each ranking to make sure it looks authentic. However, when it comes down to it, probably less than 30 percent of actual players voted.

Players like Browns safety Donte Whitner and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo have both gone public to say that they’ve never been asked to participate, and none of their teammates were either. Also, the ranking is just flawed because they’re ranking the players but you can’t discount the supporting cast those players have around them when thinking of how great they were last season.

If you were picking teams in a school-yard pickup game of football, starting from scratch are you really picking Russell Wilson before Ben Roethlisberger or even Drew Brees as quarterback? No. You’re not. That would be stupid and you’d lose miserably unless picking Wilson means he comes with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks defense. So there you go. Take the list for what it’s worth; television entertainment.

Next: Steelers Player Preview: Gerod Holliman

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