Closer Look At The 2010 Kickoffs Of Steelers Kicker Shaun Suisham

Stats in a NFL gamebook or players stats listing almost never tell the whole story. Such is the case with Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham. With the new rule being approved that moves the kickoff up from the 30 to the 35 yard-line, I wanted to get a clearer picture of his kickoffs from last season. I went back and watched all of his 2010 kickoffs with the Steelers and that included the playoffs as well. In the table below, I have documented every one of his kickoffs. I did not include the two in which he had to re-kick due to penalty however.

You will see I listed the reported temperature, wind speed and wind direction that was reported via the official records. I am still researching the direction that each stadium faces and will add it in place of L & R which I currently have listed. For Heinz Field I have South and North listed with the South End being the dreaded open end.

In the stats books, Suisham is credited with just a 58.9 yard average. 17 of his kicks however were a combination of squib kicks, low line drives and pooch kicks as you can see below. These were clearly by design and he was directed to do so. Another 2 of his kickoffs needed to be held by another player because the ball kept getting blown off of the kicking tee. Both these times took place in the week 14 game against the Bengals at Heinz Field on a wet and rainy day. Even if you were to remove all of his squib kicks during the regular season his average only goes up to 61.7. That is still not fantastic; however, it is nearly 3 yards better than his average shows.

Next up I wanted to see his kickoffs at Heinz Field that were not squib kicks. Including the playoffs, there were 24 of these for a 62.4 average. Still not great, but that place is also no picnic to kick at either.

Next I wanted to look at how many kicks would have made it at least 1 yard deep into the endzone if he had kicked off from the 35, like the NFL will do in 2011. This means when kicking off from the 30 in 2010, the kick would of needed to be caught at the 4 yard-line or less. Including the 3 playoff games, there were 6 kicks that would have gone at least a yard deep in the endzone had Suisham had 5 more yards. Of those 6, there is a good chance at least 4 or 5 would of been downed for a touchback, maybe even all 6.

As you can see below, Suisham kicked great in the Super Bowl with the roof closed. Most kickers should though in my opinion. Suisham averaged 71.4 yards with those 5 kicks. Very impressive, but as I mentioned, that was indoors.

It is yet to be seen the direction the Steelers will go in regards to the kicker position in 2011. Suisham is an unrestricted free agent, but the Steelers may look elsewhere. Could that even mean the Steelers would draft a kicker? A punter perhaps, but they might take a long look at some undrafted college kickers assuming the new labor deal is in place. They also have Swayze Waters signed to the offseason roster, so he will get a long look as well. For now, at least you have the big picture with Suisham as opposed to just a few stats in a stat book.

