What goes through your mind when you are waiting for the ball to be snapped for a punt?Personally I just like to think back to practice. I never let the situation take over. I try and focus on the things I worked on in practice and trust myself to go out and do it.
Is that a hard thing to do, to maintain that focus?It is, especially in different situations in the game, whether it's a crucial punt at the end of the game or a punt earlier in the game. You have to treat every punt the same and not let the situation get the better of you.
Top photos of Punter Brad Wing.
What's the pressure like waiting for the ball?**It's there. I can't lie and say it's not there. But part of my job is not just punting the football, it's dealing with the pressure. That is something you work on as well. There are little things you can work on to feel more comfortable out there. I work on that as much as I do the punting.
Once the ball is kicked, how does your mindset switch?First thing you want to do is make sure it's a good punt. After that the next thing you have to worry about is covering it, make sure the guy doesn't return it on you. When I get to the sideline I like to review how it went. If it was a good punt, what did I do right. If it was a bad punt, what happened. After you kick the ball the most important thing is the next play because there is nothing you can do about the one that just happened.
How great a feeling is it to have a punt downed near the goal line?There is nothing better than that, when you are kicking it, seeing it in the air and seeing your own guys go down there to get it. Then when they actually make the play and you see it down inside the 10-yard line that is a great feeling. You know their offense is going to struggle and it sets our defense up well.On the flip side, what's that feeling like when a punt goes bad?It's not good. We are all the same in the respect that we want to go out there and perform at our highest every single time. Not many of us do it every single time. It's tough to have a perfect game every time. That is what we are striving for. It's frustrating when you get out there and you don't execute the way you want to.
Special teams coordinator Danny Smith talked about your ability to bounce back. How are you able to do that because you can't be down long in this game? And, is it easier said than done?I think a lot of that comes with my personality. I try not to get too caught up in it. I am very passionate about what I do and I love what I do. The most important thing is the next play. You can't get caught up in the previous one, good or bad. That's all I'm focused on, whether it's a good punt, bad punt, or whatever. I just worry about making the next one a good one.
It's way easier said than done. I am making it sound like it's a breeze. It's not. I can't lie and say I am completely calm on the sideline after I have had a bad one. It's frustrating but it's more important to keep yourself together. You don't want to have a bad punt, go in the tank and have another one. You have to minimize those.**
Danny also said he thinks you are a player that's going to be here a long time, and he added that this game is important to you. First, what does it make you feel like to hear him say you have a long career ahead of you?It's good to have the coaches believe in you and trust in you. I have a lot of improving to do, a lot of growth in my game. If I can play for the Steelers for as long as they want me to, that would be great.And second, why is this game important to you?**Coming from a different country (Australia) I didn't grow up knowing a lot about the NFL. It wasn't something I wanted to do like you hear with most of the guys who have wanted to play in the NFL since they were little. I had a different path. I really appreciate the game, I am happy to be in the position I am in. It really means a lot to me. It's my job too and if I am doing something I want to be the best at it. I don't want to let anybody done. The whole Rooney family, Coach (Mike) Tomlin, they have given me a great opportunity here and I don't want to let them down. I take that personally.
Do you consider yourself lucky to have long snapper Greg Warren and kicker Shaun Suisham to work with, to help you with your NFL adjustment?I don't know if I could even tell you how much they have helped me. They have been great. To have two experienced guys like them, two great veterans in Shaun and Greg. They have a lot of wisdom and experience when it comes to playing in the NFL. They have been a bigger help than I think anybody can understand. They are like two other coaches who can help me.
We all fit in. We don't play 50 snaps a game, we might get four or five. We have to be a little more relaxed and easy going and those two guys are great and I think I fit in good with them.