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Former Steelers Kicker Jeff Reed Just Hoping For Another Chance


Jeff ReedFormer Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed is not ready to hang up his kicking shoes just yet. The eccentric player known for his spiked hair, and at times colorful lifestyle, continues to train under the watchful eye of a personal trainer in North Carolina.

Reed, who just wrapped up coaching at a kicking camp this past week at Queens University in Charlotte, said Thursday that he trains every morning for about two and half hours starting at 6:00 a.m. and kicks religiously on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. to simulate game times.

Reed, who spent his first eight plus seasons in Pittsburgh, was released by the Steelers in 2010 following the 39-26 loss to the New England Patriots in week 9. In that game he missed a 26-yard field goal that he claimed was a result of the turf moving when he planted his foot. The miss made Reed 15 of 22 on the season in field goal attempts and it led to him being bombarded with questions following the loss. Some of the answers to those questions that Reed gave were interpreted by many as shots at the fan base and the organization.

Following his release, Reed landed with San Francisco 49ers where he finished out the season by hitting 9 of 10 field goal attempts. Following the lockout last year he spent the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks before ultimately being released prior to the start of the regular season. Reed did not kick at all in 2011.

On Thursday Reed made it known that he has no hard feelings toward the Steelers organization or the fan base. I asked him about the comments he made following the Patriots game concerning the fans. “When I look back, I just want people to know, the fans, it was nothing on them. The only reason they were negative toward me is because they know what I am capable of doing and I understand that,” said Reed. “I know what I\’m capable of doing. If I had a bad game it\’s frustrating to me and I don\’t have anything wrong with the fans. I think the fans are great.”

During that same post game interview Reed also talked about the grass moving during his chip shot miss and said that he had mentioned to the organization several times that he had problems with the field. I asked Reed to clarify those remarks on Thursday and he let me know that he just thought that too many games were being played on Heinz Field between sod replacements. Heinz Field of course host home games of the Pitt Panthers, and several high school games are played there during the season in addition. Being as Reed was a team captain, it was his duty to inform them of that, he said.

Reed does not hide his want to return to Pittsburgh. “There\’s nothing better than playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Do I want another shot? Heck yes, man I wish I was in Pittsburgh, but it\’s not on me,” said Reed. “I know my talent can take me to greater heights and I could be the number one scorer in Steelers history and I could have the number one percentage in Steelers history. I could do all of that, but it\’s not up to me. Its all about timing and they\’ve moved on.”

Because the Steelers have moved on for now does not mean that Reed has fallen out of touch with the organization. “I had a good conversation with Kevin Colbert a month ago on the phone, over 30, 45 minutes,” said Reed. “I have no hard feelings toward the organization, I just want another chance.” Reed continued on to say, “I miss the team, I miss the organization, I miss the Rooney\’s, I miss Coach Tomlin. I just know that I have plenty left in the tank and that\’s what bothers me. It\’s not that I\’m bothered by the organization at all.”

The Steelers currently have kickers Shaun Suisham and Danny Hrapmann on their 90 man roster as they head towards training camp, but anything can happen between now and then. Hrapmann was really not the Steelers first choice to bring in as a camp leg to challenge Suisham as Grant Ressel was signed following the draft. Ressel did not last long as he was released following the rookie camp.

Bringing back Reed to challenge Suisham in training camp would not be a bad idea in my opinion. Assuming that Reed would accept a qualifying contract for the veteran minimum, it would present a great training camp battle. Suisham, who signed a four-year deal prior to the start of the 2011 season, is scheduled to count almost $1.69 million against the 2012 salary cap. Should he be released prior to the start of the regular season, he would count just $337,500 in dead money in 2012 and $675,000 in dead money in 2013. The cap cost for Reed on a one-year qualifying contract would be $540,000 if no signing bonus was given.

Reed is resigned to the fact that rosters are full at this time of the year, but said that his agent stays in touch with every team. “I don\’t think there are too many spots open right now to be honest with you, but injuries happen, mis-hits happen.” Reed said Thursday. “I can\’t really say that I\’m going to be in a training camp. I hope so. All I can do is pray everyday that God lets me know my next step and that\’s just the way it is.”

In the meantime Reed said that he will continue to work his tail off as he knows that a call could come at any given moment. He said he nailed a kick last week from 60 yards with no wind and that his kick-offs, something that was a knock on him, have improved and that he has good hang time and distance.

Reed ended the talk I had with him by saying, “I\’m just hoping that I get another chance.” Will the Steelers give him that chance? I think they should.

You can hear my 25 plus minute interview with Jeff on the Friday edition of the Terrible Podcast.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    Always liked Jeff Reed. Suisham scares me. The FO should covertly give Reed a workout and make a non-emotional analysis of which PK improves the team.

  • Coach Al

    Leave that bum in North Carolina.

  • DaBrugh

    if reed has humbled himself i would love to see the front office give another chance… at least for camp and go from there

  • Rubem Dornas

    Reed is not good but Suisham is worse than him.

  • Steelkablamo

    Reed was a good kicker up until that last season, I had way more faith in him than Suisham. However, just like Willie Parker last year, he may want to come back, but he probably won’t.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Reed is better than Suisham, but they need to find a guy better than both of them. Maybe it could be someone cut from another camp, like Gary Anderson was.

