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fordfixer
11-18-2010, 02:47 AM
Steelers' new kicker exudes confidence
By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, November 18, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 09855.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_709855.html)

Yes, Shaun Suisham missed a short field goal that could've handed 11-0 New Orleans its first loss last year while playing for Washington.

And, yes, Shaun Suisham missed a pair of field goals against Minnesota in the playoffs while with Dallas a few weeks later.

But the Steelers' new kicker had a clear message for the doubters who say the clean-cut boy from Wallaceburg, Ontario, is going to get eaten alive by what eventually led to Jeff Reed's demise — the fans, the negativity brought on by the media and the turf at Heinz Field.

"I don't plan on missing any field goals," Suisham said.

But what about the media scrutiny that seemed to drive Reed crazy?

"I found it in my best interest to not read anything good or bad because I don't want it to affect how I prepare or what I do," Suisham said.

What about the poor Heinz Field turf conditions that Reed complained about after his final game with the team?

"I kicked very well there (Tuesday). Whatever team you are playing against, the other kicker is playing on the same field. It is even for everybody."

When the Steelers released the popular Reed on Tuesday and proclaimed they chose to go in a different direction, they meant it.

Judging by his calm demeanor, clean-cut, country-boy looks and positive attitude, Suisham seems quite different than the oft-troubled, outgoing Reed.

The Steelers are hoping Suisham can perform better than Reed has recently.

They chose Suisham after he worked out Tuesday at Heinz Field, where he kicked 10 to 12 field goals and kicked off 4 or 5 times — all into the open end of the stadium.

"I think I kicked well," Suisham said. "I am here to kick field goals. I am going to do everything I can possibly do to put myself in the best position on the weekends and hopefully I can help this team win some games."

First thing Suisham has to do is get familiarized with holder Dan Sepulveda.

"He's in a little bit of a different position than Jeff was," Sepulveda said. "His rhythm is a little bit different, and what's so big for snap-hold-kick is rhythm and knowing the guys you are around."

Suisham's career stats are very similar to Reed's. Suisham has converted 79 percent of his career kicks, while Reed was slightly better at 81 percent. The biggest difference comes in kicks from 40-49 yards. Reed converted 66 percent over his career and Suisham 76 percent.

"I never anticipate missing, but when it does happen you move on to the next play," Suisham said. "I never carry the misses or makes with me."

That was evident last year when he missed a critical 23-yard field goal late in a game against undefeated New Orleans that would've put the score out of reach. The Saints rallied and won the game in overtime. Suisham was released two days later.

He was picked up by playoff-bound Dallas for the final two games of the regular season and went 5 of 6 before missing two not-so-critical, 40-plus-yard field goals in a 34-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

"He missed some critical kicks that just didn't go his way," said receiver Antwaan Randle El, who played with Suisham in Washington. "That's a tough situation, but it's good to have him. It's a tough deal, but if we had to get somebody else, Suisham was a good pickup."

Suisham was released by Dallas in the offseason and spent time in Cleveland and St. Louis camps this summer. He tried out for Detroit as recently as last week before catching on with the Steelers.

"It's part of being a kicker in the NFL," Suisham said. "I love it. You sure learn to appreciate it a lot more when you are home watching football games."

REed REaction

A day after the Steelers released Jeff Reed, his teammates talked about the kicker, who had been with the team since 2002.

"Jeff was a locker room favorite and close to a lot of guys. We won a lot of games with Jeff. When you lose a guy like that, it always hurts. He just went through a slump. I would've loved for them to keep him, but it is not my job or not my say so. Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the organization decided to release him, so we are moving on."

— Wide receiver Hines Ward

"He was disappointed because he wanted to be able to help this team, but we've got to do what's best for the team and that's what coach (Mike) Tomlin does. (Reed) is going to get called at some point, whether it's this year or at the end of the year. He's going to be ready and he's going to kick well for somebody."

— Long snapper Greg Warren

"It was a wake-up call for everybody. No one person is bigger than the team. Every time he went out there to kick a field goal, we always believed he was going to make it. Everybody goes through this. Everybody can't play well every time, but he had a lot of pressure on him."

— Inside linebacker James Farrior

"He texted me yesterday, and I couldn't believe it at first. We talked briefly. What do you say other than you wish him the best and you're going to miss him."

— Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

fordfixer
11-18-2010, 03:33 AM
Suisham doesn't plan on missing
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... ssing.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/november/17/suisham-doesnt-plan-on-missing.html)

Wednesday November 17, 2010 11:53 PM

PITTSBURGH — On the first day of his new job, Shaun Suisham wanted to get two things perfectly clear.

First, his last name is not pronounced SWISH-um. It’s SWEE-zum.

Second, he’s not afraid of performing at Heinz Field, that North Shore venue located at the confluence of three rivers. He’s not worried about swirling winds that often wreak havoc with kickers trying to launch footballs through uprights.

“I don’t plan on missing any field goals,” Suisham said.

