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fordfixer
11-17-2010, 02:02 AM
Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10321/1103821-87.stm

The Steelers fired kicker Jeff Reed Tuesday because of his erratic performance on the field this season or his erratic behavior off it or some combination of the two. No matter the reason, coach Mike Tomlin made a bad mistake. If he had brought in kicker Shaun Suisham to challenge Reed, make him feel a little less comfortable and bring out the competitor in him, that would have been great. But to flat out release Reed? The team will be worse off because of it.

Reed has had a bad season, no question. He missed a 26-yard field goal against the New England Patriots Sunday night, although that seemed pretty far down the Steelers' list of problems after their 39-26 loss. The week before, he missed a 46-yard try that would have clinched a win against the Cincinnati Bengals, making his teammates sweat out a 27-21 victory that didn't end until the Bengals ran out of downs on the Steelers' 12. In the 17-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 3, he missed from 49 and 45 yards.

For the season, Reed missed seven of his 22 field-goal attempts. This is the same guy who missed just 10 of his 87 tries in the previous three seasons. I know, kickers -- like real football players -- can lose it in a hurry. But Reed doesn't strike me as someone who is finished. I'm convinced he'll go on to another team and be successful again. I still think he can be one of the top kickers in the NFL. I'm not buying the argument that he had checked out mentally here and would never be good again for the Steelers, a conclusion that Tomlin obviously reached. I like to think if the game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders comes down to a 48-yarder on the bad turf in the wind and rain at Heinz Field that Reed would have drilled it. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Reed didn't help himself by acting like a jerk after the game against the Patriots. Funny, I thought it was wide receiver Hines Ward who was hit in the head that night, but it was Reed who sounded loopy. He said he wouldn't make excuses for the missed field goal, then spent five minutes doing just that. He blamed the lousy kicking conditions at Heinz Field, even though he always used to brag about doing well on that imperfect turf. He even took on the fans -- OK, 5 percent of 'em -- for going out of their way to boo him or mock cheer him when he misses a kick. It's never a good thing to take on the paying customers.

As inane as his ramblings were, Reed was much more inflammatory during the summer after he failed to reach a long-term contract with the Steelers. "I was told one thing and another thing happened. I'm not a big fan of lying," he said, a shot, presumably, directed at the Rooneys. He also said, rather famously, that "life is not really fair." That comment was made after the Steelers put their franchise tag on him and agreed to pay him $2.8 million this season. Life should be so unfair for all of us.

Reed also was involved in two incidents involving police in an eight-month period. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after causing a disturbance and beating up a towel dispenser in February 2009 at the Sheetz store in New Alexandria. He also was arrested after a dust-up with cops in October 2009 outside a North Shore bar after a Steelers' game. Those charges later were dropped.

Tomlin said he didn't cut Reed because of his off-field indiscretions, including his latest stupid remarks Sunday night. "I'm more results-oriented. Results are what lead us to decisions." I hope that is true in this case. Pro football is a business. It should never become personal.

Still, Reed is gone and Suisham is in as the Steelers' kicker. Suisham has been out of football this season, which creates at least some doubt about his ability. He also must cope with the Heinz Field conditions at the worst weather time of the year and do it for a 6-3 team that still looks at itself as a serious Super Bowl contender, that fanny-kicking from the Patriots be damned. It's not as if he has signed on to kick for the 2-7 Bengals.

Good luck to Suisham with that.

As for Reed, here's hoping he won't be remembered just as "Sheetzilla" around here. He was some kicker for a long time. Shame on Tomlin for not being able to say anything nicer about the man as he pushed him out of the door than, "Jeff had a distinguished career here." Reed had much more than that for the Steelers. The man made significant contributions to two Super Bowl teams. For years, he was as dependable as anyone on the team.

Reed also was one of the more active Steelers in the community. Word is that when it came to charitable causes he never asked how much, only where and when. Those who saw him in those circumstances loved him.

