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Old 11-17-2010, 06:28 AM   #1
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Default Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field
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By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
Tuesday November 16, 2010 11:20 PM

PITTSBURGH — Shaun Suisham, the kicker the Steelers signed to replace Jeff Reed, doesn’t exactly come to town with a sparkling resume.

His 79.1 percent success in field goal attempts is average ... at best.

He’s been cut seven times over the last six years.

And he may be forever linked to “The Choke.”

Still, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “His background is attractive to us.”

Suisham, a 28-year-old native of Wallaceburg, Ontario, joined the Steelers after a tryout Tuesday at Heinz Field before Tomlin, special teams coach Al Everest and director of football operations Kevin Colbert.

Suisman does have a brief history with the Steelers, albeit a brief one. As a rookie in 2005, he went to training camp with the Steelers as an extra leg. He was not there to compete with Reed. He did try one field goal during a preseason game and made it from 46 yards.

He’s been on the roster of six NFL teams, including three times by Dallas.

He’s played in 57 regular season games over the years, including all 16 for Washington in 2007 and ’08. But last December he was cut by the Redskins after missing a 23-yard field goal that would have clinched victory late in the fourth quarter in a game against New Orleans. The Redskins went on to lose, 33-30 in overtime.

That night in his role as an analyst on NBC’s national telecast of the Minnesota-Arizona game, former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy said, “I’d have to cut him before he cost me my job.”

Two days later, Suisham was cut.

Suisham was signed by Dallas last Dec. 21 and finished the season with the Cowboys. But he wasn’t retained for the 2010 season. During the preseason this year, he was cut by Cleveland and St. Louis. He also failed to win a spot on the Lions’ roster after a tryout with the Lions on Nov. 9.
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“We had a solid level of comfort with what he’s capable of,” Tomlin said. “He’s kicked at Bowling Green. He’s from Canada originally. He’s no stranger to the elements, which are things that are critical components for kicking for us. So we’ll move forward with that change.

“Those changes never come easy. It’s a unique situation at times when you’re making those kinds of changes. Obviously we deemed it necessary in terms of moving forward.”

During his career, Suisham has made 87-of-110 field goal attempts (79.1 percent), with a long of 52 yards.

During his nine-year run with the Steelers, Reed connected on 204-of-249 FGAs (81.9 percent). With 919 points, he’s the second-leading scorer in Steelers history behind Gary Anderson (1,343).

But this year, Reed made only 15 of 22 tries and missed a 26-yarder Sunday night in the loss to New England.

“Jeff has had a distinguished career here,” Tomlin said. “He has had a lot of individual success and contributed to our success as a team, but at this juncture we thought it was appropriate for us to make a change on our football team at that position.

“Shaun Suisham was available. We worked him out. We like his resume and how he performed here today. He’s experienced, of course, being here before. He’s a veteran guy, no stranger to NFL competition. So we are extremely comfortable with the change and are moving forward.”
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

FIne....So be it...Now hopefully someone is out there scouting kickers playing on Saturdays....hoping we can find the kicker out there that no one else sees and draft him late (7th round) or even better as a FA
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

So they get rid of a kicker that pretty much sucks unless its a pressure kick (until recently), for a kicker who's perfect unless it is a pressure kick. I mean yeah that makes sense
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

What's done is done. As has been pointed out several times, in several threads...there's more to Reeds dismissal than just his kicks. Nothing official has come out (yet), but more likely than not there were an abundance of off field issues as well.

I wish Suisham the best of luck...but more importantly I wish the offense much better luck so that don't have find out too often whether he is clutch or not.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

It definitely will come out that this was more than an on-field, production issue. I think the Steelers organization came to the realization that Reed is a d-bag and is obviously on drugs.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shaun of a new era at Heinz Field

I haven't heard any mention of his distance on kickoffs?

Good riddance to Reed either way.
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