Today Steeler Nation bids farewell to their second-leading scorer in franchise history, trailing only Gary Anderson. We all have opinions about Jeffrey Montgomery Reed, most of them negative, but he still deserves recognition for what he has done with this franchise.
Reed had been known as “Mr. Dependable” at time during his career, making a name for himself by kicking field goals at Heinz Field for his entire career. It used to be that #3 would trot onto the field for a guaranteed 3 points. The past year or two will diminish his reputation in Pittsburgh, between his lack of production on the field and his alcoholism off it, but in the scope of history, he was still the kicker on two Superbowl teams and was named special teams captain year after year.
Unofrtunately, Reed’s abilities appear to have faded. His kickoffs almost never make it inside the 10 yard line, he’s missed 7 of 22 field goals on the season, and after the Patriots game, he let loose on, well… everything.
In case you didn’t want to click that link, Reed talked to the media and blasted the turf, the fans, and the media. He says “if you’re not perfect in this city, you’re gonna hear about it.” He’s been complaining about the turf for 9 years, “but it doesn’t matter.” It does help that everything you read is negative, which is the media’s fault.
It’s a press conference like that that creates problems. How do you expect support when you talk about the fans like that? And you don’t have to be perfect, but you can’t be abysmal. And Reed has been. Anyone who was booing him was right to do so. When you make nearly $3 million to kick a ball, you should be able to swat a sparrow out of the sky with it. Or at least hit a giant square target from 50 feet away.
Jeff’s little media meltdown coupled with his terrible performance this year (and last) have opened the door for Shaun Suisham, a ho-hum kicker from the NFC East with a career FG% of 79.1%. He’ll be taking over the kicking duties for the rest of the season, and then the Steelers will presumably draft a new kicker this April.
I’d go into more detail about Suisham, but he’s a kicker. We’ll see what he’s made of on Sunday when he gets his shot to Heinz Field’s new golden toe.