Reed had a heck of a run here. He shouldn't soon be forgotten.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10321/11 ... z15W6aj2rp (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10321/1103821-87.stm#ixzz15W6aj2rp)

fordfixer
11-17-2010, 02:15 AM
Bires: Reed's attitude worse than his kicking

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... cking.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2010/november/16/bires-reeds-attitude-worse-than-his-kicking.html)

Tuesday November 16, 2010 11:22 PM

Jeff Reed was released after nine seasons with the Steelers. Times file photo by LUCY SCHALY

PITTSBURGH — As the Steelers booted Jeff Reed out the door, they gambled that a new kicker beats the current state of affairs.

They have no idea if Shaun Suisham will be able to handle the job. But they certainly had serious doubts about Reed as they head into the homestretch of a playoff chase.

For all his successes during the first eight years of his career in Pittsburgh, Reed was nothing but trouble this season.

In training camp, he had an early meltdown by ripping into the Rooneys, accusing them of “lying” after he didn’t get a contract extension he claimed was promised to him. For a guy making $2.8 million this year, it came across as whining.

On the field, he’s been nothing less than the NFL’s worst kicker.

And then came his tirade after Sunday night’s loss to New England. When asked about missing a 26-yard field goal, Reed babbled about poor field conditions at Heinz Field, negative media attention and criticism he’d been getting of late from the fans.

Instead of being a stand-up guy, he made up excuses. He sounded like a guy who knew his time in Pittsburgh was winding to a close.

And that was the final straw. The Steelers had seen and heard enough.

Reed had to go.

No longer was there reason for management and the coaching staff to believe he could handle the pressure of making a clutch kick.

So, the Steelers decided to turn to an unheralded journeyman who’s never attempted a kick at Heinz Field. They’re turning to a guy who was cut during the preseason by Cleveland and St. Louis. A guy who hasn’t attempted a single kick yet this year. A guy who failed to land a job two weeks ago after a try out with lowly Detroit.
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Still, the Steelers would rather have Suisham than Reed, the second-leading scorer in franchise history and a clutch playoff performer who has a dazzling 92.5 percent success rate in postseason play (16-of-18). In fact, after missing two kicks during the playoffs as a rookie, Reed made 16 straight.

But that was then.

In this year’s season opener against Atlanta, Reed missed a 40-yarder in a game the Steelers eventually won in overtime.

He was 0-of-2 in a home loss to Baltimore with misses from 49 and 45 yards.

He missed a 46-yarder two games ago in Cincinnati.

Then came the 26-yard shank against the Patriots.

When the Steelers cut him, Reed was 15-of-22 for the year — including 0-of-4 between 40 and 49 yards — for a sickly accuracy rate of 68.2 percent. Plus, he was just 4-of-9 at Heinz Field.

“The kicking position is one that merits special consideration,” coach Mike Tomlin said.

Indeed, Jeff Reed was once a special Steeler. He isn’t any longer.

He’s now an ex-Steeler wondering when and where he’ll kick next.

LordVile
11-17-2010, 02:38 AM
yeah, i guess it woulda been better to have someone brought in to challenge him and not ditch him off so easily.. i dunno how it works. :Binky

SteelCrazy
11-17-2010, 06:26 AM
Cook is a TOOL! Why in the hell should Reed have to be challenged? Because the 2.8 million isnt enough of a reason to do his job?

Oviedo
11-17-2010, 09:09 AM
Cook is a TOOL! Why in the hell should Reed have to be challenged? Because the 2.8 million isnt enough of a reason to do his job?

:Agree Reed took for granted what he had and his ego overtook his ability. His money was guaranteed and it appeared at times he was totally disinterested or didn't give a darn.

I wish they wouldn't had wasted the franchise tag and would have gotten rid of him before the season. Won't miss him and don't wish him any future success.

Ghost
11-17-2010, 09:35 AM
"I like to think if the game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders comes down to a 48-yarder on the bad turf in the wind and rain at Heinz Field that Reed would have drilled it." - Ron Cook.

What the hell is is talking about? Reed was 0-4 from 40 to 49 yards this season.

On paper we didn't improve the situation, but it couldn't have gotten worse.

Here's what I'm hoping - the Steelers just signed a guy who knows this is proably his last chance so he's hungry to prove himself. He works his tail off this week kicking all over Heinz field. Stranger things have happened - Reed had been cut and was out of the league when the Steelers signed him. You never know!

Oviedo
11-17-2010, 09:40 AM
"I like to think if the game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders comes down to a 48-yarder on the bad turf in the wind and rain at Heinz Field that Reed would have drilled it." - Ron Cook.

What the hell is is talking about? Reed was 0-4 from 40 to 49 yards this season.

On paper we didn't improve the situation, but it couldn't have gotten worse.

Here's what I'm hoping - the Steelers just signed a guy who knows this is proably his last chance so he's hungry to prove himself. He works his tail off this week kicking all over Heinz field. Stranger things have happened - Reed had been cut and was out of the league when the Steelers signed him. You never know!

Right on the mark. We should now have a player who is motivated to save his career versus the one we got rid of who thought he had the world by the balls and didn't seem to care of the outcome of his performance.

NorthCoast
11-17-2010, 09:55 AM
Glad Cook is not our team GM. We would have one of the most dysfunctional teams ever fielded.

Creating drama and being good at your game (Ben) and creating drama and being bad result in different approaches. Reed has become a headcase (at least in the 'Burgh). No reason to believe he will just snap out of it. He had to go....

focosteeler
11-17-2010, 01:10 PM
I think this means we will see more than two kickers in camp this summer...hopefully we get a good one out of it.

steelblood
11-17-2010, 02:38 PM
I think this means we will see more than two kickers in camp this summer...hopefully we get a good one out of it.

I think we'll draft a kicker. And, there are a few good ones in this draft.

RuthlessBurgher
11-17-2010, 02:42 PM
I think this means we will see more than two kickers in camp this summer...hopefully we get a good one out of it.

I think we'll draft a kicker. And, there are a few good ones in this draft.

From walterfootball.com:

Kai Forbath, K, UCLA
Height: 6-0. Weight: 192.
Projected Round (2010): 5-FA.
5/15/10: Kai Forbath hit 28-of-31 field goals in 2009, with his only misses coming from 50-plus, where he was 3-of-6.


Alex Henery, K, Nebraska
Height: 6-2. Weight: 175.
Projected Round (2010): 6-FA.
5/15/10: Alex Henery was 24-of-28 in 2009, converting 7-of-8 from 40-49 and 2-of-5 from 50-plus.


Matt Bosher, K, Miami
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected Round (2010): 7-FA.
5/15/10: Matt Bosher was 14-of-16 in 2009, including 4-of-4 from 40-plus. He hit his only 50-plus try (51).


Wes Byrum, K, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 209.
Projected Round (2010): 7-FA.
5/15/10: Wes Byrum went 15-of-16 on his 2009 field-goal tries, including 5-of-6 from 40-49. He didn't attempt a 50-yarder.

Oviedo
11-17-2010, 02:46 PM
I think this means we will see more than two kickers in camp this summer...hopefully we get a good one out of it.

I think we'll draft a kicker. And, there are a few good ones in this draft.

From walterfootball.com:

Kai Forbath, K, UCLA
Height: 6-0. Weight: 192.
Projected Round (2010): 5-FA.
5/15/10: Kai Forbath hit 28-of-31 field goals in 2009, with his only misses coming from 50-plus, where he was 3-of-6.


Alex Henery, K, Nebraska
Height: 6-2. Weight: 175.
Projected Round (2010): 6-FA.
5/15/10: Alex Henery was 24-of-28 in 2009, converting 7-of-8 from 40-49 and 2-of-5 from 50-plus.


Matt Bosher, K, Miami
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected Round (2010): 7-FA.
5/15/10: Matt Bosher was 14-of-16 in 2009, including 4-of-4 from 40-plus. He hit his only 50-plus try (51).


Wes Byrum, K, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 209.
Projected Round (2010): 7-FA.
5/15/10: Wes Byrum went 15-of-16 on his 2009 field-goal tries, including 5-of-6 from 40-49. He didn't attempt a 50-yarder.

