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Jordan Berry remaining with the Steelers is a surprise as the regular season begins

Steelers’ punter Jordan Berry somehow managed to hold onto his job, despite being out-performed by Matt Wile during the preseason.

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Jacksonville at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Like any other year, there were several surprises after the Steelers trimmed their roster from 90 to 53 players on Saturday.

Landry Jones is no longer the Steelers’ backup quarterback (big news). Brian Allen is a member of the practice squad (a bit of a surprise).

However, while the position of punter isn’t exactly sexy, I’m a little shocked I’m writing like my third or fourth Jordan Berry article here at BTSC instead of my very first Matt Wile hot take.

With Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s propensity for changing punters (the man switches punters more than I scroll through my many “options” on Roku’s free channel—there’s just nothing on there), I thought Berry would join Brad Wing, Mat McBriar, Zoltan Mesko, Drew Butler, Jeremy Kapinos and Daniel Sepulveda as ex-Steelers’ specialists.


With Wile out-punting Berry throughout the preseason (48.9 gross yards per punt vs. 41.4 gross yards per punt) as well as Tomlin calling Berry out in the press conference following the 51-34 loss to the Packers in the second exhibition game—the only one in-which Wile didn’t punt—the Aussie’s demise just seemed inevitable.

Then there’s the whole supply-and-demand deal, where there are far-more punters waiting by the phone than there are teams waiting to call them.

And let’s not forget that, even more so than kickers, punters are the drifters of the football world and bounce around the league more than Dr. David Banner, physician, scientist, hitched around the country back in the 1970s (Mike Tomlin isn’t the only head coach aware of the supply-and-demand deal).

So, let’s review:

Jordan Berry is a punter. Berry is a punter who hasn’t been punting as well as he used to. Tomlin apparently hates punters. All head coaches have it out for punters. The Incredible Hulk was a great TV series from 1978-1982. Matt Wile punted better during the preseason.

Yet, Berry is still the Steelers’ punter (as of this writing, anyway).

I know what you might say, “There’s more to punting than gross average.”

True, but the thing is, Berry finished fairly low in every meaningful stat in 2017—including gross average, net average, punts inside the 20 and touchbacks (finishing low in touchbacks is actually a good thing, but not if it’s your only good thing).

I mean, when it comes to evaluating punters during the preseason, what is there to evaluate, other than watching them punt and watching where their punts land? The Steelers had more than enough visual evidence to give Berry the boot and give Wile his old job, so, again, why is the former still employed by the Black-and-gold?

Who am I kidding? At the end of the day, this whole punter controversy isn’t a huge deal.

As I alluded to earlier, I now love watching streaming television, which means it was inevitable that I would gravitate towards old Steelers’ games on YouTube.

Did you know the Steelers’ special teams were pretty awful during their magnificent Super Bowl run of the 1970s? How bad were Pittsburgh’s special teams? So bad, Tomlin would have been changing punters at halftime of most games.

Also, Berry could get the ax at any moment (like, 27 hours before this article is published, which would make me look like a fool), so him surviving the final cut means very little.

So, why am I writing about Jordan Berry? It beats writing about Le’Veon Bell — again.