The punting battle between Drew Butler and Brian Moorman has been closely contested thus far as the Pittsburgh Steelers now get ready for their third preseason game Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked Friday to give his thoughts on the competition and he let it be known that the two will be asked to do a few different things this week.
“It’s pretty even right now,” said Tomlin, according to steelers.com. “We’re going to add a component to it tonight. Kansas City has a dangerous return man back there in Dexter McCluster, so we’re going to implement some things we anticipate implementing during the regular season – directional punting and things of that nature – and we should get some clarity in that battle.”
While only Tomlin and special teams coach Danny Smith know for sure, it appears as though Butler might have a slight lead over the veteran Moorman thanks to his performance Monday night against the Washington Redskins.
“I like the competition, and it makes us all better, but you\’d like to know who your guy is, and we\’re not ready to make that decision,” Smith told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We haven\’t put a timetable on it and haven\’t talked to (coach) Mike (Tomlin) about it yet.”
As for Butler, who reportedly added some weight during the offseason, he likes where his game is at right now.
“It’s been a good training camp. I feel a lot better than I did last year,” Butler told Jim Wexell in the Herald-Standard. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot and I feel ready, ready to go.”
It\’s hard to say whether or not a winner will be declared early next week when the first round of cuts are made, but you would think Smith would like to use the final preseason game as a tune up. Should neither be released next week, we will truly know that it is a dead heat headed into the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers.