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flippy
11-25-2009, 12:12 PM
Jeff Reed is #32 in kickoff distance (60.5) this season and dead last in touchbacks (1).

I know people think he's placing the ball where it needs to be placed, but he's kicking it to the 10 on average. Seems this might be our biggest problem. We're conceding 10 yards before we have a chance to make a play. Maybe that's why lanes get set up for returners before our guys can get down the field to break up the lanes.

And one additional thought. We're also struggling in the Red Zone. Often getting field goals instead of TDs. Maybe we should stop kicking FGs in the Red Zone and just go for it any time we're there.

If we convert 4th downs or score at least 42% of the time, we'll be putting up the same number of points as we are by kicking FGs. But additionally, we wouldn't risk giving up a big return after scoring just 3 points. The Defense would be gauranteed to start inside the other team's 20 yard line. And given this team is giving up the lowest yardage in the NFL, teams are going to have a hard time going 80+ yards on them and scoring.

I think if someone was smart enough to run the numbers, we should never kick field goals inside the 20 because of our ST and how good our defense is.

Jooser
11-25-2009, 12:43 PM
I totally agree that KO distance is a HUGE weakness.

RuthlessBurgher
11-25-2009, 01:04 PM
Of course the kickoff depth is weak (the only regular kickers with worst after kickoff length in the league is Washington's Shaun Suisham and Kansas City's Ryan Succop).

However, I disagree with your suggestion for going for it on 4th down in the red zone. In certain situations, sure. I think if you have 4th and goal from the 1, you go for it (if you make it, great, and if you don't the other team is backed up to the shadow of their goal line, making a subsequent safety a possibility). I also like going for it when you are in the mid-to-high 30's, because it is kind of far to kick but kind of close to punt (and there is still 60-something yards worth of real estate behind your defense if you don't make it, so it is not a huge risk).

But I wouldn't recommend going for it on 4th down when you are close to the end zone every time as a rule. What happens if you need 2 fourth down conversions? Then the probability of making that 42% conversion twice in a row drops to below 18%. In general, I would support taking the points, or else we could be chasing those points for the rest of the game.

Northern_Blitz
11-25-2009, 02:20 PM
But I wouldn't recommend going for it on 4th down when you are close to the end zone every time as a rule. What happens if you need 2 fourth down conversions? Then the probability of making that 42% conversion twice in a row drops to below 18%. In general, I would support taking the points, or else we could be chasing those points for the rest of the game.

I think his point is that it seems like once a game, the decision to kick a FG gets us a net of -4 pts (because its followed by a kickoff). If we're in the RZ, and we don't get it, at least the other team has to drive the field against us. The D has been at least solid so this might not be a bad stratagy.

Plus, there's always the TMQ arguement that always going for it on 4th statistically increases the chances that you will win.

RuthlessBurgher
11-25-2009, 02:37 PM
But I wouldn't recommend going for it on 4th down when you are close to the end zone every time as a rule. What happens if you need 2 fourth down conversions? Then the probability of making that 42% conversion twice in a row drops to below 18%. In general, I would support taking the points, or else we could be chasing those points for the rest of the game.

I think his point is that it seems like once a game, the decision to kick a FG gets us a net of -4 pts (because its followed by a kickoff). If we're in the RZ, and we don't get it, at least the other team has to drive the field against us. The D has been at least solid so this might not be a bad stratagy.

Plus, there's always the TMQ arguement that always going for it on 4th statistically increases the chances that you will win.

Seems like once a game that the decision to kick a FG gets us a net of -4 pts (because its followed by a kickoff)? Actually, that only happened once this season (the Bernard Scott runback followed a FG. The Cribbs TD followed a Hines TD catch, the Harvin TD followed the Woodley return for a TD, and the Charles TD was on the opening kick of the game.

As for the TMQ argument, it is statistically sound (for the most part), except for the fact that in the numbers that he has available to analyze, the percentages of 4th downs converted is skewed toward situations that are manageable distances for the most part. Typically, coaches will not go for it on 4th down unless they think there is a high probability they will make it (usually has to be 4th and 1 or 4th and 2). The only time anyone goes for 4th and long is when it is a desperate situation at the end of a game, so there are not as many 4th and longs in the sample as there are 4th and shorts.

So to say that if you went for it on 4th down every time in the red zone (regardless of whether is was 4th and goal from the 1 or 4th and goal from the 19 after penalties or sacks) you can't just say you'd expect to convert 42% of the time. There is a higher probability of converting 4th and short and a lower probability of converting 4th and long (obviously), so you can't just make a blanket statement that you would be better off going for it on 4th down all the time. It certain situations, great! In other situations, not so fast my friend.

