Berry wins Aussie Steelers battle in NFL

Jordan Berry has won the battle of the Australian punters at the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Brad Wing hasn’t fared too badly.


Wing will suit up for the New York Giants this season.

It was thought the loser would be jobless after they spent six months competing in Pittsburgh for the one job.

But, on the eve of NFL teams cutting their rosters to 53 players, the Giants acquired Wing from the Steelers for a seventh-round pick in next year’s draft.

Berry and Wing, both from Melbourne, turned their big Australian rules boots into successful US college football careers and then found themselves going head-to-head.

It has been a tumultuous time for Berry, who last year was forced to move back to Melbourne, live with his parents and work overnight shifts flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

Berry sealed his spot against Wing, the incumbent, by averaging a full yard with his punts during the pre-season.

His first call was to his father Jason, a former skills coach at AFL club Essendon.

Three other Australians, running back/punt returner Jarryd Hayne (San Francisco 49ers), defensive tackle Jesse Williams (Seattle Seahawks) and offensive lineman David Yankey (Minnesota Vikings) all have nervous waits ahead of their teams announcing their squads on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

After spending four years punting at Eastern Kentucky, Berry couldn’t get a NFL gig but, with the cash he made at McDonald’s, he flew back to the US and scored the Steelers job.

Wing, known for his showman style and headline-making controversies, should thrive in the intense New York spotlight, although he replaces a fan favourite.

The popular Giants’ punter Steve Weatherford was axed, largely because his salary was set to exceed $US3 million ($A4.28 million) this coming season.

Wing will earn $US510,000 ($A728,000).