As Pittsburgh Steelers training camp is set to begin, Behind the Steel Curtain takes a look at each position battle and how players at those positions are expected to perform.
PITTSBURGH -- One of the closer battles during training camp could be between punters Brad Wing and Adam Podlesh.
Neither Wing, a first-year player from LSU, nor eight-year veteran Podlesh distinguished himself during spring drills. But the left-footed Wing is expected to win the competition against Podlesh, a right-footed journeyman with his third NFL team after four seasons with Jacksonville and three with Chicago.
Wing had solid stats at LSU and even was a freshman All-American, but off-field issues hampered his draft status and he signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. He eventually was released and signed with the Steelers this year. The Steelers are hopeful that his past is just that and won't catch up with him anytime soon.
The 23-year-old Wing, who is Australian, was arrested in 2011 for simple battery. He also engaged in a shouting match with during one game and was suspended for LSU's bowl game last year after a failed drug test. He hoped for redemption with the Eagles, but it finally could come this year with the Steelers.
Podlesh was an odd signing by the Steelers, since he really hasn't been too distinguished during his career. However, after Drew Butler, Brian Moorman, Zoltan Mesko and finally Aussie Mat McBriar couldn't get it done last year, it's not surprising that the club went in a different direction.
Podlesh's best asset appears to be a penchant for pinning the opposition inside the 20-yard line with kicks, but he clearly doesn't have the leg strength that Wing possesses. It's likely that Wing will need to out-kick Podlesh in camp to secure the starting job. If not, the Steelers probably will go with the veteran.
But one thing is always important when discussing the Steelers punting game. They won a Super Bowl with Mitch Berger as their punter.