MeetJoeGreene
11-25-2009, 04:01 PM
The interesting thing that I noticed was that on each of the 2 touchdown returns the last 2 games, the kickoffs appeared DEEPER than the usual Jeff Reed distance. They were about the 3 and to the corner.

Against the bungles, I was thinking 'Cool .. he finally got one deep and towards a side... we are going to pin them". Boy was I wrong.

Against KC I thought " That's about the same place the bungles returned a TD From.. surely it won't happen again... OH $%#&#".

MeetJoeGreene
11-25-2009, 04:02 PM
The interesting thing that I noticed was that on each of the 2 touchdown returns the last 2 games, the kickoffs appeared DEEPER than the usual Jeff Reed distance. They were about the 3 and to the corner.

Against the bungles, I was thinking 'Cool .. he finally got one deep and towards a side... we are going to pin them". Boy was I wrong.

Against KC I thought " That's about the same place the bungles returned a TD From.. surely it won't happen again... OH $%#&#".

Jooser
11-25-2009, 05:04 PM
I wouldn't advocate for going for a TD over FG every time, but I do get Flippy's point in that with the exception of last week's return, the other three KO returns for TDs came after we had just scored.

1. Percy Harvin
2. Josh Cribbs
3. Bernard Scott

Seems like mental letdown to me.

Steelerphile
11-25-2009, 05:09 PM
The kickoff against Cincy that Scott returned was a poor kick. It was low, had little hang time and bounced at about the 9 or 10 yard line before landing in the returner's hands about the three. Reed did not really kick that ball to the three. It bounced there. It was tailor-made for a big return because it didn't have air underneath.

The one he hit against KC was for Reed a good boot. He got it to the three with some air underneath. I think the coverage team hustled down, but they probably overran the spots they would ordinarily be on the typical lower or shorter Reed kick, and when Charles was able to get through the initial wave, the remaining group didn't have enough agility to deal with Charles.

I used to be in Reed's corner. During his career he has been very reliable making FGs especially in Heinz Field, but I have definitely soured on him this season. The short kickoffs cannot continue to be ignored as a large factor in some of the returns that have been made on the Steelers.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-26-2009, 12:01 PM
Was Reed always short on the kickoffs? He used to be called "Quadzilla", right? Was that just for field goals?

Steelerphile
11-26-2009, 07:42 PM
Was Reed always short on the kickoffs? He used to be called "Quadzilla", right? Was that just for field goals?

The kickoffs appear to be the worst of his career in 2009. He has only one touchback in 2009, whereas he had 9 - 2008; 10 - 2007; 4 - 2006; 5 - 2005; 7 - 2004; 5 - 2003. His average of 60.5 yards as it stands today is the lowest of his career.

He never kicked a lot of touchbacks but they are much too scarce for him these days. When I watch other teams, it is not an unusual sight to see the kickoff driven deep into the endzone. Reed doesn't get close to that.

He is not making a strong case for a big contract.

Mel Blount's G
11-27-2009, 02:03 PM
He is not making a strong case for a big contract.
Or ANY contract (from us) :!:

Maybe we should stop kicking FGs in the Red Zone and just go for it any time we're there.
As long as BA isn't allowed to call a sweep with our 3rd string versatility back :HeadBanger

Shoe
11-27-2009, 03:42 PM
He is not making a strong case for a big contract.

Bottom line: with the above mentioned proficiency in KO distance, his botched game for us earlier this year, his run-ins with the law, and that pathetic attempt to tackle Cincy's returner (i.e. not selling our for fear, this being his contract year)...

I can confidently say, "Pack your bags party boy. Go be a douchebag ignoramus in another city."

ghettoscott
11-27-2009, 11:09 PM
Against KC I thought " That's about the same place the bungles returned a TD From.. surely it won't happen again... OH $%#&#".

$ :?

Oviedo
11-28-2009, 09:04 AM
He is not making a strong case for a big contract.

Bottom line: with the above mentioned proficiency in KO distance, his botched game for us earlier this year, his run-ins with the law, and that pathetic attempt to tackle Cincy's returner (i.e. not selling our for fear, this being his contract year)...

I can confidently say, "Pack your bags party boy. Go be a douchebag ignoramus in another city."

Add to that he already rejected a contract offer before the season began. The Steelers don't usually sweeten those particularly when you have the season that Reed is having. Rejecting the contract was a big mistake for him.