While it’s not the sole reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers lost Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 29-yard punt by Brad Wing with 50 seconds left in regulation certainly didn’t help matters.
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he looks forward to seeing his young punter bounce back from that pitiful last punt.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get to know him, and for him to show what he is made of and for us to all acknowledge that,” said Tomlin of Wing. “We can’t wait for him to have an opportunity to go back out and show what he is made of and rebound from that.
“One thing he has done since we have had him, he has always had the opportunity and shown the capability of rebounding from negative punts. He has had some, whether it’s preseason or regular season, and in most instances he has had an opportunity to bounce back in game. Unfortunately that just happened to be the last punt of the game. He has to wear it for a week and he better wear it well.”
Prior to Wing uncorking his junior varsity punt, two of his previous attempts were fielded inside the Buccaneers 11-yard-line. Also, in the Week 3 over the Carolina Panthers, Wing’s 59-yard punt resulted in a Steelers touchdown after it was muffed by return man Philly Brown.
On Tuesday, the Steelers terminated the contract of veteran Adam Podlesh, who had been on the team’s Reserve/Did Not Report List since the middle of August. That further confirms that for now, their happy with Wing.
For his sake, Wing better hope that he doesn’t have to wear another short punt like that again for a while as it might result in him no longer wearing a Steelers jersey.