Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Suisham thankful for chance with Steelers
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The life of a NFL kicker is a strange one.
You can be a hero or a goat. You can be called washed up or be called reliable.
Shaun Suisham is now considered reliable as he kicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But Suisham's 2009 season was filled with issues. He started the season with the Washington Redskins and made 18-of-21 field goals but some critical misses in November and December forced the team to release him. The Cowboys picked him up when Nick Folk was having his stuggles and David Buehler wasn't ready to take over.
Suisham made two-of-three kicks for the Cowboys in the late stages of the regular season, but in the post season he struggled. After making both of his kicks in the playoff victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, Suisham converted just one-of-three field goal tries in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Suishman missed from 48 and 49 yards and following the game it was clear the Cowboys were still searching for a kicker.
Suishman was out of a job until November when the Steelers signed him to the active roster and since then he's made 14-of-15 field goals in the regular season and he's made two of three kicks in the postseason.
"You see how often changes are made due to performance or injury every year at the kicking spot," Suishman said. "And you don't carry backups, so when it does happen, obviously people take notice. I don't know if it happens more at the kicking position or if it's just more obvious for the reasons I said. Three months ago, I was out of work. You get used to playing football, that's what you do, and you worked for it every week. When you're out of it, certainly it's uncomfortable when Sundays come around and you're at home."
As for his time with the Cowboys, Suisham said he enjoyed his team with the team, but understood the business side of things.
"I thought I would have played sooner this year than I did, but when you're on the outside looking in, you don't necessarily control that," he said. "But then once the opportunity came up with the Steelers, I was very excited about it because I knew this was a very real possibility."