A punter battle appears to be in full swing already during the Pittsburgh Steelers OTA practices.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review calls the early offseason battle between veteran Adam Podlesh and youngster Brad Wing an “interesting competition” right now through four practices.
Last year at this same time, Drew Butler was battling veteran Brian Moorman for the punting job, but when the smoke cleared, neither won the job as Zoltan Mesko was signed just prior to the start of the 2013 season following his release from the New England Patriots.
Mesko, however, gave way to veteran Mat McBriar in late October after being inconsistent and while McBriar was far from spectacular, he remained the Steelers punter for the remainder of the season.
Wing, who was signed to a futures contract during the offseason, has a strong leg and an equally strong attitude that apparently has hurt his reputation around the league already. Last year during the preseason, the LSU product punted eight times for a 40.6 average and a net average of 36.5 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, but it wasn’t enough to land him the starting job.
Podlesh, who was released by the Chicago Bears earlier in the offseason, ranked 33rd in the league in 2013 with 40.6 gross average. He was originally drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth-round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Maryland.
Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith will be in charge of monitoring this battle closely for the remainder of the offseason and hopefully there will be a clear-cut winner much earlier this year.