Though Mike Tomlin openly called out Jordan Berry and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ punting performance last week, he still has confidence in the Steelers’ punter.
Speaking with Bob Labriola of Steelers.com, Tomlin praised what Berry has done in the past and how he’s punted during practice.
“But the thing with Jordan – and the point I’m trying to get across to Jordan and to everyone when we’re talking about everyone in the room getting an opportunity to learn – Jordan has punted very well and consistently at practice.”
Tomlin said Berry has done an excellent job at red zone punting, directional punting and avoiding touchbacks that would lose critical field position.
26 of Berry’s 64 punts in 2017 landed inside the 20, one of the better ratios in the league.
Though he’s coming off an ugly performance versus the Kansas City Chiefs, Tomlin said the team still has faith things will turn around, though emphasized that must happen soon.
“We have a great deal of confidence in him because what we see day-to-day builds that confidence, but he’s got to maintain a certain level of consistency under certain circumstances inside stadiums that he hasn’t produced yet.”
Pittsburgh brought in two punters, Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel, for a workout last week, though neither were signed. If Berry struggles for a third straight game, the team may finally pull the plug. His work in practice seems to be keeping him afloat – for now.
Berry told the Trib’s Chris Adamski the Steelers coaching staff have been blunt about what they expect from him.
‘Hey, you haven’t hit the ball well,” Berry said coaches have told him. “We need you to improve. If you don’t improve it, you know, you have to start looking over your shoulder’ kind of thing.”
When asked, Tomlin said a good punter and coverage unit results in at least a 40 yard net punt and currently, the Steelers are far below that bar. Berry ranks 29th in that category at 34.8 yards. In 2017, Berry finished 23rd in net punting, just below that 40 yard bar at 39.8.