Pittsburgh signed punter Zoltan Mesko two days after the punter was cut by the Patriots. To make room for the signing, Pittsburgh waived incumbent punter Drew Butler. It appeared as though the Steelers were set to go with Butler for his sophomore season after Butler appeared to win a camp battle with recently-released Brian Moorman. However, Mesko's surprise release by the Patriots led to a change in plans for Pittsburgh's front office.
Mesko has spent the last three seasons with New England, and has been a stable if unspectacular punter in his NFL career. In 2012, Mesko had gross and net punt averages of 43.1 and 37.9 yards, respectively, which is similar to the numbers Butler posted.
While Mesko's release from New England was likely salary cap related, he appears not to have been clearly beaten for the job based on his on-the-field production. Mesko presents the Steelers with a more reliable punter, having had 101 of his 175 punts go unreturned last year.
The former-5th round pick Mesko is a welcome addition to an ailing special teams situation in Pittsburgh. Special Teams Coach Danny Smith has a little under a week to make sure Mesko is his guy before Pittsburgh faces Tennessee next Sunday in the season opener.