Pittsburgh Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko had another rocky performance Sunday in the loss to the Oakland Raiders and head coach Mike Tomlin addressed that Tuesday during his weekly press conference when asked about it.
“With Mesko, the punting has been very similar to how it’s been the previous weeks and really how I kind of characterized it,” said Tomlin. “He’s had his moments, positively and negatively, has been inconsistent and that’s not good enough. Obviously, he needs to perform better, but along with the obvious negativity in the game, I did think he rebounded well and really finished the game strong with some quality punts.”
Mesko had yet another junior varsity kind of punt that traveled all of 30 yards in the loss and to make matters worse, his second one of the game was blocked. On that block, tight end David Paulson let his man come free way to easily off the right edge and in addition to that, Mesko failed to cleanly field the snap from long snapper Greg Warren. Tomlin said Tuesday he wasn’t sure which of those two instances played a bigger role in the punt block.
“I think it’s both,” said Tomlin. “It’s tough to weigh which one was more significant than the other. Obviously, it takes two to tango in that circumstance and the bobble created an opp time that wasn’t ideal and obviously, the pressure was the pressure. So, it’s tough to analyze which was more significant. Obviously, together, it was catastrophic.”
Mesko, who also holds for kicker Shaun Suisham, wasn’t to blame for the two misses in the loss to Raiders, according to Tomlin.
As far as bringing in another kicker this week, Tomlin didn’t completely rule out the possibility, Tuesday.
“I’m not opposed to evaluating anyone at any position who is capable of helping us get better and those are some of things we do this time of the week, and we’re probably going to do some of that this week,” said Tomlin.
The Steelers normally make roster moves on Tuesday, so if Mesko is not gone and another punter not signed by later on in the day, the left-footed punter will likely get one more week to prove that he deserves to stay on the varsity team.