Monday, November 15, 2010

Jeff Reed's Steelers Career Over?

UPDATE: No need for the question mark in the title. This morning the Steelers worked out Shaun Suisham and liked what they saw. Jeff Reed has been let go and Suisham signed. Suisham was in the Steelers camp in 2005 and has kicked for the Cowboys, 49ers and Redskins. For his career he has converted 87 of 110 field goal attempts, 79.1%.
No question Jeff Reed's poor performance this season is the major contributor to the Steelers' decision to bring in a couple kickers on Tuesday for a tryout. But, this rant by Reed after the game Sunday night, while wearing a "Haters Hate" t-shirt, is ultimately what is going to cost him his job--probably tomorrow.

The Steelers have lived with Reed's stupidity for a long time. Who can forget the attack on the paper towel dispenser, the citation for public urination and the pre-season accusation that the team lied to him about extending his contract? Obviously, the team has been willing to live with those things and Reed's short kickoffs--bottom third of the league again this year--because Skippy has been so successful kicking field goals, particularly on the difficult surface at Heinz Field. In the off-season the team even franchised the 30-year old, agreeing to pay him $2.8 million, though the kicker was miffed he didn't get a multi-year deal.

This year Reed's field goal percentage is the lowest in the league (minimum 5 attempts), and last night he shanked a 26-yarder. Afterward, he blamed the field and had some choice words for the fans. Bad choice. The Steelers aren't a perfectly-run organization, but they are very aware of the team's public image and they understand the public relations game and its importance. This past off-season they stood behind the league and its decision to suspend Ben Roethlisberger (my article on the Rooney's astute handling of that situation) and they got rid of Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. They know the Steelers are woven into the fabric of Pittsburgh, and while they are willing to turn a blind eye on occasion, criticizing the fanbase is never going to be tolerated. I'm sure Art Rooney II was mad as hell this morning. The result? Unemployed kickers got calls to come tryout.

I'll be shocked if Jeff Reed every plays another game in a Steelers uniform. In fact, I'll go as far as to say Reed may not ever kick in the NFL again. Short kickoffs and boorish behavior can be overlooked for a time. Not when you are making less than 70% of your field goals. You would think in a contract year Jeff Reed would know better. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

(A Jeff Reed photomontage. Worth the click.)


greek said...

i agree completely, I 'm only surprised they agreed to pay him the $2.8 millin this year.

The Hammer said...

77 out of 87 (88.5%), best in the league since 2007. That's why he got paid.

Peter said...

How about the FG he missed last year against the Bears, if i remember correctly it would have tied the game or put us ahead, and the FG attempt was late in the game, and how about the play before halftime when the steelers were at the Pats 45 yard line w/9 seconds and one time out, how about a quick short pass to set up a FG try, instead Ben just runs around and throws an incompletion w/only 1 second left, sometimes i really wonder about the Steelers coaching staff!!!!!!!!!!!

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