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Old 11-17-2010, 06:13 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10321/1103821-87.stm

The Steelers fired kicker Jeff Reed Tuesday because of his erratic performance on the field this season or his erratic behavior off it or some combination of the two. No matter the reason, coach Mike Tomlin made a bad mistake. If he had brought in kicker Shaun Suisham to challenge Reed, make him feel a little less comfortable and bring out the competitor in him, that would have been great. But to flat out release Reed? The team will be worse off because of it.

Reed has had a bad season, no question. He missed a 26-yard field goal against the New England Patriots Sunday night, although that seemed pretty far down the Steelers' list of problems after their 39-26 loss. The week before, he missed a 46-yard try that would have clinched a win against the Cincinnati Bengals, making his teammates sweat out a 27-21 victory that didn't end until the Bengals ran out of downs on the Steelers' 12. In the 17-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 3, he missed from 49 and 45 yards.

For the season, Reed missed seven of his 22 field-goal attempts. This is the same guy who missed just 10 of his 87 tries in the previous three seasons. I know, kickers -- like real football players -- can lose it in a hurry. But Reed doesn't strike me as someone who is finished. I'm convinced he'll go on to another team and be successful again. I still think he can be one of the top kickers in the NFL. I'm not buying the argument that he had checked out mentally here and would never be good again for the Steelers, a conclusion that Tomlin obviously reached. I like to think if the game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders comes down to a 48-yarder on the bad turf in the wind and rain at Heinz Field that Reed would have drilled it. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Reed didn't help himself by acting like a jerk after the game against the Patriots. Funny, I thought it was wide receiver Hines Ward who was hit in the head that night, but it was Reed who sounded loopy. He said he wouldn't make excuses for the missed field goal, then spent five minutes doing just that. He blamed the lousy kicking conditions at Heinz Field, even though he always used to brag about doing well on that imperfect turf. He even took on the fans -- OK, 5 percent of 'em -- for going out of their way to boo him or mock cheer him when he misses a kick. It's never a good thing to take on the paying customers.

As inane as his ramblings were, Reed was much more inflammatory during the summer after he failed to reach a long-term contract with the Steelers. "I was told one thing and another thing happened. I'm not a big fan of lying," he said, a shot, presumably, directed at the Rooneys. He also said, rather famously, that "life is not really fair." That comment was made after the Steelers put their franchise tag on him and agreed to pay him $2.8 million this season. Life should be so unfair for all of us.

Reed also was involved in two incidents involving police in an eight-month period. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after causing a disturbance and beating up a towel dispenser in February 2009 at the Sheetz store in New Alexandria. He also was arrested after a dust-up with cops in October 2009 outside a North Shore bar after a Steelers' game. Those charges later were dropped.

Tomlin said he didn't cut Reed because of his off-field indiscretions, including his latest stupid remarks Sunday night. "I'm more results-oriented. Results are what lead us to decisions." I hope that is true in this case. Pro football is a business. It should never become personal.

Still, Reed is gone and Suisham is in as the Steelers' kicker. Suisham has been out of football this season, which creates at least some doubt about his ability. He also must cope with the Heinz Field conditions at the worst weather time of the year and do it for a 6-3 team that still looks at itself as a serious Super Bowl contender, that fanny-kicking from the Patriots be damned. It's not as if he has signed on to kick for the 2-7 Bengals.

Good luck to Suisham with that.

As for Reed, here's hoping he won't be remembered just as "Sheetzilla" around here. He was some kicker for a long time. Shame on Tomlin for not being able to say anything nicer about the man as he pushed him out of the door than, "Jeff had a distinguished career here." Reed had much more than that for the Steelers. The man made significant contributions to two Super Bowl teams. For years, he was as dependable as anyone on the team.

Reed also was one of the more active Steelers in the community. Word is that when it came to charitable causes he never asked how much, only where and when. Those who saw him in those circumstances loved him.

Reed had a heck of a run here. He shouldn't soon be forgotten.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author
First published on November 17, 2010 at 12:00 am


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10321...#ixzz15X7pt6Qz
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

There has to be a lot more to do with this then "kicking". Suisham sucks! There is a reason he wasn't signed. Imaybe he'll prove me wrong, but if history repeats itself...............
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

well, i'd disagree somewhat with this article and a couple others from Pittsburgh area writers about Reed's being released because of "missing a couple field goals" and a bizarre statement to the media.
There was more to it than that.
Where's the mention of all the terrible kick-offs to the 10, 15, 20 yard lines? We set other teams up (and not just this year, this was last year too) with WAY too good of field position, people were getting back to the 40, 45 and beyond all the time. This was my main beef w/Reed and i think it hurt us much more than his few "misses".
No mention of this?
Also....we try 2, not 1, but 2 onside kicks Sunday night, which were very important that we try and recover. Well, Reed makes TWO disastrous, poor attempts, couldn't even get the ball 10 yards properly.
There was a lot more to this than just a couple of misses, as some writers are making this out to be.
I welcome the new kicker.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

