Steelers P Brian Moorman More Than Just A Training Camp Leg

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran free agent punter Brian Moorman a few days after the 2013 NFL Draft and the consensus at the time of his signing was that he was being brought in to push second-year punter Drew Butler in training camp. However, as Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out on Saturday, Moorman\’s resume, combined with his link to Steelers new special teams coach Danny Smith, might mean the organization really doesn\’t have much faith in Butler at all.

Moorman, who is entering his 13th year in the league, played for Smith for three seasons from 2001-2003 when both were with the Buffalo Bills. He is a former two-time Pro Bowler and coming off of a good 2012 season that included him being a member of both the Bills and the Dallas Cowboys.

Moorman told Fittipaldo that one of the reasons why he chose to sign with Pittsburgh is because he has never made it to the playoffs during his long career, and he thinks the Steelers can remedy that for him provided he beats out Butler for the job. Another reason why Moorman chose to sign is because he feels like he will be given a fair chance to win the job.

“Come in, and we\’ll have a competition, and we\’ll see where that takes us,” is what Moorman was told by both Smith and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, according to Fittipaldo.

In 12 games with the Cowboys last season, Moorman averaged 44.8 yards per punt with a 38.9 yard net average. Butler, on the other hand, averaged 43.8 yards per punt with a 37.8 net average. Of Moorman\’s 56 punts last season with the Cowboys, 24 (42.9%) of them were returned with only three going for touchbacks. Of Butler\’s 77 punts with the Steelers last season, 30 (39%) were returned with six going for touchbacks.

In addition to speaking with Moorman, Fittipaldo also talked to Butler, who says he welcomes the competition.

“I fully expected competition,” Butler said. “Everyone competes at every position. To bring in a guy like Brian, his resume speaks for itself. I\’m excited to compete.”

While Butler might welcome the competition, it will really be the first time that he faces any as he was pretty much handed the job last year because of a back injury suffered by fellow punter Jeremy Kapinos early on in training camp.

This will certainly be a training camp battle to watch this year when the team gets to Latrobe, and it really could go either way. In fact, it is probably fair to speculate that Moorman is the front-runner for the job right now.

  • steeltown

    I like it, competition is good

    That being said, I hope he pushes Butler and it makes Butler better, but I hope Drew wins out in the end. I don’t want to trade a 24yr old young prospect for a 37yr old nearing the end

  • dgh57

    Despite his age if Moorman can do a better job than Butler sign the guy up, pronto!!! Butler [AT TIMES] really didn’t look good! When we needed to give the other team bad field position or when we were pinned back against our own goal line he didn’t deliver! Punting is a very important aspect of the game so if we can improve ourselves there we should by all means do it! But in the end I hope Butler improves because I don’t relish the idea of trading a 24 year old for a 37 year old!!

  • JohnnyV1

    Moorman is touted as a consummate professional, in shape, prepared, and very solid at his job. If nothing else, might be a good example to Butler, not that Butler didn’t have that growing up w/ his own father, but Moorman might be able give Butler something to strive for.

  • I don’t expect to be punting much this year, so who cares.

  • dgh57

    Ha ha, I like that!!!

    Now onward we go to see if it comes true!!

  • Josh

    Don’t know how they can do it but need to include pooch punting inside opponent’s 20 as part of the evaluation. Butler has real issues doing this.

  • $19122620

    I think Butler will just get better as he matures as an NFL punter. I wouldn’t be so quick to move on from him for a 37 year old punter. I hope it is just to push Butler and to give him a veteran to mentor him for this off-season. If you look at all the stats from some of the better punters that came through the league you’ll see that their rookie years weren’t that stellar either.

  • Steve

    Why don’t punter kick it out of bounds inside the 20? Is this a lost art?

  • joed32

    Good question!

  • Robert Schultz

    Dave Bryant what is ur email address ??? Why doesn’t ur android app send updates anymore ???? Labrat0116 ( at) gmail , com

  • Steve

    I care Crepe, anything to improve the Steelers I am all for. Let them battle it out and sign the winner. We will need a punter cause poor punts cost games and field position. Bobby Walden was an example. His poor punts cost the Steelers field position and the coaches could NOT rely upon him.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I think at times people forget that he was a rookie last season. He is a talented kid, just needs more experience