Jeff Reed's tackling
November, 21, 2009
By James Walker | ESPN.com
I thought this e-mail from our AFC North inbox was pretty entertaining this week.
AP Photo/Keith SrakocicBernard Scott ran right by Jeff Reed in route to a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
- Dale Wamsley from Indianapolis, Ind., writes: I realize this is a small thing compared to other highlights of the game. However when Pittsburgh Steelers' kicker, Jeff Reed, had a chance to stop [Cincinnati Bengals returner Bernard Scott], Reed sort of runs in front of the return man like he hopes maybe he'll run into him. As a coach of an NFL team, if I have a kicker who doesn't know how, or worse, won't tackle, either he learns or is cut. I'd like your opinion. A kicker is part of the team. Shouldn't he make a genuine effort to tackle on a return?
Dale, I agree that Reed’s tackling display on Scott’s kickoff return was one of the worst I’ve seen in an NFL game. However I don't believe it is grounds to be cut. Reed doesn't practice tackling and he's being paid to kick, which he is very good at. He made four field goals against the Bengals. Perhaps the biggest irony is that Pittsburgh's punter, Daniel Sepulveda, is a great tackler and with the same opportunity may have de-cleated Scott.