A lot of people think the most important position in football is the quarterback. They’re probably right, but let’s not forget the kicker. He can make or break a football game.
Think about how many games come down to just a few points. One field goal can determine the winner. How many times has someone lamented, “If he'd have have made that one kick, we would have won?” Sometimes, one win can equal a playoff berth, a Super Bowl ticket, or the end of the season. One kick can decide if the team wins it all or if they’ll have to wait a year. Or a decade. One kick can determine if an entire city would cancel school and throw a parade or give the entire city a bitter taste in their mouths.
One kick. One measly kick.
So, it’s an incredibly important for an NFL team to get a good, outstanding, reliable, and competent kicker that can win games in crunch time.
Jeff Reed, the Steelers’ current kicker, is an example of that good, outstanding, reliable, and competent kicker. Here’s one statistic that stands out: in 2009, Jeff read made 27 out of the 31 attempted field goals … that's 87.1 percent. To top it all off, Reed knows how to kick at the Steelers’ stadium, Heinz Field, which is known as a tough stadium for kickers.
Unfortunately, Reed is a free agent and has yet to re-sign with the Steelers. In tense situations, the Steelers and Steeler fans can rely on Reed to win games. Mike Tomlin must realize that Jeff Reed is the number one priority.
Some people have major problems with Reed. They complain about his kickoffs, saying they aren’t good enough. Well, so what? It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have the best kickoffs; they’re have been plenty of games that Reed’s field goal accuracy have WON games. How many games have the Steelers lost because Reed doesn’t give the defense good field position?
Another of Reed's problem is his off-the-field habits. Some call him an alcoholic, but it’s not anyone’s business but his. A little over a year ago, Jeff Reed threw a tantrum because a convenience store bathroom was out of paper towels. It was somewhat of an embarrassment, and there have been a couple other incidents as well. But his job isn’t to be a saint. As long as he isn’t being benched by the NFL, let him do what he wants. If he wants to be a bonehead, it’s his life. As long as he kicks well, it doesn’t much matter.
I hope Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers’ staff realize that Jeff Reed is important to the Steelers and it’s important to re-sign him. He’s a big reason why the Steelers win games. Let’s not forget that.