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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 # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
11 SUN OAK PIT Heinz Field 57 62 9 MPH / SSE Partly Cloudy Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
S-N 61 yds PIT 30 OAK 9 J.Ford OAK 25 16 yds
S-N 62 yds PIT 30 OAK 8 J.Ford OAK 31 23 yds
S-N 72 yds PIT 30 OAK -2 J.Ford OAK 23 25 yds
N-S 64 yds PIT 30 OAK 6 J.Ford OAK 26 20 yds
N-S 60 yds PIT 30 OAK 10 N.Miller OAK 20 10 yds
N-S 63 yds PIT 45 OAK -8 . N/A Touchback 0 yds
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
12 SUN PIT BUF Ralph Wilson
36 78 13 MPH / WSW Cloudy AstroPlay
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
R-L 47 yds PIT 30 BUF 23 L.McKelvin BUF 34 11 yds
L-R 69 yds PIT 30 BUF 1 L.McKelvin BUF 39 38 yds
L-R 76 yds PIT 30 BUF -6 D.Jones Touchback 0 yds
L-R 55 yds PIT 30 BUF 15 L.McKelvin BUF 41 26 yds
L-R 67 yds PIT 30 BUF 3 L.McKelvin PIT 48 49 yds
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
13 SUN N PIT BAL M&T Bank
35 48 24 MPH / W Partly Cloudy MomentumTurf
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
R-L 55 yds PIT 30 BAL 15 D.Reed BAL 35 20 yds
L-R 60 yds PIT 30 BAL 10 D.Reed BAL 34 24 yds
R-L 68 yds PIT 25 BAL 7 D.Reed BAL 34 27 yds
R-L 65 yds PIT 30 BAL 5 D.Reed BAL 18 13 yds
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
14 SUN CIN PIT Heinz Field 37 89 8 MPH / SSE Light Rain Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
S-N 59 yds PIT 30 CIN 11 B.Scott CIN 31 20 yds Wet
N-S 58 yds PIT 30 CIN 12 N/A Out of bounds 0 yds Windy & Ike Taylor held ball
N-S 53 yds PIT 30 CIN 17 B.Scott CIN 26 9 yds
S-N 67 yds PIT 30 CIN 3 B.Scott CIN 35 32 yds
N-S 66 yds PIT 30 CIN 4 B.Scott CIN 7 3 yds Scott muffed at 6
N-S 57 yds PIT 30 CIN 13 B.Scott CIN 26 13 yds Windy & William Gay held ball
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
15 SUN NYJ PIT Heinz Field 25 62 9 MPH / SW Cloudy Snowing Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
S-N 67 yds PIT 30 NYJ 3 B.Smith TD 97 yds Flurries
N-S 51 yds PIT 30 NYJ 19 B.Smith NYJ 37 18 yds
N-S 44 yds PIT 30 NYJ 26 R.Turner NYJ 37 11 yds Flurries squib kick
S-N 61 yds PIT 30 NYJ 9 B.Smith NYJ 34 25 yds Flurries
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
16 THU CAR PIT Heinz Field 27 70 11 MPH / NW Cloudy Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
S-N 65 yds PIT 30 CAR 5 M.Goodson CAR 26 21 yds
S-N 63 yds PIT 30 CAR 7 M.Goodson CAR 43 36 yds
N-S 57 yds PIT 30 CAR 13 M.Goodson CAR 27 14 yds
N-S 68 yds PIT 30 CAR 2 M.Goodson CAR 24 13 yds
S-N 60 yds PIT 30 CAR 10 M.Goodson CAR 32 22 yds
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
17 SUN PIT CLE Browns Stadium 25 51 14 MPH / W Sunny Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
R-L 53 yds PIT 30 CLE 17 R.Ventrone CLE 34 17 yds squib kick
R-L 53 yds PIT 30 CLE 17 R.Ventrone CLE 28 11 yds squib kick
R-L 64 yds PIT 30 CLE 6 J.Cribbs CLE 18 12 yds line drive squib kick
L-R 51 yds PIT 30 CLE 19 M.Bell CLE 22 3 yds squib kick
L-R 48 yds PIT 30 CLE 22 R.Ventrone CLE 34 12 yds squib kick
L-R 40 yds PIT 30 CLE 30 R.Ventrone CLE 37 7 yds squib kick
L-R 46 yds PIT 30 CLE 24 J.Cribbs CLE 28 4 yds pooch kick
R-L 65 yds PIT 30 CLE 5 J.Cribbs CLE 12 7 yds squib kick & Cribbs over ran
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
19 SAT BAL PIT Heinz Field 36 58 17 MPH / WSW Cloudy Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
N-S 73 yds PIT 30 BAL -3 L.Webb BAL 35 38 yds
N-S 48 yds PIT 30 BAL 22 L.McClain BAL 32 10 yds squib kick
S-N 62 yds PIT 30 BAL 8 J.Parmele BAL 27 19 yds
S-N 64 yds PIT 30 BAL 6 J.Parmele BAL 23 17 yds
N-S 72 yds PIT 30 BAL -2 L.Webb BAL 19 21 yds
N-S 45 yds PIT 15 BAL 40 L.McClain PIT 48 12 yds squib kick
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
20 SUN NYJ PIT Heinz Field 17 44 10 MPH / NW Partly Cloudy Grass
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
N-S 55 yds PIT 30 NYJ 15 J.Cotchery NYJ 27 12 yds left directional
S-N 59 yds PIT 30 NYJ 11 N/A Out of bounds 0 yds left directional
S-N 60 yds PIT 30 NYJ 10 B.Smith NYJ 33 23 yds low line drive
S-N 45 yds PIT 30 NYJ 25 R.Turner NYJ 31 6 yds squib kick
S-N 59 yds PIT 30 NYJ 11 B.Smith NYJ 10 -1 yds low line drive
N-S 49 yds PIT 20 NYJ 31 J.Cotchery NYJ 42 11 yds high pooch
WEEK # DAY AWAY HOME STADIUM TEMP HUM WIND CONDITIONS SURFACE
21 SUN PIT GB Cowboys Stadium Indoors Indoors 0 MPH / N/A Closed Roof AstroTurf
DIR DIST FROM TO RETURNER LOS RET yds NOTES
L-R 73 yds PIT 30 GB -3 P.Lee GB 25 28 yds
L-R 77 yds PIT 30 GB -7 P.Lee Touchback 0 yds
L-R 75 yds PIT 30 GB -5 J.Nelson Touchback 0 yds
L-R 71 yds PIT 30 GB -1 J.Nelson GB 18 19 yds
R-L 61 yds PIT 30 GB 9 P.Lee GB 25 16 yds

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About Dave Bryan

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.

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