Rookie Ian Berryman latest to take on Jordan Berry in quest to be Steelers punter |

Rookie Ian Berryman latest to take on Jordan Berry in quest to be Steelers punter

Chris Adamski

When the draft ended early in the evening April 27, Ian Berryman nervously sat through some excruciating moments.

“It felt like an eternity,” said Berryman, then a recent graduate of Western Carolina, “but it was probably like 5 minutes after the draft they called.”

The “they” was the Pittsburgh Steelers. And the reason the Steelers called was to sign Berryman to an undrafted free-agent contract.

“I had a few other offers, but here is probably where I just felt the best fit,” Berryman said. “The Steelers wanted to sign me to a contract, and I am forever blessed for that.”

Berryman is the latest rookie or first-year punter the Steelers have brought in to challenge four-year incumbent Jordan Berry at the position. After an up-and-down season, Berry re-signed for two years this spring — but, of course, the contract is non-guaranteed, and coach Mike Tomlin has not been shy in expressing dissatisfaction about Berry’s performance at times.

Putting aside the unintentional humor and alliterative peculiarity of a Berry/Berryman competition, Berryman has a legitimate opportunity to earn a job — if he shows Tomlin and special teams coach Danny Smith he has the goods.

“Probably just hitting the same ball every time,” Berryman said of his objective at OTAs and training camp, “giving the coaches exactly what they want — so they are not guessing what happens with the ball.

“The conditions are tough up here,” Berryman said, referring to the wind and rain of Pittsburgh. “But just real excited to develop the consistency in these conditions; that’s key to sticking anywhere. If you can punt here, you can punt anywhere.”

Berryman is a Georgia native who was something of a late bloomer at punting after he had played quarterback earlier on in his high school career. He averaged 43.8 yards per his 206 punts at Western Carolina, with 56 traveling at least 50 yards, 82 downed inside the opponents’ 20 yard-line and only two being blocked.

Berryman also held for placekicks in college; that is part of the job description for the punter’s job in Pittsburgh.

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.