Steelers Waive P Zoltan Mesko; Sign P Mat McBriar

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a roster move on Tuesday and as expected, punter Zoltan Mesko was released following several weeks of inconsistency.

Taking over Mesko will be free agency Mat McBriar , who was brought in for a tryout on Tuesday.

McBriar was signed originally by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2003 out of Hawaii. After spending time with the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in 2003, McBriar signed with Dallas Cowboys in December 2003.

After eight seasons in Dallas, McBriar signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012
McBriar has overcome peroneal nerve damage in his left leg that was caused by a cyst inside the nerve itself. The Australian-born born punter had surgery on the cyst early in 2012.

McBriar has a career punting average of 45.4 and a net average of 38.2 on 549 punts. He last kicked in the regular season for the Eagles in 2012.

McBriar was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2010.

Mesko was very inconsistent in the first seven games of the season and his 30 yard punt Sunday in the loss to the Oakland Raiders just couldn’t be overlooked even though he did punt better in the second half. To make matters worse, Mesko had his second punt of the game blocked and although it wasn’t entirely his fault, him not fielding the snap cleanly from long snapper Greg Warren certainly didn’t help matters.

  • Thank you, good grief he was worse than Charlie Brown Argh!

  • dennisdoubleday

    Wow. What a turnaround. It isn’t too hard to remember the glowing self-congratulations of Colbert and Tomlin on their good fortune in getting a chance to sign Mesko. Belichick wins again. Dave, can you tell us the cap impact of this beknighted signing?

  • dennisdoubleday

    Well, I guess the cap hit is nothing serious since I went back and looked at your post on the signing and it was $630K for one year. I just don’t know if that was guaranteed or not.

    It is funny, though, to see you musing that they could use the franchise tag on him next year if he worked out well. 🙂

  • cencalsteeler

    Now Suisham has to get accustomed to a new holder. Not good. I have always been a proponent of having the back up qb being the holder. Not only for handling bad snaps and possibly turning something neg. into something pos., but for this exact reason as well.

  • T R

    Dang they should let Mesko go back to New England and kill em.. he might made a touchdown in the game to get back at NE for releasing him. LOL

  • SteelerFanInMD

    How good is McBriar? Is he much of an upgrade over Mesko?

  • Jeff

    He was out of work, so who really knows. Mesko was awful though, so I like the move.

  • Aric Brown

    This move should fix the offense : /

  • Ia Ia

    Wikipedia reports that “In 2011 he was bothered during the season by a nerve issue that affected his left foot, so he was placed on the injured reserve before the final game. ” He was on and off roster after that. Let’s hope the Medical Dept. did his work

  • Ia Ia

    Yep… Colbert and Tomlin partying on their way out the door.

  • He has averaged around 40 yds per punt throughout his career.Year



  • NW86

    I wouldn’t call that “around 40”, it’s been well over 40 every year. “Around 46” maybe.

  • Dale

    Would it have been too awkward just to bring Butler back? What am I saying, we did it with Dwyer.

  • Butler Really he stunk. But most special teams coaches like their guys and don’t trust young kickers in potentially big moments. No a punter can’t normally cost you a game, but a 30 yard shank in your territory can give the other team the ball inside the 40 yard line if your offense was pinned back.

  • Mike Sweeney

    Apparently, he was pretty good a few years ago. Highest paid punter at one time. Since then, not so good. Hope he’s better then Mesk

  • Shea Fahr

    34 punts in 7 games burned Mesko out. I hope the new Punter’s leg is fully healed. He is going to need it if we cannot start scoring.

  • Hard not to be better than 3 punts inside the 20 and a 25 yd average in the Baltimore game.

  • Eric

    Thanks Tomlin, we are glad you messed with the Zoltan.

  • 24th in punts attempted Patriots punter has attempted 13 more.

  • Shea Fahr

    I meant that tongue and cheek but I get your point.

  • O my fault

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I do not understand what happened to this kid. He was a good punter and went to crap in a year or so. He is still early in his career and I wonder if he has a drug problem or something of that nature. I wish him good luck.

  • Douglas Andrews

    That’s definitely an upgrade over what we had. Mesko would have been struggling if he was on a JV squad.

  • Eric Crook

    I really saw no problem with Kapinos, and IMO Butler had a hell of a leg…he was a young dude still, prob needed some work,,,where is kapinos now? Hell I would even look up good old Sepulveda..maybe those knees are feeling better now….he was a tough dude

  • westcoasteeler

    Anytime a backup can get on the field…brilliant! But then as I type I wonder. Are we the only ones who don’t do that? Seems obvious.

  • Rubem Dornas

    Don’t look now but the last three games Moorman had after he rejoined the Bills, he is 7th best punter in net average with 42.3 yards.

  • cencalsteeler

    In my eyes, this is a no brainer. You have a quarterback on the field, who can field a snap and be the field general on the field in case of a bad snap. We had two designed plays for a bad snap. The tight end releases and fades to the corner of the end zone. Secondary pass was the up back releases to the flats (or the goal line). If, by chance, a defender chooses to go with one of the receivers, it leaves the qb wide open to run it in himself. This could also be set up as trick play for a two point conversion. Most ends are rushing the kicker, which always leaves one of the options wide open. Gradkowskis running ability fits this scheme well. This was discussed on this sight during the offseason and to my surprise, no one really agreed with this suggested approach.

  • SteelersDepot

    Mesko’s contract was not guaranteed. McBriar signed for minimum.

  • He is also ranked 32