For those of you who watched the Cincinnati Bengal‘s glorious playoff debacle, you may have noticed a familiar face wearing the prison stripes. No, not James Harrison, who made sure to get in one last personal foul cheap shot for old time’s sake. I’m talking about punter Zoltan Mesko, who was signed to replace Terence Garvin victim Kevin Huber. Mesko, you may or may not remember, was the ex-Patriots punter who revealed he couldn’t kick his way out of a wet paper bag once he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mesko’s replacement was an Australian journeyman named Mat McBriar. McBriar wasn’t much of an improvement over Mesko although he sure threw a sweet pass on a fake punt against the Packers. His actual punting ranged from mediocre to terrible, though, so it’s no surprise the Steelers are already looking elsewhere for his replacement. As long as they don’t draft a punter. I don’t think my blood pressure could take it if they wasted another pick on a glorified soccer player.
One possible candidate is free agent signee Brad Wing. Like McBriar, Wing is also an Aussie which means the Black and Gold have cornered the market on Crocodile Dundee references. Wing is also a total nutcase. He was actually a fairly well-regarded prospect at LSU but got kicked off the team after numerous issues including getting arrested for beating up some dude dating his ex-girlfriend and failing numerous drug tests. A commonly heard knock on him is he thinks he’s a ladies man and a rock star who cares more about personal glory than getting the job done.
Draftniks projected him to be the first (only?) punter drafted last year but he went undrafted because, seriously, if real football players like linebackers or linemen with issues get red flagged, who the hell is gonna draft a problematic punter? Wing was brought into training camp by the Philadelphia Eagles but cut before the season started. The Steelers, who evidently missed having a kooky lunatic kicker since parting ways with Jeff Reed, must’ve seen enough to give him a shot next fall. I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about punters so if he can get his head on straight, it would seem he’d be an improvement over what we have now.
400 words about punters… Man, missing the playoffs really does suck…