By Harvey “Mr. Steeler” Aronson
As we all remember, Jeff Reed was arrested last October 18 for simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness after a night out with Matt Spaeth. His court hearing to face the charges was supposed to be yesterday, but because the police officer that made the arrest was unavailable, Reed has a stay of execution (so to speak) until 12:30 p.m. on March 1. Reed was at home in North Carolina and made the appearance in the ‘Burgh only to be told to go home and come back March 1. With that said, Steelers Hotline reader Bruce Reynolds answered back to my column yesterday by email with the following:
“I think the answer your question in the Hotline is yes, Reed should go. I think this for three reasons.
1. The poor starting field positions he is giving opposing teams is likely resulting in far more points than he provides by making a clutch kick at Heinz Field that no one else might make. That results in a net loss of points to us.
2. Reed kicks better than any other kicker who comes to Heinz Field because it's his home field. He kicks there year round, and just as I would be able to get around my house blindfolded better than someone who visits once a year for an hour, I would bet any kicker who spent as much time kicking at Heinz Field as Reed does would get just as proficient.
3. I don't think that Reed's off-field antics are staying off field. Reed is an alcoholic, and I believe his uncharacteristic field goal misses at the start of the season, while on the road, were likely due to his partying the night before. It appears this problem was handled in-house since it cleared up quickly, but this is a problem that only gets worse... never better.
Reed should be let go.
a more objective evaluation comes from Ken Laird:
Ken Laird, ESPNRadio1250.com, Steelers Blog
SPECIALISTS LOCKS: Daniel Sepulveda
QUESTION MARKS: Jeff Reed, Piotr Czech, Greg Warren, Jared Retkofsky
Reed would seem to be an obvious franchise tag guy in the looming uncapped year where teams get an additional tag. The kicker value is not outrageous for the average of the top five at the position, and Reed has an argument to make that he is among the league's best anyway. Kickoff length has not been one of Reed's strong points, though, and the team could well decide to draft a placekicker in the late rounds of the draft (6-7). Czech is also an interesting option, and he spent last training camp with the team to give him some familiarity with the organization. He appears to have a strong leg, although he didn't kick as well during game action at Heinz Field during preseason.
DEGREE OF NEED: 4 out of 10.