The Pittsburgh Steelers will now have to trim their roster down to 53 players by Saturday evening and while several of those final cuts will be easy to make, head coach Mike Tomlin said Thursday night following his team’s 23-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers that decision on a punter won’t be easy one. Those two punters he will need to decide between are incumbent Brad Wing and undrafted rookie free agent Jordan Berry.
“Been really impressed with the punting battle,” said Tomlin. “It’s going to be a good, tough decision for us and it’s the type of tough decision that you like. It wasn’t because both guys performed marginally. It’s a tough decision because both guys kicked well. And so we’ll go through that procedure with that understanding.”
Berry was afforded the opportunity to kick in the first half Thursday night against the Panthers and he did not disappoint as he average 50.6 yards on his five punts in the game with a long of 57. Wing, on the other hand, only punted once against the Panthers and his lone effort flew 46 yards in the second half.
Both Berry and Wing were given the opportunity to hold for new placekicker Josh Scobee during the game. Both 27-yard attempts were good.
“We wanted to see Jordan work with Scobee as a holder,” said Tomlin. That hold, snap, kick sequence, we had gotten a sequence earlier with Wing, so we wanted to see one with Jordan to give both guys an opportunity to work with Josh. Again, just an element of the battle.”
In case you’re curious, Berry ended the preseason with a 49.8 yard average on 19 punts, while Wing ended with a 48.8 yard average on his 12 punts.