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fordfixer
01-19-2010, 03:22 AM
Steelers must re-sign Reed
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10019/1029240-87.stm


As the CBS television cameras showed San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding making the long, slow, agonizing walk toward the team's locker room Sunday night and the premature start of another difficult offseason, one thought kept coming to mind:

Somewhere, Jeff Reed must be smiling.

Like a butcher's dog, actually.

It's not as if Reed takes pleasure from Kaeding's pain. NFL kickers make up a small, close-knit fraternity. When one has a rotten day -- as Kaeding did in the Chargers' shocking 17-14 playoff loss to the touchdown-underdog New York Jets -- they all share in the hurt. Each man knows if he kicks long enough, there's a good chance he's going to be in those cleats one day.

But Reed's value as a kicker never seemed greater than when the All-Pro Kaeding missed a 40-yard field-goal attempt with 4:38 left and the Chargers trailing, 17-7. It was Kaeding's third miss of the day. The man who is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, had missed just three kicks all season and had made 69 in a row from 40 yards-and-in also missed from 36 and 57 yards earlier in the game. It might have been the biggest postseason collapse by a kicker since former Steeler Gary Anderson missed for the Minnesota Vikings from 38 yards in the Metrodome in the 1998 NFC championship game, denying the Vikings a trip to Super Bowl XXXIII. Anderson had been 39 for 39 to that point.

"I'm not gonna feel sorry for myself," Kaeding said. "I feel sorry for my teammates, coaches and support staff here. I feel like I let everybody down."

It wasn't just Kaeding, who had a rough time in these playoffs. Arizona's Neil Rackers missed from 34 yards at the end of regulation against the Green Bay Packers Jan. 10 in a game the Cardinals were fortunate to win in overtime. Cincinnati's Shayne Graham missed from 42 and 28 yards in the second half of the Bengals' 24-14 loss to the Jets a day earlier, prompting Bengals coach Marvin Lewis to say, "It is a shame, and it killed us."

I'm thinking Reed would have made all of those kicks. He's that good. He's that dependable.

I'm also thinking the Steelers need to do whatever it takes to keep Reed before he can become an unrestricted free agent March 1. Putting the franchise or transition tag on him are options. Doing a long-term contract with him is a better choice.

Yes, Reed comes with baggage. He has had two highly publicized, alcohol-related incidents in the past year. He faces a preliminary hearing Feb. 11 in Allegheny County Municipal Court for misdemeanor charges of simple assault and resisting arrest and summary charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct after an incident Oct. 18 outside McFadden's Bar on the North Side after the Steelers' game with the Cleveland Browns. Last February, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief charges after police said he beat up a towel dispenser and harassed employees at the Sheetz store in New Alexandria.

Reed and his agent have disputed the charges in the more recent incident, agent Don Henderson saying that Reed "basically got attacked by the police." No matter what happened that night, it's nice to think it sobered up Reed and made him realize he has to do a better job watching his behavior under the bright public spotlight. It's nice to think he won't be an embarrassment to himself, his family and his team again.

As despicable as the two incidents might have been, they shouldn't stop the Steelers from doing a new deal with Reed if they are convinced he has matured. Certainly, the incidents won't stop other NFL teams from approaching him. A great kicker isn't easy to find, especially one who has proved he can kick in poor weather conditions and on less-than-perfect turf at Heinz Field. Ten of the 32 NFL clubs used at least two kickers this season.

Reed had his Kaeding moment -- on a much lesser scale -- when he missed from 38 and 43 yards in the Steelers' 17-14 loss Sept. 20 to the Chicago Bears. There's no reason to think he'll have another any time soon. After that game in Chicago, he finished the season by making 25 of 27 field-goal tries, the misses from 52 and 53 yards. He also has made 16 consecutive postseason kicks, going back to his rookie season in 2002.

What the Chargers and Bengals would have given to have Reed in these playoffs.

The Steelers must find a way to keep him.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10019/10 ... z0d2amMecL (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10019/1029240-87.stm#ixzz0d2amMecL)

Shawn
01-19-2010, 04:20 AM
I like Reed. I think he is a super solid kicker. With that said, his kickoffs leave alot to be desired. Not to mention the Steelers don't tend to coddle guys who have drunken brawls with the law. These events likely won't sober Reed up. So, the Steelers must be willing to accept the baggage and the mixed message it brings.