WEEK #DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
11 SUNOAK PITHeinz Field 5762 9 MPH / SSEPartly Cloudy Grass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
S-N61 ydsPIT 30OAK 9J.FordOAK 2516 yds
S-N62 ydsPIT 30OAK 8J.FordOAK 3123 yds
S-N72 ydsPIT 30OAK -2J.FordOAK 2325 yds
N-S64 ydsPIT 30OAK 6J.FordOAK 2620 yds
N-S60 ydsPIT 30OAK 10N.MillerOAK 2010 yds
N-S63 ydsPIT 45OAK -8 . N/ATouchback0 yds
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
12 SUNPIT BUFRalph Wilson
3678 13 MPH / WSWCloudy AstroPlay
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
R-L47 ydsPIT 30BUF 23L.McKelvinBUF 3411 yds
L-R69 ydsPIT 30BUF 1L.McKelvinBUF 3938 yds
L-R76 ydsPIT 30BUF -6D.JonesTouchback0 yds
L-R55 ydsPIT 30BUF 15L.McKelvinBUF 4126 yds
L-R67 ydsPIT 30BUF 3L.McKelvinPIT 4849 yds
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
13 SUN NPIT BALM&T Bank
3548 24 MPH / WPartly CloudyMomentumTurf
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
R-L55 ydsPIT 30BAL 15D.ReedBAL 3520 yds
L-R60 ydsPIT 30BAL 10D.ReedBAL 3424 yds
R-L68 ydsPIT 25BAL 7D.ReedBAL 3427 yds
R-L65 ydsPIT 30BAL 5D.ReedBAL 1813 yds
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
14 SUNCIN PITHeinz Field 3789 8 MPH / SSELight RainGrass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
S-N59 ydsPIT 30CIN 11B.ScottCIN 3120 ydsWet
N-S58 ydsPIT 30CIN 12N/AOut of bounds0 ydsWindy & Ike Taylor held ball
N-S53 ydsPIT 30CIN 17B.ScottCIN 269 yds
S-N67 ydsPIT 30CIN 3B.ScottCIN 3532 yds
N-S66 ydsPIT 30CIN 4B.ScottCIN 73 ydsScott muffed at 6
N-S57 ydsPIT 30CIN 13B.ScottCIN 2613 ydsWindy & William Gay held ball
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
15 SUNNYJ PITHeinz Field 2562 9 MPH / SWCloudy SnowingGrass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
S-N67 ydsPIT 30NYJ 3B.SmithTD97 ydsFlurries
N-S51 ydsPIT 30NYJ 19B.SmithNYJ 3718 yds
N-S44 ydsPIT 30NYJ 26R.TurnerNYJ 3711 ydsFlurries squib kick
S-N61 ydsPIT 30NYJ 9B.SmithNYJ 3425 ydsFlurries
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
16 THUCAR PITHeinz Field 2770 11 MPH / NWCloudy Grass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
S-N65 ydsPIT 30CAR 5M.GoodsonCAR 2621 yds
S-N63 ydsPIT 30CAR 7M.GoodsonCAR 4336 yds
N-S57 ydsPIT 30CAR 13M.GoodsonCAR 2714 yds
N-S68 ydsPIT 30CAR 2M.GoodsonCAR 2413 yds
S-N60 ydsPIT 30CAR 10M.GoodsonCAR 3222 yds
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
17 SUNPIT CLEBrowns Stadium 2551 14 MPH / WSunny Grass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
R-L53 ydsPIT 30CLE 17R.VentroneCLE 3417 ydssquib kick
R-L53 ydsPIT 30CLE 17R.VentroneCLE 2811 ydssquib kick
R-L64 ydsPIT 30CLE 6J.CribbsCLE 1812 ydsline drive squib kick
L-R51 ydsPIT 30CLE 19M.BellCLE 223 ydssquib kick
L-R48 ydsPIT 30CLE 22R.VentroneCLE 3412 ydssquib kick
L-R40 ydsPIT 30CLE 30R.VentroneCLE 377 ydssquib kick
L-R46 ydsPIT 30CLE 24J.CribbsCLE 284 ydspooch kick
R-L65 ydsPIT 30CLE 5J.CribbsCLE 127 ydssquib kick & Cribbs over ran
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
19 SATBAL PITHeinz Field 3658 17 MPH / WSWCloudy Grass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
N-S73 ydsPIT 30BAL -3L.WebbBAL 3538 yds
N-S48 ydsPIT 30BAL 22L.McClainBAL 3210 ydssquib kick
S-N62 ydsPIT 30BAL 8J.ParmeleBAL 2719 yds
S-N64 ydsPIT 30BAL 6J.ParmeleBAL 2317 yds
N-S72 ydsPIT 30BAL -2L.WebbBAL 1921 yds
N-S45 ydsPIT 15BAL 40L.McClainPIT 4812 ydssquib kick
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
20 SUNNYJ PITHeinz Field 1744 10 MPH / NWPartly CloudyGrass
DIR DISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
N-S55 ydsPIT 30NYJ 15J.CotcheryNYJ 2712 ydsleft directional
S-N59 ydsPIT 30NYJ 11N/AOut of bounds0 ydsleft directional
S-N60 ydsPIT 30NYJ 10B.SmithNYJ 3323 ydslow line drive
S-N45 ydsPIT 30NYJ 25R.TurnerNYJ 316 ydssquib kick
S-N59 ydsPIT 30NYJ 11B.SmithNYJ 10-1 ydslow line drive
N-S49 ydsPIT 20NYJ 31J.CotcheryNYJ 4211 ydshigh pooch
WEEK # DAYAWAY HOMESTADIUM TEMPHUM WINDCONDITIONS SURFACE
21SUN PITGB Cowboys StadiumIndoors Indoors0 MPH / N/AClosed RoofAstroTurf
DIRDISTFROMTO RETURNERLOS RET ydsNOTES
L-R73 ydsPIT 30GB -3P.LeeGB 2528 yds
L-R77 ydsPIT 30GB -7P.LeeTouchback0 yds
L-R75 ydsPIT 30GB -5J.NelsonTouchback0 yds
L-R71 ydsPIT 30GB -1J.NelsonGB 1819 yds
R-L61 ydsPIT 30GB 9P.LeeGB 2516 yds

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Albert C.

    Not sure where you get the time to do all of this, but thanks for posting this. This will settle an arguement I had with a buddy a few weeks back regarding how many times he squibed against the Browns. Nice work.