I like Forbath. Just need to see how he kicks on weather. I really doubt that he gets past Round 3. He is one of the best K to come out in the past several years.

SidSmythe
11-17-2010, 04:49 PM
When Skippy came in he won the job vs. 3 other tryouts. They must have like Suisham b4 even bringing him in.

I think this sends a good message to the team and i'm glad it was REED who took the bullet!!!

I had no problem w/ using a 4th round pick on Sepulveda and i'd have no problem using a 2nd rounder on a top notch kicker. He just better be able to kick at Heinz and nail a 60 yarder if needed

hawaiiansteel
11-18-2010, 12:01 AM
I'm not thrilled to see Suisham actually averages one yard less on kickoffs than Skippy did...


Meet Shaun Suisham (Rhymes With Miss ‘Em)


The Pittsburgh Steelers bid farewell to their long-time kicker with a short bitterly worded press release which was as much a burial as a good-bye. The final paragraph read, “Jeff Reed was in his ninth year with the team in 2010, but was just 15 of 22 on field goal attempts this season. Reed ranks second in team history with 919 career points (307 PATs, 204 FGs).” Ouch. Either one of the ladies in the PR Department is an unhappy notch on Skippy’s bedpost or somebody in the front office ordered them to twist the knife before throwing him overboard.

When Santonio Holmes was traded, the press release was very diplomatic, noting his career accomplishments and noting what they got in return. It didn’t say, “Today the Steelers traded Santonio Holmes for a clipboard and a couple of jockstraps. Holmes, with 235 catches for 3,850 yards, currently ranks 3rd on the all-time yardage by a pothead list. In 2009, he had over 1,000 yards receiving and was 1 for 1 in beaning chicks with a shotglass.”

I do think releasing Jeff has been in the plans for awhile. His off-field stupidity coupled with his outrageous salary demands already put him in a hole. He just dug it deeper by whining about his contract to the media (something the Rooneys despise) and then struck oil by claiming the “front office” aka Art Rooney II, “lied” to him when they promised he’d get a new contract before the season. Actually, I do believe the front office lied to him because the front office which used to be run with honor and integrity has become dishonest and hypocritical in recent years.

I don’t think this is “a message to the players.” since Reed is but a lowly kicker. Real football players think about their kicker about as much as they think about what their having for lunch. I doubt Willie Gay or Trai Essex are somewhere thinking, “Man, I better play better or I’ll get cut next!” Google any kicker and you’ll see they played for a list of teams. It’s an expendable position. If better options at CB, OL, or DL were available, they would already be here.

Let’s talk some Shaun Suisham. As you can see by the video above, he’s got a very strong leg. He was originally discovered by the Steelers but cut in training camp back in 2005. He’s a Canadian so instead of drunken man whore jokes I can now roll out my repertoire of Canuck humor. Since being cut by the Rams in training camp, the Black and Gold will be the first uniform he’s worn this season and his fifth team in the past six years.

Comparing their career numbers, Suisham and Reed aren’t much different. Suisham, who will also handle kickoffs, has a 60 yard average against Reed’s 61 yards. Suisham’s career kicking percentage is 79% vs. Skippy’s 81%. Of course, those numbers can be skewed by distance and place. For example, Suisham’s career percentage at 40-49 yards (75%) is actually significantly better than Reed’s (65%) although much of that probably has to do with Heinz Field where anything over 40 yards is anything but a gimme.

Although I wonder how much the Heinz Field Curse is overblown. The entire rationale to franchising Reed was because few people can kick at the Ketchup Bottle. In 2010, Skippy was 4 for 9 (44%) at home. His opponents, same wind, same field conditions, were 7 out of 9 (78%). Once Reed started blowing kicks at home, I knew his career in Pittsburgh had the life expectancy of the first towel dispenser he saw after hearing he had been released.

Sorry, had to work one more Sheetz joke in for old time’s sake.

The big red flag with Suisham is his ability to kick under pressure. Suisham has played in exactly two important games in his career and performed badly in both of them. Last year, the Redskins had a chance to upset the then-undefeated Saints but Suisham shanked a 23 yarder which always classy Washingtonians have dubbed “The Choke.” Suisham was later released and hooked on with the Cowboys. He contributed to their annual playoff meltdown by missing two kicks (both over 40 yards) in their NFC Divisional loss to the Vikings.