SteelAbility
01-19-2010, 08:42 AM
I don't think Kaeding's botches demonstrate that re-signing Reed is a must. If Reed had been doing SDs kickoffs, then it could be argued that the poor field position yielded by kicks that give the return man a running start outside the 5 yard line would have translated either into more points for the Jets or less points for SD.

There's a give/take going on here.

Reed is good. But some of what he gives in FG reliability he takes away with, and I will say it, VERY sub-par kickoffs.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-19-2010, 08:48 AM
I forget where, but I saw where Reed was rated as one of the worst kickers in the leauge due to his horrendous kickoffs. He is solid with the FG so it is a very tough call. I wish Sepulveda could kick off.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-19-2010, 09:44 AM
Even in the worst case - if we don't sign Reed and consequently give up points or even games - that has to be balanced against the possibility we might do even worse if we let some other key players go this year just to keep him. Can't sign everyone.

BTW - I disagree a little bit with the author - if Reed hadn't missed those kicks in Chicago, we'd have been in the playoffs, maybe with a healthy Troy. Even if he weren't 100%, I think our defense could have been playoff ready then - look how good we looked against MN, without him. So, IMO Chicago's missed kicks were more important than the author seems to be trying to make them sound.

phillyesq
01-19-2010, 10:25 AM
I think we're all going to regret it if the Steelers get rid of Reed. What kickers out there are better than Reed and available?

Reed ranked #8 overall in FG percentage this year. With one exception, the guys in front of him played in a dome or in warm weather. The exception was Phil Dawson, who was slightly ahead of Reed in FG percentage, but with a much smaller sample size. Dawson also missed one of his 19 extra point attempts; Reed was perfect on 41.

I wish Reed was better on kickoffs, but I think that part of the reason he kicks off high and short is by design. In 2008, the coverage team had no problem pinning opponents deep, so while Reed deserves some of the blame, I think a lot of it rests with the coverage teams as well.

I have supreme confidence in Reed with the game on the line. The Bears game was an anomaly this season, and really for his career. Before you want to rush Reed out of town, ask yourself, is the grass really going to be greener?


http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats? ... 447263-p=1 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&seasonType=REG&statisticPositionCategory=FIELD_GOAL_KICKER&d-447263-o=2&conference=null&d-447263-s=KICKING_FG_PCT&experience=null&d-447263-n=1&season=2009&qualified=true&Submit=Go&tabSeq=1&d-447263-p=1)

Oviedo
01-19-2010, 10:34 AM
I think we're all going to regret it if the Steelers get rid of Reed. What kickers out there are better than Reed and available?

Reed ranked #8 overall in FG percentage this year. With one exception, the guys in front of him played in a dome or in warm weather. The exception was Phil Dawson, who was slightly ahead of Reed in FG percentage, but with a much smaller sample size. Dawson also missed one of his 19 extra point attempts; Reed was perfect on 41.

I wish Reed was better on kickoffs, but I think that part of the reason he kicks off high and short is by design. In 2008, the coverage team had no problem pinning opponents deep, so while Reed deserves some of the blame, I think a lot of it rests with the coverage teams as well.

I have supreme confidence in Reed with the game on the line. The Bears game was an anomaly this season, and really for his career. Before you want to rush Reed out of town, ask yourself, is the grass really going to be greener?


http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats? ... 447263-p=1 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&seasonType=REG&statisticPositionCategory=FIELD_GOAL_KICKER&d-447263-o=2&conference=null&d-447263-s=KICKING_FG_PCT&experience=null&d-447263-n=1&season=2009&qualified=true&Submit=Go&tabSeq=1&d-447263-p=1)

It would be nice to keep Reed but it all gets down to how unreasonable he gets with his demands. He was already given an offer he rejected.

Like I always say it is a two sided equation. The player has to want to be part of the Steelers. If he doesn't and it is just a money grab we won't retain him.

All players are replaceable. Reed is no exception.

ANPSTEEL
01-19-2010, 11:08 AM
I think if you re-sign Reed, the team has to get a deep kickoff specialist.

The combo of no distance and no hang-time killed the coverage units this year.

proudpittsburgher
01-19-2010, 11:18 AM
So this really comes down to what is most important. Reed has two things going against him (three actually if you count the fact he can't tackle), and one thing going for him.

