Butler Likes His Chances Of Beating Out Kapinos For The Steelers Punting Job

Undrafted free agent punter Drew Butler likes his chances of beating out Jeremy Kapinos in training camp and he said as much in an interview last week on 680 The Fan.

Butler of course is the son of former Chicago Bears kicker Kevin Butler, who kicked for 13 seasons in the NFL. Drew, like his dad, played at the University of Georgia, where he won the Ray Guy Award in 2009.

Butler was asked last week if he was pleased to land with the Steelers. “Without a doubt. I mean the Pittsburgh Steelers are/is the best organization in the National Football League. There\’s no doubt about it,” said Butler. The city of Pittsburgh is fantastic. The fans are obsessive over the Steelers and that\’s the way it should be. I am very pleased and honored to be part of the organization.”

Butler continued on about the off-season thus far for him. “Organized team activities went well. The mandatory mini camp went well two weeks ago and now I\’m back in Duluth (Georgia) preparing for training camp,” said Butler. “So it\’s been a huge honor. Its been a great learning curve the past month and a half, but it\’s something that expected to happen and I think I gained a lot of knowledge and I\’m going to go into training camp knowing what to expect to some degree. And I\’m just going to keep my head down, keep working hard and give my best to make sure I achieve my goals.”

Butler was asked if he thought that he has a legitimate chance to make the team this year. “I think without a doubt. They had a punter there the past couple of years, his name was Daniel Sepulveda, who won the Ray Guy Award twice and he ran into some injury issues and they didn\’t resign him in free agency,” said Butler. “So the guy that finished the season last year is still there and it\’s him and I. I think that it\’s definitely a good opportunity for me to start or else I wouldn\’t have gone there in the first place. So I\’m thrilled with the opportunity. I know that it\’s going to be up to me and that\’s the way I like it.”

The other guy that Butler refers to is of course Kapinos, who finished with a 45 yard average on 34 punts last season after taking over for the injured Sepulveda. Butler had a 45.2 yard average on 168 punts during his college career with 58 of them over 50 yards. Like Kapinos, Butler also is able to hold on placekicks.

This battle figures to be wide open in training camp and Butler does have youth on his side. If it is close, the nod will likely go to Butler.

  • Broderick Wallace

    Butler would certainly be the best option if they have the same leg since he will come much cheaper than Kapinos.

  • Check those ACL’s first

  • NW86

    I don’t know. Kapinos has come in twice now and played the second half of the season when Sepulveda was hurt, and all he has done is to come in and do has job well. He’s proven and reliable. And the ~$300K difference isn’t much in the scheme of things.

    Certainly punters are replaceable and if Butler looks really good in camp, he could win the job, but I wouldn’t mark him as the favorite.

    By the way, if I were Kapinos and heard this, I think I’d feel a little disrespected by the kid that not only thinks he’s taking my job, but also doesn’t even seem to know my name…

  • Ahmad

    Kapinos has certainly done a great job for us so I think Butler will really have to impress to beat him out. Just my opinion.

  • SteelSpine

    I agree, top to bottom.

    Re the kid not knowing Kapinos name & his implying he’ll beat out Kapinos, maybe the kid’s intent is to get into Kapinos’ head. Because kickers/punters are like golfers in that if someone gets into their head they perform worse. Get a defensive lineman or LB mad & it motivates them, but with a punter there’s so much fraction-of-an-inch involved in the drop etc.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    What else would you expect him to say…that he doesnt feel he is good enough to win the position…really isnt much of a story.

  • Reader783

    Wouldn’t be much of a story if he didn’t openly disrespect Kapinos like he did. As if he didn’t even know his name, like he is too good to care or even bother to find out. I want Kapinos to win the job, not a cocky kid out of college

  • SteelerDave

    Kapinos has to be considered the favorite as the returning starter. However, he is a so-so punter who could be beaten out at camp and if it improves the team then I’m all for Butler joining us. The kid has more talent but can he be more consistent?

  • Kingmagyar

    Kapinos’ 45 yard average is impressive and he has kicked in the big games having a very solid above average performance in two cold weather playoff games en route to kicking in a Super Bowl. Not so much as one block or error. How does Butler beat him out? With a .2 yard avg better. Don’t think So.