If Drew Butler winds up unemployed following the Pittsburgh Steelers preseason, he may have Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith to thank for opening the locker room door.
An undrafted rookie, Butler beat out an injured Jeremy Kapinos to be the Steelers punter in 2012. Butler entered training camp in 2013 as the 'starter', but Pittsburgh brought in some healthier competition in veteran pro-bowl punter Brian Moorman.
In preseason Week 1, Butler remained above Moorman in a position battle head coach Mike Tomlin described as 'intense'. As the team prepares for preseason Week 2, Moorman and Butler are sharing the top spot.
Butler had some less than stellar moments in his rookie season, occasionally shanking kicks at inopportune times. With special teams being such a hot topic over the off-season, Butler needed to show significant improvement in his sophomore season. Now he needs to kick for his life with Moorman hot on his heels.
Outside of the blocked punt which sits on Butler's record thanks to a whiffed block by Cromartie-Smith, Moorman has demonstrated a much better hang time on his kicks, which allows punt coverage teams more time to find the returner. Butler's best showing in camp came while throwing the ball in fake punt practice. Butler and Moorman also share the 'or' status as placekicking holder, although interestingly enough Moorman is listed again as the second holder.
This intense position battle continues when the Steelers travel to FedEx Field to take on the Washington Redskins in the second preseason game for both clubs on Monday night.
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