The Steelers play more than their share of big games so if this guy isn’t a big game kicker, we may be in for a long year. Then again, the Patriots once had the Big Ben of kickers, Adam Vinatieri, but didn’t want to pay him. They replaced him with a kid named Stephen Gostkowski and haven’t really missed a beat. So “clutch” kicking is not exactly irreplaceable. Although let’s hope the Steelers don’t find out the hard way that statement doesn’t always hold true.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/artic ... em/3625997 (http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/meet_shaun_suisham_rhymes_with_miss_8216em/3625997)

fordfixer
11-18-2010, 02:50 AM
Starkey: Reed release made sense
By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, November 18, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 09817.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_709817.html)

Jeff Reed might have been the worst kicker in the NFL this season.

As such, it really doesn't matter if his silly postgame comments Sunday got him fired. Doesn't matter how much his off-field antics might have prompted the move. His lousy on-field performance justified it — and the situation appeared to be going from bad to hideous.

No doubt, the man affectionately known as "Skippy" could regain his form of the previous three seasons — when he was the NFL's most accurate kicker — with a new team. He also might have returned to form in a Steelers uniform next season, had he re-signed.

But how, exactly, would that have helped Steelers coach Mike Tomlin this Sunday, in a critical conference game against the Oakland Raiders?

Tomlin needed the old Reed right now, a prospect that seemed highly unlikely.

The coach wouldn't say precisely why Reed was fired. We don't know how much director of football operations Kevin Colbert and/or team president Art Rooney II might have pushed for the change. We know this much, though: Steelers management believed that whatever risk they took in signing new kicker Shaun Suisham — and there is plenty — did not compare to the risk of keeping Reed and hoping he would suddenly rise from rock bottom.

Consider the facts, and keep in mind that kickers, like closers in baseball, sometimes fall off the cliff for a season.

Reed was in mid-freefall. He was ranked 32nd in field-goal percentage, which would be fine in a 64-team league; not so much in a 32-team league. He was 0 for 4 from 40-49 yards, while the rest of the NFL's kickers are connecting from that range at a rate of 73.6 percent (106 for 144).

Reed's malfunctions easily could have contributed to the Steelers sitting at 4-5 instead of 6-3. He missed a potential game-winning, 40-yarder with 38 seconds left in regulation of the season-opener before the Steelers bailed him out in overtime. He missed two field goals (49 and 45 yards) in a three-point loss to division rival Baltimore. He missed a 46-yarder two weeks ago that could have clinched the Bengals game but instead forced the Steelers to hold on with a late defensive stand.

And Sunday night against the Patriots, Reed, who had been perfect from inside 40 yards, botched a 26-yard attempt.

One defense of Reed is that most of his misses were from 45 yards or longer. Well, guess what? Kickers are making those fairly regularly these days. Shoot, they're hitting from beyond 50 yards at a rate of nearly 55 percent this season. Reed's kickoffs, while slightly improved, didn't help his case.

Meanwhile, his bitter postgame comments Sunday, a virtual flash flood of excuses, did not exactly hint of a man ready to reverse his troubles. If anything, the outburst gave Steelers brass another reason to wonder if Reed was mentally salvageable this season.

It's too bad, really, because Reed was a great kicker for most of his career here. He always struck me as a decent person, as well. Suisham attested to that Wednesday, remembering how well Reed treated him at Steelers training camp in 2005.

"I hold Jeff in very high regard," Suisham said.

Two weeks ago, Reed admitted he was struggling to cope with his misses.

"I'm trying to bring a more positive attitude, because I get really down on myself," he said. "These guys help me with it. Tomlin does, too. Nobody's like, 'Oh, Jeff's going out there, he's going to miss.' "

Used to be Reed hardly ever missed. That changed, dramatically, this season. We'll see if Suisham provides an upgrade.

The hard truth is that he couldn't do much worse.