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well, i'd disagree somewhat with this article and a couple others from Pittsburgh area writers about Reed's being released because of "missing a couple field goals" and a bizarre statement to the media.
There was more to it than that.
Where's the mention of all the terrible kick-offs to the 10, 15, 20 yard lines? We set other teams up (and not just this year, this was last year too) with WAY too good of field position, people were getting back to the 40, 45 and beyond all the time. This was my main beef w/Reed and i think it hurt us much more than his few "misses".
No mention of this?
Also....we try 2, not 1, but 2 onside kicks Sunday night, which were very important that we try and recover. Well, Reed makes TWO disastrous, poor attempts, couldn't even get the ball 10 yards properly.
There was a lot more to this than just a couple of misses, as some writers are making this out to be.
I welcome the new kicker.
Jeff Reed was far from being the best in kick-offs but apparently, this didn't bother the FO for many years. Kicking off in the end zone doesn't score points, FGs do. Oh and people were not starting at the 40-45 and beyond all the time either. C'mon!

Anyway, putting the franchise tag on a player you let go after 9 games is laughable and Suisham is far from being a no brainer. He's been around the league a lot and nobody thought he was good enough to kick for them this year. Tomlin must have seen things that others didn't.
I'm not sure it's not another big mistake, like letting Santonio Holmes go. If Reed ends up with the Jets and both him and Santonio kick our @ss when they play the Steelers this year, I'm not gonna be a happy camper.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

What everyone fails to realize is that the Steelers had enough of this guy's attitude and performance. Get rid of him, bring in someone who you hope is a somewhat decent kicker (because let's face it, at this point in the season great kickers are not readily available), and he in turn, will be extremely grateful for the job. Let's see: constant headaches from a bad attitude vs an extremely grateful and motivated individual - no contest. He can't be any worse than Reed - at least I hope not. But that remains to be seen. Worse comes to worse, we get by with an average kicker this season and get a good one in the draft. Less headaches all around.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

yeah, if our Defense and Offense doesn't start stepping up and making plays and performing....it doesn't matter WHO is kicking for us. Reed or whomever.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

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Originally Posted by NYC_Steeler View Post
What everyone fails to realize is that the Steelers had enough of this guy's attitude and performance. Get rid of him, bring in someone who you hope is a somewhat decent kicker (because let's face it, at this point in the season great kickers are not readily available), and he in turn, will be extremely grateful for the job. Let's see: constant headaches from a bad attitude vs an extremely grateful and motivated individual - no contest. He can't be any worse than Reed - at least I hope not. But that remains to be seen. Worse comes to worse, we get by with an average kicker this season and get a good one in the draft. Less headaches all around.
Suisham will be as good a replacement for Reed as Randle El has been for Holmes.
Pathetic decisions by the Steelers, IMO.

Maybe Tomlin should tell Bylsma to cut Fleury too?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

I'm not happy with Suisham at all. But, something had to be done about Reed. I think it had more to do with his attitude than anything. A team shouldn't have to put up with disruptive behavior off the field from their kicker. Franchise QB, OK. Kicker, NO. Instead of being humble and citing that he should have made the kick and needs to improve to help his team, he pouts, makes excuses, and complains about how he's not appreciated. This shows that he doesn't think he's a problem and won't work to fix a problem that he doesn't think exists. This guys had a chip on his shoulder all season since the organization didn't give him the big paycheck. He knew he had to go out and have another good year to get paid and he choked big time.

In addition, don't forget Reed missed 2 makeable (46, 49) field goals in the Ravens loss. Making 1 would have gotten us to OT, making both would have won the game. He also missed a very makeable kick in the NO game we lost, that could have changed the outcome of the game. He also blew 2 field goals in the Atlanta game. The last one from around 35 yards I believe which would have won the game. If Mendy hadn't bailed him out and we lost that game I don't think Reed would have lasted this long. IMO he would have cost us 1 more game down the stretch and that we can't afford. Whether Suisham is any better remains to be seen. His resume is certainly not as good. But Skippy this year is certainly not as good as his resume either.

Change was needed.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

I really don't like the move either. I would have waited till after the season was over.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers make wrong move with Reed

Wait until Suisham stinks it up at Heinz Field. Say what you want about Reed. He was in a slump I believe, but at least he knew how to kick at Heinz Field.
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