Cons: short kickoffs and imature
Pros: he's clutch as a field goal kicker.

What is more important to you? For me, I know the Steelers play tight games, win or lose, and a lot of them are going to come down to a cluch, late field goal to put us from being down two, to up one. Honestly, at that point of the game, I could care less if his kickoffs only went to the 10 and he pizzed on a policeman's shoes outside a nightclub the night before. Would I prefer squeeky clean with a better kickoff leg? Sure, but his paycheck comes from the face he can put the ball through the uprights.

Shawn
01-19-2010, 11:30 AM
Wasn't there a stretch where we gave up 8 tds in 8 games on kickoffs?

Do you think Reed had anything to do with that?

56 points translates to over 18 FGs.

If Reeds kicks only played a part in half of those...that's still 9 FGs worth of points.

He had better be a money FG kicker.

SteelAbility
01-19-2010, 11:38 AM
I think we're all going to regret it if the Steelers get rid of Reed. What kickers out there are better than Reed and available?

Reed ranked #8 overall in FG percentage this year. With one exception, the guys in front of him played in a dome or in warm weather. The exception was Phil Dawson, who was slightly ahead of Reed in FG percentage, but with a much smaller sample size. Dawson also missed one of his 19 extra point attempts; Reed was perfect on 41.

I wish Reed was better on kickoffs, but I think that part of the reason he kicks off high and short is by design. In 2008, the coverage team had no problem pinning opponents deep, so while Reed deserves some of the blame, I think a lot of it rests with the coverage teams as well.

I have supreme confidence in Reed with the game on the line. The Bears game was an anomaly this season, and really for his career. Before you want to rush Reed out of town, ask yourself, is the grass really going to be greener?


http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats? ... 447263-p=1 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&seasonType=REG&statisticPositionCategory=FIELD_GOAL_KICKER&d-447263-o=2&conference=null&d-447263-s=KICKING_FG_PCT&experience=null&d-447263-n=1&season=2009&qualified=true&Submit=Go&tabSeq=1&d-447263-p=1)

I don't think so. He is conceding way too much on his kickoffs. No. Correction. WAY too much. We obviously have weaknesses on STs. Having a guy who can kick it through the EZ or so deep it prevents the return has immense value, especially given our STs problems.

ikestops85
01-19-2010, 12:01 PM
I think we're all going to regret it if the Steelers get rid of Reed. What kickers out there are better than Reed and available?

Reed ranked #8 overall in FG percentage this year. With one exception, the guys in front of him played in a dome or in warm weather. The exception was Phil Dawson, who was slightly ahead of Reed in FG percentage, but with a much smaller sample size. Dawson also missed one of his 19 extra point attempts; Reed was perfect on 41.

I wish Reed was better on kickoffs, but I think that part of the reason he kicks off high and short is by design. In 2008, the coverage team had no problem pinning opponents deep, so while Reed deserves some of the blame, I think a lot of it rests with the coverage teams as well.

I have supreme confidence in Reed with the game on the line. The Bears game was an anomaly this season, and really for his career. Before you want to rush Reed out of town, ask yourself, is the grass really going to be greener?


http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats? ... 447263-p=1 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&seasonType=REG&statisticPositionCategory=FIELD_GOAL_KICKER&d-447263-o=2&conference=null&d-447263-s=KICKING_FG_PCT&experience=null&d-447263-n=1&season=2009&qualified=true&Submit=Go&tabSeq=1&d-447263-p=1)

I don't think so. He is conceding way too much on his kickoffs. No. Correction. WAY too much. We obviously have weaknesses on STs. Having a guy who can kick it through the EZ or so deep it prevents the return has immense value, especially given our STs problems.

I don't think Reed's kickoffs are nearly as bad as some of you make them out to be. Many of his kickoffs are short BY DESIGN since we can't cover and make tackles on special teams. We didn't seem to have a problem with his kickoffs in 2008 -- why is that? I think it's because we had a good coverage team that year.

We could certainly go out and get a guy who can boom them into the endzone on his kickoffs. Maybe we should go out and pick up the guy the Ravens cut. He was great on his kickoffs. He could even kick 60 yard FGs. Of course his accuracy was the same no matter if the FG was 30 yards or 60 yards. Is that really what we want? I don't think so.

Reed has done very well for us and if we can get him for a reasonable price we should go ahead and re-sign him. For the most part he is money on his pressure kicks and we could certainly do worse.