  • burghball

    He should go for a job interview down in Lynchburg, TN… He drinks enough of the stuff – He might as well help make it… Hence my nickname for Jeff.. JD Reed (to upper management – Hide the paper towel dispensers….)

  • woodleykills56

    Reed was clutch on the field but acted like a clown off it. His better days are behind him.

  • JohnnyV1

    I really don’t think it was as much about Reed’s ability as it was his attitude and off-field distractions. I remember some of the comments from Coach Tomlin when they signed Suisham and they were like “breath of fresh air” and “like his can-do attitude”. This is not to say Reed wouldn’t be good elsewhere, just not in Pittsburgh.

  • SteelersDepot

    I think a few of you are going to be surprised by the tone of Reed in this interview. He laid it all out in 25 minutes. A few that know him say that it is hard to get him to talk on the phone for 5 minutes. Listen to the interview later today and then judge is all I am saying.

  • ommy

    That was a good read for sure, I think he was a damn good kicker in a tough place to kick for a long time. Who cares what he did off the field, maybe some of those lapses in judgement grounded him as a man and he is in a better place now after being humbled. I’m with you, bring him into camp and let the best kicker win. (i know this won’t happen)

  • David D.

    It takes some people longer to grow-up. It appears he’s learned the hard way. I would be open to giving Reed another chance. Suisham had that great game against Buffalo but otherwise he’s average at best.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I would like to see Jeff Reed back. The Steelers need the level of consistency on FG’s that he gave them during his best years. Suisham doesn’t have that kind of consistency. Also, with kickoffs having been moved up 5 yards, it shouldn’t be an issue anymore for Reed.

  • Daveb1952

    Before we all wax nostalgic, remember all of those short kickoffs? Like the ones that come down on the 12 yard line? No doubt, one of the best placement kickers to wear the black and gold. The ley word here is WAS. He had his time. It’s over.

  • Jprankster2005

    I would have to say that his career is done……. And with the steelers adding 3,000 seats next yr. it will be a little easier to kick in Heinz from what I’ve heard…… I’ve heard people say they should add an extra 10,000 to make it easier…… I like Reed and wish him the best but just don’t see him getting a job……. I would rather have Reed right now then Suisham…… I actually can’t believe they gave Suisham that much money in the deal last yr. and hope that a rookie will get the job and beat him out…… But we will probably have to stick with Suisham for the next 2 or 3 yrs….. It’s hard to kick in Heinz Field but I don’t think you should make millions and your team doesn’t really have all that much faith in you to go out and hit it for 3 points…. They have been pretty hesitant on long yd. fg trys with him……. I would love to see Reed back but I guess we are stuck with Suisham…….

  • Jprankster2005

    Can we ever find a good Kicker……. I’m tired of the crappy kickers…… I think they should draft one……A 5th rounder would probably net you one of the best kickers….. Susiham makes way to much and I dont’ know what they were thinking when they gave himm all the money they did last yr.

  • Davidrussellg

    If he could increse his kickoff distance I think they shoild give him a shot.Afterall theNFL
    already spotted him 10 yards

  • Shannon Stephenson

    It sure seems he has humbled him self…I was talking about getting rid of Reed over a year before they did because he had acted like an idiot…but he seems like he may have settled down…at least bring him into camp and see what he has left…Suisham is a accident waiting to happen

  • burghball

    For those Questioning Reeds kickoff length.. That was not on Reed – it was a strategy of the ST coach.. Josh Miller – pointed this out repeatedly on the FAN radio show.. To add to this – I’ve attended training camp the past years and can tell you for a fact Reed has no problem kicking the ball over the back of the end zone and that was when kickoffs where from the 30 yard line.. His Kickoff length is not in question – It’s the gray matter between his ears that is highly questionable…. and the fact that he look hungover every Sunday afternoon….

  • SteelSpine

    You didnt mention Reed’s bad behavior off-the-field. That is what embarassed Rooney, not the miss of a FG, & Rooney was not going to put up with a knucklead if it’s just a kicker. Reed can call Colbert all he wants. If Ben had done that stuff off the field, Rooney showed will put up with being embarassed if it’s a franchise QB. No kicker has any room to do that under Rooney.

  • Jprankster2005

    When can we find the next Anderson???? Payiing Suisham million to be horrible…..AGHHHHHH

  • SteelSpine

    Agreed.

  • Ahmad

    If he is sorry about his comments and is willing to kick again, I say call him right now and have him compete with Suisham for the job. I don’t want to spend another year holding my breath on field goal attempts. I’m used to having comfort in field goal attempts instead of heart attacks.

  • MsSteelersfan412

    Every time Suisham is about to kick I cant help but close my eyes tight and pray to the Football Gods!! Squeezem Suisham!! Everytime he misses Im always like “Jeffie would of made that!”

  • Reader783

    To me, Jeff Reed and Shaun Suisham are just as reliable/unreliable from any distance. It seems that both can nail a 53 yarder in the 1st quarter and miss a 39 yarder down by 3 in the 4th quarter. They would probably cost the same, but Suisham, to the best of my knowledge, has never assaulted a bathroom paper towel dispenser. I like it so that our kicker is not drawing media attention, let’s keep it that way.

  • Reader783

    Good point. The Chiefs drafted their All-Rookie Kicker as Mr. Irrelevant in 2009, Ryan Succop

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