Let The Tryouts Begin: Steelers Reportedly Bringing In Kickers Tuesday

After missing a 26-yard field goal on Sunday night, and then running off a laundry list of excuses and calling out everyone from the Heinz Field turf, to the media, to the fans, Jeff Reed’s place as the Steelers kicker seems to be in jeopardy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon, via Twitter, that the Steelers are considering cutting Reed and will be bringing in kickers on Tuesday for workouts.

I have only one thing to say…

Following Sunday’s game, Reed, who currently has the worst field goal percentage in the NFL this season, as well as being just 2-for-8 beyond 40 yards, said he’s not one to make excuses, then promptly blamed the turf for missing what was a glorified extra point.

Said Reed: “I’m not one to make excuses. I’ll take the credit for the miss. It was a great snap, a great hold, great protection. It’s kind of hard when you plant your foot and the hole — a piece of ground moves where the ball’s under the holder. I almost missed the ball completely. I’m not going to make excuses. If you’ve played any kind of sports in your life, you realize that what we play on is not very good turf. It happens.”

And this all goes back to the argument I’ve been making all season: the justification for keeping Reed is that he’s a great kicker at Heinz Field, can make kicks in a tough environment and is money when the game is on the line. None of that has been taking place this season, and now, the turf is suddenly an issue (and I’m not going to pretend the Heinz Field playing surface is any great shakes, but Shayne Graham, a player that was picked up off the street by the Patriots, made a longer kick on the same turf on the same side of the field.)

As if that wasn’t enough, he continued, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

“Not at all, man. Some big kicks, I’ve missed some important kicks. It’s sports. It’s not an excuse, but it’s life. You can’t sit here and say, man, you’ve been an 85 percent here and there and now you’re whatever percentage. I’ve lost track. It hurts me that I don’t help this team get points. But percentages are way overrated, and on a night like tonight when I felt great, kicked off well, did everything I was supposed to do and you miss a 20-something yard field goal, everyone wants to focus on that in a game like this.”

And then he turned his attention toward the fans, who he claims only purchase tickets to yell at him, Daniel Sepulveda, and long-snapper Greg Warren (seriously)…

“If you’re not perfect in this city, man, then you’re going to hear about it. It’s been like that for nine years, and why would they stop now? Like I said there’s 95 percent of those fans that got my back totally and then 5 percent you always hear. They’re right by the kicking net, they were bashing me, but that’s life, man, you got to move on. The worst thing for me to do would be to fight back at them.They started before the game even started. You know, like I said, they buy tickets just to bash me and Dan [Sepulveda] and Greg [Warren]. It’s more me because points come off my foot.”

This is all a perfect illustration as to why it’s easy for fans to pile on Reed. After complaining about his contract during the offseason, he comes out this season and has by far the worst campaign of his career, and instead of being accountable for his play, comes up with excuses and blames everything but himself.

Nobody is going to sit here and pretend that Reed’s miss on Sunday night is the reason the Steelers lost. Because it’s not. On the list of reasons it’s probably not even cracking the top 10. And while he’s not the biggest weakness on the team, he is certainly ONE of the weaknesses, and as I wrote following Monday’s game in Cincinnati, he is the one weakness that might be able to be upgraded during the season. The Steelers aren’t going to find better offensive tackles or cornerbacks than what they currently have on their roster right now, but they might be able to find a better kicker. And here’s hoping they do.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

    Well, if we’re going to assume that kicking field goals at Heinz Field will always be a crapshoot, then I’d like the Steelers to at least do it with a kicker that can get the ball past the ten yard line on a kick off.

    • Sweaz2000

      He did that plenty of times and he should have gotten a raise this year he won pllenty of games for the steelers. A lot of guys get off once in a while.

    • Sweaz2000

      He did that plenty of times and he should have gotten a raise this year he won pllenty of games for the steelers. A lot of guys get off once in a while.

      • Rich

        I love how a Kicker making a field goal is called “winning the game” but everytime he misses a field goal we have to be reminded that the missed field goal didn’t cost them the game andi t was a team effort. Doesn’t work both ways. He’s missing 25 yard field goals and killing the team over and over because of his inability to put the ball out of the back of the endzone. You do not sit here and continue to screw the team over simply because a guy USED to be good.You find a new guy and move on.

