A couple things about everyones comments and my own assessments on Special Teams:
1. Reed - To tackle or not to tackle. I am all for the kicker not tackling a guy because the 10 guys in front of him did, but he is still the last resort. HOWEVER...pause for dramatic effect...saying we wouldn't want him to get hurt is a crock. Teams win and lose as a team not as individuals. Jerome Bettis fumbles it against the Colts in the playoffs and Big Ben makes "The Tackle". Should he have avoided doing that because he can't be replaced, no! Big Ben is much more important than Jeff Reed, who not only can be replaced, but WILL be next season anyways. And for those of you who will site his accuracy, he is 13 for 16 and ranked 15th in the league with 81.3 % accuracy. I know, I know. He is the only man who can kick at Heinz Field, wrong. If you watched the game you would have seen the stat that said the longest field goals ever at Heinz Field are 50 yarders and it has only been done twice (actually Pat MacAfee of WVU kicked a 51 yarder there, and Mason Crosby of GB kicked a 52 yarder during the Preseason). The myth about Heinz Field being impossible to kick on is false until the 40 yard line (50 yard field goals if I confused anyone). (ADMIN NOTE: I am talking about the spot of the ball, so the LOS is the 33) Let’s look at kicking at Heinz Field: Reed vs. Opponents after the jump.
Any missed attempts over 50 yards are noted in parenthesis by the distance and blocked kicks are marked as BK.
2009 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 11/11, 100 %
Opposing kickers 6/9, 66.67%. (51 and BK)
2008 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 14/16, 87.50 % (51)
Opposing kickers 12/14, 85.71%. (53)
2007 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 13/14, 92.86 %
Opposing kickers 6/8, 75.00% (53).
2006 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 10/17, 58.82% (BK twice) *Hit 50 yards vs. TB
Opposing kickers 5/7, 71.43%.
2005 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 10/13, 76.92% (52)
Opposing kickers 10/13, 76.92% (53).
2004 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 13/14, 92.86 %
Opposing kickers 11/12, 91.67%.
2003 Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 12/16, 75.00 %
Opposing kickers 7/8, 87.50%.
For a total
2003-Present Kickers at Heinz Field: Reed – 83/101, 82.18% (1/3 from 50+ with 3 blocked)
Opposing kickers 57/71, 80.28% (0/4 from 50+ with 1 blocked)
That is a 1.9% difference. Considering a kicker should have the advantage at home and dome kickers coming to Heinz Field in November-December have to seriously adjust, I don’t see less than 2% being worth the off field problems, lack of kickoff power and sorry attempts at tackling when there is a run back, I think it is time we Freed Reed. Let him be someone else’s headache.
2. And to Stefan Logan fans and others, KR and PR stats last year and this year (ypa=yards per attempt):
2008 – Team KR average 20.3 ypa Individual KR Average Gary Russell 23.2 ypa and Davenport 21.6 ypa
2009 – Team KR average 24.7 ypa Individual KR average Logan 25.5 ypa Mike Wallace 1 attempt, 26 yds
2008 – Team PR average 6.0 ypa Individual PR average Holmes 6.6 ypa
2009 – Team PR average 7.6 ypa Individual PR average Logan 8.8 ypa
The question as to whether or not our returns have improved is undeniable, look at the numbers. The problem is we don’t know if anyone else on the team could do as well or even improve on those numbers. ST Coach Bob Ligashesky is probably having flashbacks to the year of muffed punts (2007 we must have had 10) and when Burnett had some issues in the preseason, I think they gave up on him too early to see what he could on PR and they never gave him the chance really on KR. I would love to see him get the opportunity. I think Donovan Woods getting called up is step one, but if we find someone on the 53 man roster who can replace Logan I think we would be dumb to say removing him from the roster would unequivocally be the wrong thing.