Ghost
01-19-2010, 02:19 PM
In the Miami game Reed put one 5 yards deep into the endzone. Doesn't happen a lot but occassionally he gets it there. And I don't think you can judge his distance this season as ikestop mentioned as the Steelers were clearly having him kick it high and short to "try" to get some coverage on guys. If he could get it inside the 10 and the Steelers actually covered we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Obviously his demands will be critical but I think the Steelers need to sign him again. How great is it not worrying about a FG when he comes out? He's money most of the time. Put a behavior clause in the contract to make him understand they are sick of and won't tolerate stupid behavior. Get this done.

Jom112
01-19-2010, 02:24 PM
Cincinnati's Shayne Graham missed from 42 and 28 yards in the second half of the Bengals' 24-14 loss to the Jets a day earlier, prompting Bengals coach Marvin Lewis to say, "It is a shame, and it killed us."


It was from 35 and 28 yards that he missed. 42 might have been acceptable.

F'ing kicker...

phillyesq
01-19-2010, 02:39 PM
Cincinnati's Shayne Graham missed from 42 and 28 yards in the second half of the Bengals' 24-14 loss to the Jets a day earlier, prompting Bengals coach Marvin Lewis to say, "It is a shame, and it killed us."


It was from 35 and 28 yards that he missed. 42 might have been acceptable.

F'ing kicker...

That has to sting.

I'm not sure if it is ironic, coincidental, mildly interesting, or none of the above, but the Jets lost to the Steelers in the playoffs a few years ago b/c their kicker missed two field goals. This year, they've been the beneficiaries of 5 missed fgs in the playoffs so far.

RuthlessBurgher
01-19-2010, 02:55 PM
Wasn't there a stretch where we gave up 8 tds in 8 games on kickoffs?

Do you think Reed had anything to do with that?

56 points translates to over 18 FGs.

If Reeds kicks only played a part in half of those...that's still 9 FGs worth of points.

He had better be a money FG kicker.

We did give up returns for TD's in 8 straight games, but only half of those TD returns were on kickoffs. Two were INT returns for TD's, one was a fumble return for TD, and one was a punt return for a TD.

Sugar
01-19-2010, 03:17 PM
The thing is, Kaeding is usually money. He's an All-Pro for a reason. It's not like this has been a chronic problem that the Chargers should have foreseen. If you had told them that their playoff game would have rested on the attempts that he was given, they would have been booking their flights to Indy.

Ghost
01-19-2010, 04:14 PM
Cincinnati's Shayne Graham missed from 42 and 28 yards in the second half of the Bengals' 24-14 loss to the Jets a day earlier, prompting Bengals coach Marvin Lewis to say, "It is a shame, and it killed us."


It was from 35 and 28 yards that he missed. 42 might have been acceptable.

F'ing kicker...

That has to sting.

I'm not sure if it is ironic, coincidental, mildly interesting, or none of the above, but the Jets lost to the Steelers in the playoffs a few years ago b/c their kicker missed two field goals. This year, they've been the beneficiaries of 5 missed fgs in the playoffs so far.

One of them hit the upright (if I recall correctly). I was at a Steelers bar, it was a Saturday afternoon and almost everyone in the place was bombed. I remember everyone in the bar jumping up and down hugging each other when the Steelers finally won. Good times!

Steelerphile
01-19-2010, 04:54 PM
Cook is not unobservant, so by virtue of the fact that he says NOTHING about Reed having the worst kickoff distance of any kicker in NFL, shows you that can't even mount a semblance of defense for that part of Reed's game.

Reed has been pretty reliable with the FGs, but he hasn't been an alltime great either. Put those factors together and I don't see the Steelers as having meet his demands if they are high. I'm not sure that he would be as coveted by other teams as Cook thinks, with that lousy KO distance.

I'm also not so sure that kickers are all that hard to find. The Steelers got lucky and found Gary Anderson, when he was released, as a free agent. Then Reed showed up at a tryout and they got lucky with him again. The next reliable kicker might be an unknown figure who just shows up at the next tryout.

ikestops85
01-19-2010, 05:02 PM
Cook is not unobservant, so by virtue of the fact that he says NOTHING about Reed having the worst kickoff distance of any kicker in NFL, shows you that can't even mount a semblance of defense for that part of Reed's game.

