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.