Steelers Punter Battle Still Tight After First Preseason Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers punting battle figures to last throughout the entire preseason as veteran Brian Moorman is attempting to unseat the second-year Drew Butler. Following the first preseason game Saturday evening against the New York Giants, it\’s still too early to tell who is ahead of who.

Butler punted three times in the game for a 48-yard average and a 36-yard net on two punts as the third was blocked thanks to DaMon Cromartie-Smith whiffing on a block. One of Butler\’s other two punts went into the end zone for a touchback. As far as his hang time on those two punts, Pro Football Focus has his average at 4.7 seconds.

Moorman on the other hand, punted four times and while his 43.5 average was less than that of Butler\’s, his 38.5 net average was better. Also better was his hang time average of 5.2 seconds. In addition, only one of his four punts was returned, and he was credited with one inside in 20-yard-line.

Monday night against the Washington Redskins the two will begin the second round of their battle. Moorman said a while ago that he chose to sign with the Steelers because he was promised he would have a chance to compete for the job. So far, he appears to be doing just that.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    If the distances are equal, you take the guy with the better hang time as this makes coverage easier.

  • dgh57

    Looks like Moorman wins round 1 of a 4 round bout. Moorman has his age working against him but I guess a punter can play longer than other positions. So may the best man win!

  • steeltown

    Im still hoping Butler wins outright.. that 55yd punt was a beauty, negated by another dumb penalty.. not to mention he’s far younger

  • TJimmy

    If there is no clear winner, I think they will go with the young guy

  • dgh57

    I would like for Butler to win out also. Problem with Butler is will we get those 50+yd punts on a regular basis? Some of Butlers’ punts last year put us in bad field position and if he shows any signs of that this preseason we may choose the older player(Moorman) over inconsistency(Butler) as we can always(as a lot of teams elect to) pick up a Punter through FA/UDFA next year anyways as we did with Butler.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    do we really want moorman?

  • Brendon Glad

    I take the young guy over Moorman unless it’s a blow-out. Butler showed nice touch last year, and I believe one of the knocks on Moorman has been some lack-of-touch/directional kicking abilities. If I’m not mistaken, that’s why he’s unemployed, despite having a nice career average.

  • Brendon Glad

    Analyst Brian Billick was once asked about his thoughts on Seattle and their huge “12th man” advantage that they always have. (This was when they were a mediocre/poor team). And he said, “Their 12th man is great…but if i’m Seattle it’s the other 11 men that I’d be worried about”
    And for me with the punter situation, the same sentiment applies. “It’s the other 10 men I’m worried about.”