Reed has been pretty reliable with the FGs, but he hasn't been an alltime great either. Put those factors together and I don't see the Steelers as having meet his demands if they are high. I'm not sure that he would be as coveted by other teams as Cook thinks, with that lousy KO distance.

I'm also not so sure that kickers are all that hard to find. The Steelers got lucky and found Gary Anderson, when he was released, as a free agent. Then Reed showed up at a tryout and they got lucky with him again. The next reliable kicker might be an unknown figure who just shows up at the next tryout.

Can you show me where they keep the stats on kickoff distance? I think they would be interesting to look at. Thanks.

RuthlessBurgher
01-19-2010, 05:10 PM
Cook is not unobservant, so by virtue of the fact that he says NOTHING about Reed having the worst kickoff distance of any kicker in NFL, shows you that can't even mount a semblance of defense for that part of Reed's game.

Reed has been pretty reliable with the FGs, but he hasn't been an alltime great either. Put those factors together and I don't see the Steelers as having meet his demands if they are high. I'm not sure that he would be as coveted by other teams as Cook thinks, with that lousy KO distance.

I'm also not so sure that kickers are all that hard to find. The Steelers got lucky and found Gary Anderson, when he was released, as a free agent. Then Reed showed up at a tryout and they got lucky with him again. The next reliable kicker might be an unknown figure who just shows up at the next tryout.

Can you show me where they keep the stats on kickoff distance? I think they would be interesting to look at. Thanks.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&statisticCategory=KICKING&season=2009&seasonType=REG&experience=null&tabSeq=0&qualified=true&Submit=Go

Reed's 59.8 yard per kickoff average is worst among regular kickers (two tenths of a yard behind Phil Dawson, and one tenth of a yard ahead of Falcons' defensive tackle Kroy Biermann, who kicked off 3 times this past year). He's listed at #41, but there are 9 guys ahead of him who kicked off less than 10 times...so he is #32 among kickers with double-digit number of kickoffs.

Iron Shiek
01-19-2010, 05:10 PM
Here is a great (albeit statistical and can be a bit confusing at times) article on this very argument from about a year or two ago:

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/value-of-touchback.html

ANPSTEEL
01-19-2010, 05:10 PM
Cook is not unobservant, so by virtue of the fact that he says NOTHING about Reed having the worst kickoff distance of any kicker in NFL, shows you that can't even mount a semblance of defense for that part of Reed's game.

Reed has been pretty reliable with the FGs, but he hasn't been an alltime great either. Put those factors together and I don't see the Steelers as having meet his demands if they are high. I'm not sure that he would be as coveted by other teams as Cook thinks, with that lousy KO distance.

I'm also not so sure that kickers are all that hard to find. The Steelers got lucky and found Gary Anderson, when he was released, as a free agent. Then Reed showed up at a tryout and they got lucky with him again. The next reliable kicker might be an unknown figure who just shows up at the next tryout.

Can you show me where they keep the stats on kickoff distance? I think they would be interesting to look at. Thanks.

I have heard this as well, but can not find a link-

Additionally, he had the fewest Touchbacks.

He can not kick it deep with enough hang time- so he out kicks the coverage unit.

The only way he can kick off within the coverage scheme is to kick it high and short-
eg... all the kicks landing at the 10 yard line.

SteelAbility
01-19-2010, 05:50 PM
I think we're all going to regret it if the Steelers get rid of Reed. What kickers out there are better than Reed and available?

Reed ranked #8 overall in FG percentage this year. With one exception, the guys in front of him played in a dome or in warm weather. The exception was Phil Dawson, who was slightly ahead of Reed in FG percentage, but with a much smaller sample size. Dawson also missed one of his 19 extra point attempts; Reed was perfect on 41.

I wish Reed was better on kickoffs, but I think that part of the reason he kicks off high and short is by design. In 2008, the coverage team had no problem pinning opponents deep, so while Reed deserves some of the blame, I think a lot of it rests with the coverage teams as well.

