Jordan Berry? What?
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers just went from 43 yards per punt to 44.2. I know I'm not a special teams coordinator and just the guy behind the keyboard, but that doesn't feel the move anyone was expecting five days ago.
When Mike Tomlin took the Zoom stage on Tuesday morning to address the media and Steelers Nation, the tone talking about his team's punting results assured something was going to happen.
"We've got to get better in that area," Tomlin said, "and we're willing to do whatever is required in an effort to do so."
Immediately, you knew a change was coming. Dustin Colquitt was on his way out after just five games, and the Steelers were finally going to search for a punter to meet expectations. Maybe that punter wasn't going to be a Pro Bowl-caliber player, but better than the third-lowest yards per punt average in the NFL wasn't a tall mountain to climb.
Friday morning came, and the Steelers pulled the plug on Colquitt, cutting him before the team's final practice of the week. As they headed to Tennessee to face the 5-0 Titans, they now needed to add a new punter to their roster.
First thought was Corliss Waitman. An undrafted rookie out of South Alabama, who impressed during training camp and earned a place on the practice squad, where he remains today. Even if he doesn't have NFL experience, earning a place as the team's backup punter says something for a guy with three months of experience.
Second thought, Marquette King. Not a real realistic option, but one that has certainly caught the attention of Steelers fans. Even if, in the back of everyone's mind, no one believed King was truly an option for Pittsburgh, he seemed more reasonable than what actually happened.
Friday evening rolled around, and ESPN's Field Yates reported the Steelers are expected to bring back the player who started all of this.
Two months ago, Jordan Berry wasn't good enough to keep himself on the Steelers' roster. He was replaced by a veteran Pittsburgh believed was better. He wasn't. And now, they're going back to Berry.
It makes no sense. Berry's track record shows nothing that leads you to believe he's an upgrade from Colquitt. His yards per punt average is 1.2 yards more than the player who replaced him, and he will now replace. He battled all summer, only to be replaced and left off the practice squad for an undrafted rookie. But now, he's the best option?
Waitman is the best option. Even if he doesn't perform well, it'll be hard to be worse than what's been out there. If he isn't the answer, you move on, but at least you know. And after three months, you'd think he has some chemistry with Chris Boswell as a place holder.
Instead, they're headed back to the person Steelers fans have complained about for five years as if those fans were overreacting.
I don't get it. But again, I'm not the one making decisions for an NFL franchise. It just seems there were other ways to go before going backward.