Steelers Blog

Default+Logo

On Tuesday November 16, the Pittsburgh Steelers shocked many fans by cutting long-time kicker Jeff Reed.  A fan favorite during his nine year tenure, the past year has been a rocky ride both on and off of the field which ultimately lead to his demise.  This being said, nobody can question how integral he was for the Steelers during his years that included two Super Bowl rings.  Many fans are now left to wonder if the team made the right move.

Jeff Reed joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2002 and quickly became one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL.  Known for his consistency and clutch game-winning kicks, he instantly became a fan favorite with his tough guy style and eccentric personality.  He became known for bleaching or growing out his hair and could oftentimes be found among fans in section C 27 of Mellon Arena to cheer on the Penguins.  Unfortunately, he also sometimes pushed the legal limits when out and about.  Reed was cited by police on the night of February 14, 2009 for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after destroying a paper towel holder in a bathroom at a Sheetz convenience store in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.  Reed was reportedly angry that the men’s restroom was out of paper towels. He pleaded guilty to the two summary offenses and was fined $543.50.  Reed was cited again for public intoxication related charges on October 18, 2009, hours after the team defeated the Cleveland Browns, and later apologized to his team for his conduct.  It’s one thing to have off-the-field issues and still produce on the field, but when his performance on the field faltered this year things went from bad to worse.

Though he is the second all-time scorer in Steelers history only behind Gary Anderson; Jeff Reed struggled mightily this season connecting on only 15 of 22 field goals.  His struggles culminated when he missed a 26-yard field goal and was booed off his home field in a blowout loss to the Patriots.  He probably didn’t help his cause after the game when he publicly criticized the fans for their reaction to his struggles and called them spoiled after so many great winning seasons.  He also complained about the poor condition of the Heinz Field turf, which may have been a legitimate point, but didn’t stop the Steelers from releasing him two days later.

Though many fans seemed happy to see him go, the idea of having a new face kicking will take some time.  Shaun Suisham is not exactly the most proven kicker, but he made a great first impression on the Steeler Nation.  In his second game, Suisham connected from 45, 46, 48, and 41 yards respectively.  This gave the Steelers a 19-16 win at Buffalo in overtime and made him an instant hero in the process.  He continued his hot start in Baltimore the next week as he hit field goals of 45 and 19 yards to give the Steelers a 13-10 victory and the AFC North Division lead.  As of now, cutting Jeff Reed looks like the right move but let’s wait until Suisham has to kick at unpredictable Heinz Field before we draw our final conclusions.