        Not to mention he’s an idiot off the field.

  • RoB D

    It’s inevitable that a kicker eventually goes south on a team. It happened to Vinatieri, and Vanderjagt…and the world’s smallest, cutest kicker Martin Gramatica. It certainly looks like Reed has hit that point. If so (and the search seems to be on by the Steelers FO for a new guy) we shouldn’t forget all the clutch FG’s the guy made for this team over the years. His personal conduct off the field was often buffoonish and his KO’s were often pathetic but he kept making kicks. He had a heck of a run and I hope he finds another job in the NFL. A change is good for any player after a certain time and he’s worn out his welcome as well.

    Are they going to change out the DC and HC and OC at the same time? LOL…yes, I am kidding. But I dont think that Tomlin and Co. should be able to get away with “they whipped our butts” and just move on quietly. I guess I want some glass broken somewhere in public ..and someone, somewhere..saying “This is not acceptable and it won’t happen again” At some level, its like we just accept that NE will always have our number cause we can’t come up with a workable game plan against them, especially on D. Why is that? And why do we all , as fans, have to absorb this level of loss from NE every few years? There’s something terribly wrong when you are continually on the receiving end of humiliating losses seemingly without regard to coaches and personnel who are employed by the Steelers. I can’t let this one go till I have some level of understanding about why this continues to happen. Imagine with me..we face NE at their place..in THIS YEAR’s playoffs? Think about that and see if you don’t wnat some answers NOW rather than after yet another shellacking at the hands of Belichick and his evil minion Brady. Lebeau needs to reveal his reasoning in this at some point. He’s a legend but he’s also a guy who should be held accountabel like anyone else.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      While I agree completely with your frustration and don’t want to come off as attacking you… just try and remember that when you say “And why do we all , as fans, have to absorb this level of loss from NE every few years?”, it sounds pretty spoiled. If you were a Browns or Detroit fan you could replace “NE” with “every team” and “every few years” to “every week”. As much as losing to NE sucks, we still have it really good as Steelers fans.

      • RoB D

        Very true, Bob.

        WE are all spoiled horribly by the incredible success of the this organization we support.

    • David

      …Belichick and his evil minion Brady.

      Yep, just think the Emperor and Darth Maul.

      Gosh I hated The Phantom Menace.

  • Steeler Stan

    Its kind of funny how Reed and Woodley both wanted big money in the offseason and now both are underperforming so badly they’re in real danger of having to look for new jobs next year. Those contract extensions that Reed found so insulting last offseason must look awfully good right now. I have a feeling that if he had signed one of them, no matter the price, he’d have some job stability right now not only because it might be affecting his performance but because right now the Steelers have nothing to lose by cutting him. I think the fame monster got to Reed and that Reed will never be quite the same.

    Having said all that, I think Steeler fans, Adam included, are underestimating how valuable Reed is even in his current state. Remember that if we cut Reed the best we could hope for is a guy like Graham, who missed an actual extra point last night and would never have been allowed to take a longer kick at Heinz Field.

  • Ted

    I’ve never been a big fan of Skipp because of his kickoffs, but I think you need to give him at least another game or two. Heck, even with how bad he has been this fall, last night was the first time he missed a FG inside the 40 all year. It will be very hard to find someone to kick in Heinz Field midseason. He is in a funk for sure but give him the next two games to break out of it.

    If not, get a new kicker in for Baltimore; and as Bob said below, make it someone who can at least get a touchback once in a while.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      We wouldn’t be in this situation if Colbert hadn’t wasted draft picks on backup linebackers! He should have taken the highest rated kicker available to address our obvious kicking need!


      • Dick Blick

        I just hope we draft more LB next year. With Gibson gone, that means we need to take at least another three or four.

      • Dick Blick

        I just hope we draft more LB next year. With Gibson gone, that means we need to take at least another three or four.

  • Sweaz2000

    It was great when Jeff won all those games for the steelers, and the fans are blaming the wrong person 3 points would’t win that game we needed touch downs and defense. Brady was great and so was their defense and I hate them.

  • Geeandtom

    BLONDES HAVE MORE FUN! Didn’t miss any that season ……
    AND NEVER __ NEVER go at the fans — very bad choice Skippy …….

    it’s been nice, but time for you to move on — seeulovubye