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83-Steelers-43
08-15-2007, 07:56 AM
Steelers' Reed says kicking game problems won't last
By The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An NFL kicker, much like a golfer, doesn't want anyone messing with his mechanics close to kickoff.

The swing needs to be just right. The ball can't be too soft or too firm. The weather always plays a role, of course, but the idea is to mimic the practice routine as much as possible.

That's why some kickers probably wouldn't have liked it when the Pittsburgh Steelers, midway through the preseason, brought in long snapper Jared Retkofsky to challenge incumbent Greg Warren. The Steelers made the move after Jeff Reed's lone extra point attempt was blocked during a 13-9 exhibition loss to Green Bay on Saturday.

No two snappers are alike, and it takes time to build a rapport among a kicker, holder and snapper. If a snapper gets the ball to the holder faster or slower than the kicker is accustomed, or if the holder must take time to spin the ball and get the laces in the proper position, a kicker's timing can be badly disrupted.

"Greg's been around long enough to know how many rotations are on the ball until the laces are out," Reed said Tuesday. "The laces are out (and away from the kicker) 90 percent of the time when the holder catches it. Jared is a good snapper, but he's still getting a feel for everything. It's different football than college, all different stuff."

Retkofsky, a former tackle at TCU, was with the Steelers earlier this year but was cut the week before training camp. After Reed missed a 42-yard field goal try against the Saints on Aug. 5, then had the extra point blocked last weekend, Retkofsky was brought back.

"It's a glaring weakness that we have," coach Mike Tomlin said.

To address it, the Steelers worked on field goal protection during a full-contact drill Monday in practice. They also devoted another morning practice to special teams on Tuesday.

Reed said any kicker would be impressed how much time Tomlin is spending on the kicking game -- far more than either Bill Cowher or Chuck Noll did when they coached the Steelers.

For years under Noll, the Steelers didn't have a special teams coach; now they have two in former Pitt assistant Bob Ligashesky and assistant Amos Jones.

"He (Tomlin) not only talks about it, he puts it on the field," Reed said. "He gives the special teams coaches an hour every other day, and he has a lot of starters on there. The fact is he says it and does it, not just says it."

Even with Retkofsky back, Reed expects to work with Warren most of the time. While Warren may not have picked up the rusher up the middle on the blocked extra point, Reed said he is a polished snapper who is one of the best at what he does.

"Greg's taken every snap with me. Unless things change, I plan on Dan (Sepulveda, the punter) being my holder and Greg being my snapper. Greg's at a point in his career where he's in a groove. I don't really think anybody can get him out of that."

Reed himself is trying to be more consistent following an offseason. He missed seven of 27 field goal attempts last season, lowering his career percentage from 82.9 percent to 80 percent since he joined the Steelers midway through the 2002 season.

But Reed said he is encouraged by the power and the leg drive he has had in camp. He also said he doesn't expect the kicking game blocking problems to linger.

"That's the preseason. If it happens continuously during the season, there's a problem," he said.

Notes: RB Willie Parker was cleared by Tomlin to play Saturday night at Washington. Parker missed the first two exhibition games with a sore knee, and he said last week he expected Tomlin to hold him out again this week. .. The Steelers will break camp in Latrobe before leaving Friday. They will practice for their final two exhibition games at their regular-season training site in Pittsburgh. ... LB Lawrence Timmons, the first-round draft pick who has been sidelined for much of camp by a groin problem, took part in Tuesday's special teams practice. He doesn't think he's fallen behind despite missing so much on-field time, saying, "I think I'm doing just fine so far."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_522187.html

fansince'76
08-15-2007, 09:32 AM
That's why some kickers probably wouldn't have liked it when the Pittsburgh Steelers, midway through the preseason, brought in long snapper Jared Retkofsky to challenge incumbent Greg Warren.

Even when said long snapper gets knocked on his ass and the kicker's attempt is blocked as a result? Doubtful, considering that their contracts likely have some bonus(es) attached for accuracy. XPAs being blocked doesn't help that stat.

83-Steelers-43
08-15-2007, 11:33 AM
One good note, Reed's kickoffs seem to be going deeper this season, but his FG's outside 45 are still questionable IMO.

Preacher
08-15-2007, 06:28 PM
One good note, Reed's kickoffs seem to be going deeper this season, but his FG's outside 45 are still questionable IMO.

I noticed the depth as well. I wonder what happened? Maybe changed brands of alcohol?

clevestinks
08-15-2007, 06:44 PM
I wouldnt expect him to SAY anything different, now shut up and kick the damn ball

Newzfoxjr
08-15-2007, 06:55 PM
Has he cut his hair yet? Or is he Super Saiyan 3 by now?

83-Steelers-43
08-15-2007, 07:30 PM
I noticed the depth as well. I wonder what happened? Maybe changed brands of alcohol?

He might have switched over to the moon shine?

On a serious note, I heard he seriously hit the weight rooms during the offseason. Now what can he do for his accuracy outside the 45?

83-Steelers-43
08-15-2007, 07:32 PM
Has he cut his hair yet? Or is he Super Saiyan 3 by now?

I heard he had a 'making a strange face and smacking somebody on the back' moment down in Daytona during the offseason. The hair will remain the same until he's in a casket. Hopefully that gut can change. Looks like Rosie stuck her finger in a light socket.

TommyG
08-15-2007, 08:53 PM
Has Sepulveda ever tried kicking field goals?:thumbsup:

Preacher
08-16-2007, 03:04 AM
Has Sepulveda ever tried kicking field goals?:thumbsup:

Doubt it... but kickoffs may be a different story!

SteelShooter
08-16-2007, 11:20 AM
I just can't see Jeff making the team next season under Tomlin.

IMHO.................his days in the Black and Gold jersey are truly numbered.

The Duke
08-16-2007, 03:05 PM
I just can't see Jeff making the team next season under Tomlin.

IMHO.................his days in the Black and Gold jersey are truly numbered.

I'm fearing that too, except only if he has a marvelous season in 2007, but otherwise I think he'll be a goner, either next year or the year after. Someone here mentioned Sepulveda on FGs, that could work :thumbsup:

HometownGal
08-16-2007, 04:56 PM
Doubt it... but kickoffs may be a different story!

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Sep on the kickoffs if Reed isn't kicking them deep more consistently.

On a side note - when I was up at TC a few weeks ago, Reed's hair wasn't spiked up like a porcupine - it was poker straight and kind of long.

steelpride12
08-16-2007, 08:32 PM
One good note, Reed's kickoffs seem to be going deeper this season, but his FG's outside 45 are still questionable IMO.

He has never really impressed me and if it was up to me i would cut him and find someone because finally he get's the ball in the end zone, but still can't kick a good field goal.

fansince'76
08-16-2007, 08:36 PM
He has never really impressed me and if it was up to me i would cut him and find someone because finally he get's the ball in the end zone, but still can't kick a good field goal.

Two words, steelpride12: Kris Brown. He makes Reed look like Jan Stenerud. We've had a LOT worse than Reed, believe me.