It’s encouraging for the Steelers that their new kicker has such an optimistic outlook. But Jeff Reed didn’t plan on missing kicks either. And Reed is now history because he was only 4 of 9 at Heinz Field this season.

Except for a 46-yard field goal he made in a preseason game in 2005, Suisham has never tried a kick at Heinz Field. But that will probably change Sunday when the Steelers (6-3) host the Raiders (5-4).

Suisham said he kicked the ball 10 to 12 times in a Tuesday tryout under rainy and windy conditions. Four or five of those were kickoffs. He wouldn’t give exact details of how the tryout went. All he said was, “I kicked very well. I don’t anticipate any problems.”

A 28-year-old journeyman, Suisham had been on the roster of six NFL teams prior to signing a one-year deal Tuesday with the Steelers. This year alone, he’s been cut by Cleveland and St. Louis and failed to a land a spot in Detroit after a tryout.
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“Throughout my career, I’ve bounced around. But I’ve adjusted to it. It’s been our lives, bouncing around and adjusting to new teams,” said Suisham, who lives in Greenville, Ohio, with his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.

“So it feels great to be back here. I feel comfortable.”

As a rookie out of Bowling Green in 2005, Suisham was with the Steelers in training camp. But he was there only as an extra leg and not as a challenger for Reed’s roster spot. Now, Suisham has replaced Reed.

“In 2005, I would have paid the Steelers to let me come here. It was a real special opportunity,” Suisham said. “I wasn’t sure I would get into an NFL camp. The Pittsburgh Steelers did that for me. I had a lot of fun here. So it was real exciting to get the phone call to come back here.

“I’m here to kick field goals because the Steelers asked me to,” Suisham added. “I hope I can help this team win some games.”

After his first practice, Suisham said he had no problems working for the first time with long snapper Greg Warren and holder Daniel Sepulveda.

Suisham ended his first day with the Steelers by doing something Reed did often during his nine-year run with the Steelers. That was by attending the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game Wednesday night.

LordVile
11-18-2010, 04:36 AM
I hope it works out.. dude has a good attitude at least.

jj28west
11-18-2010, 07:35 AM
I poked around archive Cowboy & Washington forums and it was mostly negative and the accounts they gave were pretty justifying. Streaky, poor strength, etc.

I dont know, I think like others have said that this may have came down from the top and if Gary Anderson was in town he may even have been picked up.

Discipline of Steel
11-18-2010, 07:58 AM
I poked around archive Cowboy & Washington forums and it was mostly negative and the accounts they gave were pretty justifying. Streaky, poor strength, etc.

I dont know, I think like others have said that this may have came down from the top and if Gary Anderson was in town he may even have been picked up.

The article said his lifetime conversion avg was similar to Reeds and his 40-49 avg was 10% better than Reeds.

Oviedo
11-18-2010, 09:04 AM
I hope it works out.. dude has a good attitude at least.

Attitude is the reason he is here and Reed isn't. Mentally Reed was a mess and high risk going forward.

I'll take a player who wants it bad over one who thinks he has it all.

BradshawsHairdresser
11-18-2010, 12:51 PM
There's no doubt Skippy deserved to be cut loose.

But unless the Steelers also make some much-needed changes on O and D, this is just a token that won't prevent another midseason slide. IMO.

NorthCoast
11-20-2010, 10:49 AM
....love me some sushi....

(couldn't resist....)

Snatch98
11-20-2010, 07:50 PM
Kicker related....

My dad just told me this terrible joke. Did you know Jeff Reed tried to commit suicide? Yea he had the noose around his neck and went to kick the chair and missed. lol soooo wrong.

skyhawk
11-21-2010, 04:22 AM
Suisham will last the remainder of the season. No more.

papillon
11-21-2010, 08:22 AM
Suisham will last the remainder of the season. No more.

Maybe he'll make it through the season. One game where he misses multiple FGs and his kickoffs are short (which we know they're going to be) he'll be gone. Reed should have finished the season, they have to pay him unless someone pays him what the Steelers owe him. This move made little or no sense. It won't send a message IMO, but it might tick off some players as many of the players seemed to genuinely like Reed.

Pappy

NorthCoast
11-21-2010, 09:30 AM
Suisham will last the remainder of the season. No more.

Maybe he'll make it through the season. One game where he misses multiple FGs and his kickoffs are short (which we know they're going to be) he'll be gone. Reed should have finished the season, they have to pay him unless someone pays him what the Steelers owe him. This move made little or no sense. It won't send a message IMO, but it might tick off some players as many of the players seemed to genuinely like Reed.

Pappy

I disagree on this. I think the message was sent loud and clear that Reed stepped over a line you don't step over. Again, it is one thing to create drama and be a top three player, it is a whole other story when you are only doing 50% of your job (short kicks, missed FGs). When even a 26 yd field goal is no longer automatic, and you have some key games coming up where a field goal may win it, would you still be comfortable with a guy that is a head case out there? How many more misses would it take for you to make this move? My guess is if we lost the Oakland game because of Reed missing one, there would be a whole lot of people screaming for his head.