2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Former Patriots P Mesko ready to go for Steelers

By DALE GRDNIC - Associated Press
    2013-09-06 14:53

PITTSBURGH (AP) - New Pittsburgh Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko believes that everything happens for a reason.

That was never more evident than this week.

Mesko was released by the New England Patriots last week, but was unemployed just two days. Scooped up by the Steelers Monday, and given a second chance in the NFL, Mesko is ready for the challenge. After all, he was once a fan of the Black and Gold.

Indeed, somewhere along his journey from Ohio to Michigan to Foxborough, Mass., Mesko fell in love with Pittsburgh's pride and joy.

``I randomly found this Steelers jacket at a Wal-Mart in Cleveland, because I needed a new winter jacket,'' he said. ``I really had no clue if the Steelers were a football team or baseball team. I didn't know anything about them.''

He does now. And he will get a chance to return the favor, when Pittsburgh takes on Tennessee in Week 1.

Mesko has been busy, getting a quick history lesson this week. He passes the franchises six Super Bowl trophies every day as he attends team meetings, and he also has been told about the city's Major League Baseball team. It wouldn't be difficult to imagine that Mesko could quickly become the favorite Steeler for Pirates fans. And it would have less to do with his kicking prowess and everything to do with his first name, since the ``Z'' sign (for Zoltan) has become a good-luck symbol for the team's players and fan base.

Even Steelers coach Mike Tomlin got into the act by flashing the ``Z'' sign when he first saw Mesko being interviewed in the club's locker room before a recent practice. Mesko didn't see it, but he is well aware of the reference. One might even see him throwing out the first pitch at an upcoming Pirates game.

``I have heard about the `Z' sign and the Pirates,'' Mesko said. ``I welcome it, but I'm not going to take it to the next level. That's the Pirates' thing, and I think it's pretty cool. And if they call, so be it. But first thing's first. I have to take care of my job here.''

The Steelers are hopeful that Mesko stabilizes a position that has been in constant transition, as Drew Butler, Jeremy Kapinos, Daniel Sepulveda, Paul Ernster and Mitch Berger have held the job since 2008. When asked about him this week, Tomlin was effusive in praising Mesko.

``He's a high-pedigree guy, one that was highly regarded out of Michigan,'' Tomlin said. ``He's a long guy (6-foot-5, 225 pounds), a left-footer. He's no stranger to the elements, having kicked in New England in the professional ranks and at the University of Michigan in college. He is an Ohio native. All those things were attractive to us.''

After the Patriots selected him with the 150th pick in the 2010 fifth round, Mesko quickly established himself among the league's top punters. He averaged 44.2 yards per kick with nearly 40 yards in net. He had just one punt blocked, as a rookie, and a whopping 71 downed inside the 20 with none returned for touchdowns.

Yet the Patriots still cut him.

``Honestly, I don't know,'' Mesko said. ``I wasn't really let known of the situation. I like to believe that I did have a really good camp. I feel really fundamentally sound. What is in the past is in the past. I don't look back at it. I look forward, and I'm really glad to be here. It's never fun to get released, but I'm glad that I landed on my feet.

``And I'm glad that I landed with such a great organization. So, I'm excited about the future. Being released was always a possibility. Anything in life is a possibility. It was a little bit of a curveball in the essence. But I'm a strong believer in things happening for a reason. Now that I find myself here today, I guess that's kind of attesting to that fact.''

--

NOTES: Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (chest) practiced Friday, his second straight day of full participation, while fullback Will Johnson (hamstring) was a full participant for the first time this week. ... Tight end Heath Miller (right knee) was limited for the third straight day, along with defensive end Brett Keisel (not injury related). ... Running back Le'Veon Bell (right mid-foot sprain) missed his third straight practice and has been ruled out for Sunday's game. ... The final injury report Friday has Bell listed as out, while Miller is doubtful. Jones, Johnson and Keisel are probable.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group