Tuesday, October 29, 2013
New punter means new holder for Suisham
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin said his confidence in kicker Shaun Suisham hasn't wavered.
He showed it, in one sense, when the Steelers released punter Zoltan Mesko on Tuesday afternoon.
Suisham will have to adjust to a new holder -- it will likely be Matt McBriar, who was signed to assume the inconsistent Mesko's punting duties -- as he tries to bounce back from his worst game since joining the Steelers in 2010.
Suisham isn't as quirky as many in his chosen profession, and he describes himself as a "minimalist," so a change in holders shouldn't affect the ninth-year veteran as much as it might another kicker.
It helps that he and McBriar spent parts of three seasons together in Dallas, but the timing couldn't have been worse for a shake-up that impacts Suisham.
Suisham missed field goals of 34 and 32 yards in a 21-18 loss at Oakland after making his first 15 attempts to start the season. He earned AFC special teams player of the week for hitting four field goals, including one as time expired, in a 19-16 wins over the Ravens on Oct. 20.
The issues Tomlin had with Mesko following the Steelers' third consecutive loss at Oakland had nothing to do with Suisham's uncharacteristic misses.
Tomlin said both of Mesko's holds on the misses were "fine."
While Tomlin was vague on Mesko's future prior to the Steelers releasing the punter, the seventh-year coach said he is still firmly behind Suisham.
"I've got a great deal of confidence in Shaun," Tomlin said. "Such is life in the National Football League. You go from AFC special teams player of the week to missing a few last week. Shaun's been a quality guy for us. We expect him to bounce back and we look forward for him having an opportunity to do so."