Tomlin Hasn’t Ruled Out Changing Punters This Week

Pittsburgh Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko had another rocky performance Sunday in the loss to the Oakland Raiders and head coach Mike Tomlin addressed that Tuesday during his weekly press conference when asked about it.

“With Mesko, the punting has been very similar to how it’s been the previous weeks and really how I kind of characterized it,” said Tomlin. “He’s had his moments, positively and negatively, has been inconsistent and that’s not good enough. Obviously, he needs to perform better, but along with the obvious negativity in the game, I did think he rebounded well and really finished the game strong with some quality punts.”

Mesko had yet another junior varsity kind of punt that traveled all of 30 yards in the loss and to make matters worse, his second one of the game was blocked. On that block, tight end David Paulson let his man come free way to easily off the right edge and in addition to that, Mesko failed to cleanly field the snap from long snapper Greg Warren. Tomlin said Tuesday he wasn’t sure which of those two instances played a bigger role in the punt block.

“I think it’s both,” said Tomlin. “It’s tough to weigh which one was more significant than the other. Obviously, it takes two to tango in that circumstance and the bobble created an opp time that wasn’t ideal and obviously, the pressure was the pressure. So, it’s tough to analyze which was more significant. Obviously, together, it was catastrophic.”

Mesko, who also holds for kicker Shaun Suisham, wasn’t to blame for the two misses in the loss to Raiders, according to Tomlin.

As far as bringing in another kicker this week, Tomlin didn’t completely rule out the possibility, Tuesday.

“I’m not opposed to evaluating anyone at any position who is capable of helping us get better and those are some of things we do this time of the week, and we’re probably going to do some of that this week,” said Tomlin.

The Steelers normally make roster moves on Tuesday, so if Mesko is not gone and another punter not signed by later on in the day, the left-footed punter will likely get one more week to prove that he deserves to stay on the varsity team.

  • Ahmad

    Mesko needs to be gone NOW!

  • dgh57

    Sadly, it looks like Mesko has to cost us a game before any changes are made!

    When are we going to STOP relying on Paulson to block anyone?

  • T R

    Punting is least of our worries right now, really….. hell we can’t even stop defenses when they are pinned back at there goal line, we still let them drive down the field. Then we can’t score in redzone. We need concentrate on getting ball in endzone and we wont need a Mesko…

  • steeltown

    That’s not entirely accurate.. poor defense in the opening half and poor offense throughout cost us the game, not to mention two short field goals missed

    Not defending Mesko, but lets lay blame evenly

  • dgh57

    I’m talking in the future tense like in the Patriots game.

  • Tim Bodamer

    Beyond the fact that Mesko needs to go and Tomlin has to answer the question, this should be a Monday evening nugget that everybody shrugs and says who cares- because the Steelers have way too many problems as it is. I have a novel idea, why don’t they move Ziggy to guard and have him learn the position? He’s strong and (should) create good leverage. I mean, it’s not out of the realm. If there is hope, offer him a contract to play o’line. If nothing more comes of it, it is a way to say “you have been a quasi-bust and here’s a chance at redemption- or let them look at your six-game body of work in 2013 and before then- good luck with that.” Trade who you can and swallow their salaries for this year… Woodley, Troy, Roethlisberger, Miller, Taylor. But then next year, they are off the books and you may now have 12-14 draft picks (with compensatory) instead of 7-9. I have said this before, love what Ben has done and what Troy has done and Lamar, etc. But it is time. Our ceiling is mediocrity. I’d rather go 3-13 this year and next and rebuild for a 8-10 year run. Ben is not working with Haley or vice versa. He has been a prima donna since he came here, but when you win, that’s okay. Well, we’re not winning no matter how great he’s playing. It’s a business. I just get the feeling that there is an incredible (and I get it) pride factor that the Steelers just can’t accept they aren’t what they were. When you realize you have a problem- that’s half the battle. Sorry for rambling.

  • Tim Bodamer

    Great point TR… who really cares if we have a 42 gross average or a 37… it is the least of our issues.

  • Steelerbob

    I think he is saying that it looks like it wont happen until mesko costs the team a game, not that he has already cost a game, but that has to happen before tomlin makes a move.

  • Shea Fahr

    If we would start scoring points on Offense, we would not even be talking about the punter.

  • Ia Ia

    I don’t rule changing Head coach this week

  • T R

    Exactly what i said.. Punters only make pro bowl because we need them to complete the team… They really dont win or lose a game…

  • Yeah go head fire the the coach with the highest winning % in his first 7 years in team history. Who would you replace him with?

  • T R

    Yeah that will do it. fire a coach that has highest winning percentage and 2 super bowls in 6/7 years. yeah ok.. Glad you don’t own any teams.

  • T R

    He will say something like Bill Cowher that took 15 years to get to superbowl.. No thanks Bill? thanks for your services…

  • Ia Ia

    Kliff Kingsbury. Young Offensive Minded Head Coach. Dumblin has proved that he cannot develop talent, manage the clock or make any improvments in the defense, offense or special team. His best days are behind. We have to change QB anyway. So let’s change the page and start with a QB/HC combo.

