Former Steelers kicker believes he can still play



Don’t tell Jeff Reed that the NFL might have moved on without him.

The eclectic kicker, who played nine seasons for the Steelers and most recently played with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010, has every intention of making a comeback.

“I looked into the CFL and the Arena League,” Reed said. “It’s just a lot of work for little pay, and it sounds kind of shallow, but when you’ve played for the most elite level of football and you think you can still do it, why wouldn’t you?”

Reed said that he was contacted by Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt about coming in for a workout. He added that Whisenhunt was up front about the fact the Titans would like to have a younger kicker, but they would still be interested in seeing what Reed has to offer.

Reed said he hoped he would be the first kicker contacted if someone go hurt, “but I have no idea what people think. I mean, my stats and where I’ve kicked and how I’ve kicked for the most part speak for themselves. So, it’s just a matter of coming across the right path.”

Reed played for Steelers teams that featured diverse personalities such as Joey Porter, Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis. Still, it was the kicker who found himself as one of the focal points of Steelers fans and the media.

Reed, 35, won Super Bowl rings with the Steelers in the 2005 and 2008 seasons and currently ranks 19th in NFL history in field-goal percentage, but some of his most notable headlines have come off the field.

Reed infamously was ordered to pay $543 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after damaging a paper-towel dispenser in a Sheetz convenience store in 2009.

Later that year, Reed ran into police again when he was accused of simple assault and resisting arrest after raising his fists at a Pittsburgh police officer. The charges were later dismissed.

Reed has coached at the Steelers Men’s Fantasy Camp in Latrobe the past four seasons. He said he continues to come out — to the same place as Steelers training camp — because he continues to learn things from the fans while teaching them how to kick.

“Basically, the point of training camp is to hone your craft as much as possible before you play,” he said. “You work yourself into shape. If you come in in shape, you’re not in football shape. I just think that’s where it all starts.

“If you have a great camp, most likely you’ll have a great season. Staying injury free is most important but getting something out of each day was great and coming out to a practice with 12,000 to 15,000 fans was pretty cool, too.”

In his final season with the 49ers, he made 9 of 10 field goals in place of then-injured kicker Joe Nedney. The most recent chance Reed got to play for an NFL team was in 2011 when he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks before the start of the season.

“Seattle’s facility was unreal,” he said. “They put a lot of money into it, but nothing beats [Pittsburgh]. This is a truly family-owned and operated team. The loyalty is great and the fan base is great.

“Besides Seattle’s home games, which are off-the-charts loud, there’s nothing that compares to this fan base.”


RJ Schaffer: Rschaffer@post-gazette.com and Twitter @rjschaffer.

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