The Pittsburgh Steelers do not tolerate players misbehaving off the field or at least they would like you to believe that. Santonio Holmes, and now Jeff Reed have been either traded or released by the Steelers in recent years, and all have been in the news outside of football. Cedric Wilson was the only one that Steeler's fans weren't very upset with.
Santonio Holmes was the biggest shock because he was the Steeler's biggest play-maker, he was young, and was Super Bowl XLIII MVP. Holmes was also entering his prime. However, he had multiple run ins with the law and was abusing his Twitter account.
The Steelers traded Holmes in the offseason after he had a few incidents that involved an allegation of him assaulting a woman at a night club.
With the Steelers down 17-3, Jeff Reed missed a 26-yard field goal.
Now, this did not lose the game. I don't blame Jeff Reed for the loss.
Thanks to the good folks at steelersdepot.com, who have the entire interview with Reed, everyone got to hear a sour Reed speak after the game. Dressed in a "haters hate" t-shirt, Reed went on to say that the fans are only there to bash him and then went on to blame to the turf for his misses.
Reed was 15 of 22 on field goals this season and his kicking percentage of 68.2 is the lowest of his career—lower than the 71.9 percent in 2003, his second year in the NFL. Reed missed nine field goals that season and the Steelers finished 6-10.
So between his off the field antics, his press poor choice of words in his press conferences, his underachieving on the field finally cost him his job.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran, and journeyman kicker Shane Suisham who tried out for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 and was cut. He's kicked for the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.
For his career Suisham hasn't been anything impressive, just making 80 percent of his field-goal attempts.
That being said, Suisham has kicked at Heinz Field before and is a veteran. Suisham was released by two teams in one year last year.
He even has a play on youtube called "the choke". Suisham was kicking for the Redskins and had a chance to win the game with a 23-yard field goal attempt. He missed the kick. He also missed two kicks in the playoffs for the Dallas Cowboys last year.
I would have rather had the Steelers bring in someone like Matt Stover or Adam Vinateri, who are more proven and have better resumes. I understand the releasing of Reed, but I do not think Suisham is the answer.
Reed didn't play well this year but he was the most accurate kicker from 2007-2009 in the entire NFL. This move had more to do with Reed's actions off the field. Reed bashed the fans and the Steeler's front office for not giving him a contract. Not to mention Reed's countless off the field problems with alcohol.
By releasing Reed and trading Santonio Holmes for a fifth round pick, the Steelers have tried to look tough by sending a message. However, even as valuable as those two guys have been, a real strong message would have been sent by releasing James Harrison and/or Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger has been accused of rape and sexual assault in each of the last two offseasons. He was punished by the league, as he was suspended for six games, which later got reduced to four. Most people speculated that the Steelers had a say in the league's punishment of Big Ben.
The Steelers had no intention of cutting Roethlisberger despite rumors suggesting so. Big Ben is the first real franchise quarterback the Steelers have had since Terry Bradshaw. They also have over 100 million dollars invested in him.
James Harrison was charged with assault on his ex-girlfriend in 2008. Yet the Steelers organization fully supported Harrison and even gave him a brand new 60 million dollar contract. Since then, Harrison has been one of the most penalized and fined defensive players in the league.
That speaks of hypocrisy. What that tells me is that you can misbehave, but only if you are a personal favorite of the organization, or if you are considered irreplaceable at your position.
They know that they can't replace Roethlisberger anytime soon. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the game and is just entering his prime. Harrison was the NFL defensive player in 2008 and was just given a lot of guaranteed money from the Steelers. Both Holme's and Reed's contracts were up at the end of the season.
Again I understand the releasing of Reed and I understand that the Steelers have high standards for their players on and off the field. That being said, shouldn't players or coaches be able to lose their jobs by their performances on the field?
What about giving William Gay a pinkslip? Gay was the Steelers worst defensive back last year and even in a reduced roll this year is still their worst defensive back. Despite being the third corner, Gay has given up a whopping seven touchdowns on the season already. That is unacceptable for a team trying to compete for a Super Bowl. Gay has become a liability on the field and should suffer the consequences.
Or how about Antwaan Randle-El? His signing is obviously a complete bust. To me it was a pure public relations move and nothing else. Randle-El is offering the Steelers very little in the passing game. In seven games he has just 17 catches and zero touchdowns. His biggest contribute to the team coming on a trick play.
I also really do not understand why he is still returning punts. Because he is reliable and won't muff it? That's playing scared and him being out there is not giving your team the best chance to win. Randle-El actually has more fair catches (13) then actual returns (11). That's embarrassing and unacceptable.
Why not let one of the rookies, Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders take over for that job? They have way more speed and talent and could help the Steelers out greatly in field position. Brown has only seven kick returns and took one all the way back for a touchdown.
How about the coaching staff? Are they ever going to held responsible?
Bruce Arians continues to be a lousy offensive coordinator. His plays are lethargic and extremely predictable. It's almost as if the Steelers move the ball despite Arians. When you have as much talent on that side of the ball as the Steelers do, you should expect better results from your offense. Arians is holding this team back and needs to be addressed.
The bottom line is this is one of the best ran franchises in all of sports. However,they do have weaknesses, and just like some of the people that coach and play for this team, have made some huge mistakes. Some of the moves made by the team over the years have been questionable at best and smell of hypocrisy.
If you expect perfection out of one player/coach, you should expect it out of everyone.
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