I have supreme confidence in Reed with the game on the line. The Bears game was an anomaly this season, and really for his career. Before you want to rush Reed out of town, ask yourself, is the grass really going to be greener?


http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats? ... 447263-p=1 (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&seasonType=REG&statisticPositionCategory=FIELD_GOAL_KICKER&d-447263-o=2&conference=null&d-447263-s=KICKING_FG_PCT&experience=null&d-447263-n=1&season=2009&qualified=true&Submit=Go&tabSeq=1&d-447263-p=1)

I don't think so. He is conceding way too much on his kickoffs. No. Correction. WAY too much. We obviously have weaknesses on STs. Having a guy who can kick it through the EZ or so deep it prevents the return has immense value, especially given our STs problems.

I don't think Reed's kickoffs are nearly as bad as some of you make them out to be. Many of his kickoffs are short BY DESIGN since we can't cover and make tackles on special teams. We didn't seem to have a problem with his kickoffs in 2008 -- why is that? I think it's because we had a good coverage team that year.

We could certainly go out and get a guy who can boom them into the endzone on his kickoffs. Maybe we should go out and pick up the guy the Ravens cut. He was great on his kickoffs. He could even kick 60 yard FGs. Of course his accuracy was the same no matter if the FG was 30 yards or 60 yards. Is that really what we want? I don't think so.

Reed has done very well for us and if we can get him for a reasonable price we should go ahead and re-sign him. For the most part he is money on his pressure kicks and we could certainly do worse.

But when it's not a designed play it has proved to be pretty horrific. The fact that the deep kick isn't there is still hurting us, design or no design. You can mask your coverage problems much better with deep kicks (5 or more yards into the EZ) than you can with designed chip shots that consistently concede position at the 35 or beyond.

Typically the designed kick is coming AFTER the fact that we got toasted because we kicked to a guy named Jamal Charles who is a beast of a runner AND got the ball at the 7 with a running start.

SteelAbility
01-19-2010, 06:04 PM
Here is a great (albeit statistical and can be a bit confusing at times) article on this very argument from about a year or two ago:

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/value-of-touchback.html

Good article. Essentially, touchbacks have statistical value distributed over the season. The difference (statistically) between touchbacks and non-touchbacks is about 12 yards, which essentially means one extra first down for a score (either FG to punt or TD to FG).

If you have a poor coverage unit, then the TB is that much more valuable.

hawaiiansteel
01-21-2010, 06:08 PM
per TribLive, just read it today and thought it was interesting...


Here's the kicker: Steelers need to sign Reed
January 20th, 2010

It has been almost a month since Jeff Reed kicked a 33-yard field goal to help preserve the Steelersí 30-24 win against the Dolphins.

Since then, the unrestricted free agent has seen his value rise if not skyrocket.

The reason: Reedís fellow kickers have not exactly distinguished themselves during the playoffs.

Cincinnatiís Shayne Graham and San Diegoís Nate Kaeding, a 2009 Pro Bowl pick, went a combined 0 for 5 on field goal attempts in losses to the New York Jets.

The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, almost didnít earn the right to get routed by the New Orleans Saints last Saturday because Neil Rackers duck-hooked a 34-yard field goal attempt near the end of a tie game against the Green Bay Packers (Arizona eventually won in overtime).

And the Dallas Cowboys, who changed kickers during the regular season, squandered six points in their 34-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Shaun Suisham who had been cut earlier by the Redskins after blowing a chip shot against the Saints, missed a pair of field goals when the game was still, well a game.

If the Steelers have been taking notes during the playoffs (and regular season), surely they have come to the conclusion that they must re-sign Reed, who made just over $1.43 million this season.

Reed missed two field goals in a 17-14 loss to Chicago in the second week of the season. But he showed that was an aberration by going 25 of 27 on field goal attempts the rest of the way.

And both misses were from beyond 50 yards.

Reed, 30, has been as clutch and reliable as any kicker in the NFL since he won the Steelersí job in 2002 after an open tryout.

Add the elements of weather and kicking at least eight games a season at Heinz Field where one end of the stadium is open and Reed may be as valuable as any kicker in the NFL.

There is a trade off to bringing back Reed, as his short kickoffs didnít help a coverage team that gave up four returns for touchdowns and cost special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky his job.

But the Steelers were first in the NFL kickoff coverage in 2008, and itís not like Reed was booming his kickoffs into the end zone then on a regular basis.

If the Steelers want to improve their kickoff coverage team, they need to put better players on that unit ó coach Mike Tomlin has called special teams time and time again ďa legitimate phase of the gameĒ ó and not try to fix it with someone who might get a couple of more yards on kickoffs than Reed.