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Old 01-19-2010, 05:49 AM   #1
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Default Steelers must re-sign Reed

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.
Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
First published on January 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10019...#ixzz0d3fBCZoR
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

Can I hear an AMEN?
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

I would also like to keep Skippy, he is money at heinz field and is a very good field goal kicker.... would like top see deeper kick-offs but oh well....Depending on what happens with other players I would place the transision tag or francise tag on him if a new deal cannot be reached to keep him around for another year.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Can I hear an AMEN?
AMEN Sista'

Skippy is money in FG's ....but.... we need him to improve his kick-offs, DSep to KO, or get another kicker for that purpose, IMHO.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

It sucks that Kaeding, Rackers, and Graham probably made Reed's market price a lot higher than it would have been if they had made those kicks. In general it has just been a bad year for Kickers... (add Nick Folk, Sean Suisham, etc.) to that list. Other than then Chicago game, Reed has had a standout year. But hopefully we can re-sign him at a reasonable price.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

Have to keep him, it's amazing how poor the kicking was in 09-10, but look at Reed's 4 missed.

2 in the Bears. Irritating, but forgiveable. Cross-conference game.
2 Outside of 50. He may not have the best leg, but outside of 50 is never easy.

*shrug*
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

I respect the opinion of those who want to keep Reed, but I lean to the other side.

I am appreciative of everything that he has done for us but I just cant see locking Skippy in for a 3-4 year contract.

There are two kickers in this draft that have very good accuracy and both have a stronger leg than Reed. Does Reed know how to play the Heinz Field winds? Sure. But by using that logic we can NEVER get another kicker.

I think its time to move past Reed, who even though has proved his worth on the field in the past, now overestimates his own value. I will take the expected one years growing pains with a new kicker before I wrap up Reed and his off field antics for 4 years.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
I respect the opinion of those who want to keep Reed, but I lean to the other side.

I am appreciative of everything that he has done for us but I just cant see locking Skippy in for a 3-4 year contract.

There are two kickers in this draft that have very good accuracy and both have a stronger leg than Reed. Does Reed know how to play the Heinz Field winds? Sure. But by using that logic we can NEVER get another kicker.

I think its time to move past Reed, who even though has proved his worth on the field in the past, now overestimates his own value. I will take the expected one years growing pains with a new kicker before I wrap up Reed and his off field antics for 4 years.

Just my opinion.
That's all well and good, but when that young kicker misses a FG and the Steelers lose, you'll be one of the very few who will give him a pass on it. Sorry, I'd rather keep the proven guy around rather than take a chance on a rookie who, while he was good in college, may not be as good once they make it to the show.

And Reed's off the field stuff is being way overblown. If we're going to start judging the worth of players based on that, then we may as well get rid of half the league.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

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That's all well and good, but when that young kicker misses a FG and the Steelers lose, you'll be one of the very few who will give him a pass on it.
I have lived through "growing pains" before. I can handle them again.

Quote:
And Reed's off the field stuff is being way overblown. If we're going to start judging the worth of players based on that, then we may as well get rid of half the league
To be honest, one of the reasons that I love the Steelers is that they traditionally havent been like the rest of the league. Skippy just doesnt fit into my own personal image of what I want our players to be like. (And to be honest...since I work in Law Enforcement...Skippy's little posturing act to the cops makes me want to stick a tazer up his ass.....so it could very well be a personal thing).
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers must re-sign Reed

I am all for keeping Reed, but at what price. Last I read somewhere he wanted an avg. salary of $2.5M, for a kicker. Is he really worth it? Nothing against Reed, but kickers in general are an eratic bunch. The wheels could fall off for him, just as easily as any other kicker. I, also do not like the fact that his kickoffs are NEVER touchbacks, NEVER. If I'm the Steelers FO, I make him a fair offer, and if he walks, he walks. No way do I overpay for a kicker. As for FAs, Reed is not at the very top of my list. I am more worried about Hampton, Colon, maybe Clark , and then Reed.
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