  • dgh57

    Will you care when we get a 42 yard punt from our JV Punter from the back of our own endzone inside 2 minutes in the game with the game on the line? Special Teams is one third of the game therefore very important!

  • You replace with someone who has no coaching experience on an NFL level. How many coaches who were hot college prospects have come in to the NFL in the last 15 years and had success? Who again had no experience?

  • Watch someone will say Chuck Gruden Spider Y bannana

  • dgh57

    Thank you, you got it right!

  • Ia Ia

    Dr. Doom we have different point of view. You will not convince me and I will not convince you. Good luck keeping the Head Coach with your 4 – 12 season

  • Pretty sure its not my 4-12 season I don’t play for them. I have facts on my side while you have just im angry and wrong

  • Tom Savastano

    I wish this was the only issue they had but I guess its one that they can address now in season.. Cant believe im looking at mock drafts in October…

  • Tim Bodamer

    I get that. But when have the Steelers ever had a Pro Bowl punter. It’s a luxury… last I checked the Raiders were pinned inside their 10 on their first drive, and they went on a 1 play, 93-yard drive. So, having a punter is the least of their issues right now… important aspect? Just so many holes in the boat right now… don’t think it matters much.

  • steeltown


  • treeher

    Seems like other teams know when someone’s done (Mesko, Levi, etc) but our coaches don’t seem to be able to absorb the same info – sign of desperation?

  • Ia Ia

    Dr. Doom It is the same situation as the Dungy/ Gruden in Tampa. Great immediate result. And then a slow but steady decline. We were not contenders last year, we are not this year and we won’t next year ( in case the same people remain in place ). Stability is a good thing. But once you showed that you are not able to do it you have to change something. I think, in my managment position at work, how much experience is overrated. You know why ? Because people with ” experience” tend to not taking risk. They have been down the road. Problem is the NFL ( Not for Long ) is a ever changing league. Look at the numbers in the other article. Ben threw 130 passes in 2005 thru 7 games. He has thrown 260 this year. Does that tell you something ?

  • Ia Ia

    I do not agree with the Hood talk. Do not think that, at this level, somebody can switch side at all, let alone this quick.Beside that… I totally agree. Time to dump Roethliberger, Miller, Woodley, Troy but most of all HEAD COACH GM AND COORDINATORS

  • Matt Manzo

    What do other teams websites look and sound like when they suck? This is sooo new for us to be this bad for sooo long! I feel like nothing is gonna help! And this only after 2 bad years! What’s it like being a Browns fan? Do they even have an in depth site like this one?

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Yeah, I know, the Hood comment is a reach, I get it. But if Carlton Haselrig could go from a Pitt-J’Town wrestler and become an all-pro guard, Ziggy Hood could become an emergency backup… but point taken. As for the coach, and GM, ain’t happenin’… coordinators, I believe Haley is gone and LeBeau will retire. But as for Tomlin… this will be his worst season… and I have faith he can still improve in certain in-game aspects… Colbert… I think he might be evaluated a little differently, but he is safe. This is a marathon for the Rooneys, not a sprint. Fortunately for us, they don’t panic at that level.

  • Menace_501

    Poor defense? One bad play doesn’t rule as a bad half. The defense held Oakland to how many yards in the game besides the Pryor run?

  • r4kolb

    Would it really matter any more? Top 5 pick this year.

  • Ia Ia

    Sorry again But I do not agree with the “Fortunately for us, they don’t panic at that level “. I am not motivated by panic. I believe that stability is the best way to get results. But, there is a BIG BUT, Stability with the right people. Colbert ? He has shown his worth. Not up to the task. Brought us in cap hell and with at least two ( 2008 / 2009 ) completely bust drafts. He still picks a RB with a second Rounder. Thanks for the 50 yards Bell… Tomlin ? He doesn’t help the offense. He doesn’t help the defense. Special team is a disaster. Clock Managment ? Let’s not talk about it. Player development ? Who did he develop? Tomlin had the luck to get a young well-trained team by Cowher. Cowher had two problems : Soft offensive playcalling in the playoff and the game was going away from his strenghts ( from the physical run hard nosed style it used to be to this flag football / “every contact is a flag”. Anyway I also believe that LeBeau will retire and Haley will be gone somehow. My dream would be : Kubiak as DC, Kingsbury HC, OC doesn’t matter ( if we have Kingsbury he will make the OC calls)

  • r4kolb

    Way to go la la. You’ve angered Dr. Douchebag. Tomlin is his man love.

  • r4kolb

    5 – 11 not 4 – 12

  • dgh57

    We don’t need a Pro Bowl punter to get the job done. I’m talking about when it’s 4th down and you have to punt. Sometimes the game comes down to field positions and a good punter can put pressure on a opponents offense and take pressure of your defense and when your team is struggling it even becomes more important.

  • SteelersDepot

    not babysitting you guys. final warning.

  • And what happened to Gruden?

