All of the Steelers Killer B’s were a mess at one point or another last year.
Bell never played.
Brown went AWOL.
Ben threw a lot of picks.
And Boz missed too many kicks.
Heck, even Jordan Berry struggled punting at times. But he seemed to get back on track toward the end of the season. That never seemed to happen for his kicking partner, Chris Boswell, though.
Wes Uhler and I interviewed Berry on Steelers Nation Radio and ESPN Pittsburgh last week at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show. We talked to Berry about Boswell’s bad year. Was it more a mental issue or physical problem?
“I’m not in his head so I really can’t tell that,” Berry said. “But he’s got one of the best kicks in the league.
“He was definitely hitting the ball well.”
Maybe the issues were from the neck up, then. For his part, Berry said that when it comes to his discipline of punting, the wires usually get crossed upstairs far more than they do mechanically.
“I feel like the mental part of it is the majority of — if not 90 percent — of what we do,” Berry said. “No one in the NFL is going to have horrendous technique. But it’s that mental aspect of being able to stay on top of things from the first day of OTAs right through to game days and into the playoffs.”
Now the question for Berry becomes whether he will be back with the Steelers next year. The 2018 campaign was a bit bumpy for Berry early. Head coach Mike Tomlin even threatened a competition, referring to his punter as “less than varsity.”
Berry was able to straighten out his act as the season went along, however. Even though he is a free agent at this point, he sounded confident about his chances of being resigned in Pittsburgh.
“From what I can tell everything is looking pretty positive,” Berry said. “We just have to let all the money guys sort their stuff out. Just wait to hear some good news hopefully.”
At another point in the interview, we also talked about Berry’s famous trick punt at Eastern Kentucky. It’s the one where he burned an 11-man all-out block attempt from Morehead State by kicking the ball behind the line of scrimmage to one of his gunners.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch.
And, yes, it was legal.