Zoltan Mesko To The Steelers
Why it's a good thing:
Mesko is one of those specialists who really takes his work as a profession. When you watch him practice, he may goof off every now and then but when he gets called to show what he has he doesn't disappoint.
What he brings:
Mesko has a huge leg. He can boom a punt 60-plus yards if he really wants to, but out-kicking the coverage can be a bad thing. He has the experience needed to know when to kick AWAY from the dangerous returner. He has the ability to adapt to a bad snap, and he has a ton of experience holding for PAT attempts.
One line of thought on why the Patriots brought in Ryan Allen to compete with Mesko is the potential for hang time. Mesko's punts haven't been the same since some point last year when it seemed he "tweaked" his leg. Sure he can hit it, but I don't believe he hit a single punt over 50 yards that really buried the other team.
Watching Mesko in camp, I was reminded of the Adam Vinatieri vs Robbie Gould competition. Honestly I saw nearly NO difference between the two (AV vs RG). As soon as Gould was cut he became the Bears' starting kicker and hasn't looked back. Meanwhile, New England moved on to Stephen Gostkowski and has had some varying levels of success.
With Mesko and Allen in camp, the first time I saw both punt I was convinced Allen's punts were from a veteran and Mesko's were from the challenger. Time and again Mesko's punts wavered, or sailed wide of their target. Punt after punt Allen's soared higher and farther than what Mesko would serve up. Eventually they averaged out, but Allen's leg is stronger, something the Patriots preferred, especially at a lower cost.