  • There would be a new coach every week

  • You don’t need a pro bowl punter or kicker really. Just guys who are capable. That is it when you are called upon to do your job do it. They are specialist, they don’t really practice. You normally don’t even notice them but you can have your punter kicking what amounts to a wounded duck.

  • Ia Ia

    Dr. Doom I am not saying change the coach every week or year. But if the coach is not evolving with the game he has to go. Belichick has been able to reinvent himself. Cowher was not. I do not think that Tomlin has what it takes now for the Steelers and I think that his trend is showing it. Where have we been in the last couple of years and which direction are we taking with him? If you are comfortable with those answears fine. I am not…

  • T R

    Yeah lets change coaching and stuff every few years because of one bad season.. ask Redskins, Dallas, Cleveland, Jacksonville and many ohters.. Ask them how thats going…

  • I was right there watching, I do not just look at one thing but the entire body of work. Were in a re-build period.

    We have 8 players scheduled to earn more than seven million next year. You can’t make as many changes as they have been forced to make and never drop off. Belicheck is on another level you can’t compare any coach to him. You will see the Broncos take a similar tumble when all those contracts they gave out come home to roost.

    We are going to have a lot of turnover this off season probably more so than ever.

    Ike, Troy, candidates for release and maybe resigned at a lower rate.

    Dwyer, Keisel, Hood, Allen, Velasco, Clark, except for Keisel who will be 36 next year and may just be done. Clarks replacement could very well be Shamarko. But Velasco could be priced out of what they can afford to spend, or are willing too irregardless of how people feel about him. Allen as well could get some stupid offer that they are unwilling to match.

    They probably should have blown up the team in 09. But whenever you try to keep a team together by restructuring and resigning guys almost out of their prime. You are going to go through a transition faze. I think Tomlin gets far too much blame. And trust Mr. Rooney who said in August “Mike is our coach, we feel good about him and he is not going anywhere” accept it.

  • Ia Ia

    That ” he is not going anywhere” will be changing quickly. Depending on the results, quicker than you think. I believe that with him there is no way up for this team. I Hope for a change. Otherwise it will be a long ride. I do not want to see the 80 Steelers with a Noll at the helm due to “respect”.

  • If they start out 0-3 next year maybe he is on the hot seat maybe. They didn’t fire Cowher when they probably should have in 98, or in 03 with the Tommy Gun Package.

  • I love when he hangs out with rookie quarterbacks. “You got to throw the ball forward, write that down”

  • Ia Ia

    It depends. How do finish the season ? What happens next ? Who goes ? Who makes the hiring/hirings? To me it appears only two things are sure :

    – We do not make the playoffs this year
    – LeBeau is not back next year ( maybe ” retiring” maybe something else ).

    What happens after this two things is everybody’s guess. Depending on results. If we go 2 – 14 ( possible but not probable) is one thing 4-12 is another thing. 6-10 / 7 -9 maybe everything remains the same. But I find it very hard to accomplish a 4-5 with the remaing schedule

  • Ia Ia

    Menace they held the Raiders to 21 points in one half. Yards and Time of possession are overrated. What matters is the score.

  • For what? rofl

  • I am too kind of silly at this point when you have no idea who is declaring and who is not. Accurate mock can’t be done till mid march at the earliest.

  • I don’t find 7 wins very hard to find. Buffalo’s defense is terrible just awful, Cleveland can’t run the ball, and Baltimore is just as bad as we are. And Miami shocked to say may have a worse offensive line than we do. Maybe they steal one from the Bungles (they will always be that to me).

    This is not a 2-14 team maybe simplify some things put some under performing veterans on the bench. Ryan Clark-several missed assignments. Unless the team just quits playing and its 35-7 every week he is not going anywhere don’t care what “some” fans want. You can scream, what have you. He will be right there next year, the Rooney’s don’t do business like that. They didn’t fire Noll, They didn’t fire Cowher, They won’t fire Tomlin. Especially when he has not even had a losing season yet. In the words of Rick Flair “Whether you like it, Or you don’t like it, learn to love it”

  • Ia Ia

    Buffalo defense doesn’t matter. Our Offense doesn’t score more than 25 points against anybody. Their uptempo no huddle offense will bring troubles. Especially if they start running a lot. Cleveland, with Jason Campbell, is better than us. If they still had Hoyer it was not even close. With Weeden we would have won. With Campbell I think we split 1 1. Baltimore at home we lose for sure. They will also miss the playoff. The game will be about pride. Miami I agree. Easy win for us. So my prediction would be a 4 – 12. You are right to point out that the Rooneys did not fire Noll or Cowher but if you remember they fired a GM ( but they could easily have fired Cowher). Life is full of first times…

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    3 rushing TDs in the 1st Half, the 2nd Half was a different story

  • Ia Ia

    Steeltwon was a different story in a different situation. How much did the Raider try in the second half ? Maybe our defense was also helped by their playcalling being conservative. Let’s not forget that they were up by three scores at the start of the fourth quarter. Maybe their thinking was… Let’s not turn the ball over and chew some clock…