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Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Seahawks get vet kicker for peace of mind

By Mike Sando

The Seattle Seahawks once carried two kickers on their 53-man roster because their general manager (Tim Ruskell) and head coach (Mike Holmgren) could not agree on which one to keep.

Ruskell, as a personnel evaluator, valued the potential associated with the young prospect. Holmgren, as the man responsible for winning games often decided by narrow margins, valued the veteran's experience and track record.

The Seahawks will not keep two kickers on their roster this season, but they'll be able to choose between youth and experience after signing veteran Jeff Reed, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported they did Wednesday.

Reed's weight was an issue when the veteran kicker was filling in for an injured Joe Nedney in San Francisco last season. Reed, best know for his years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, showed up in better condition when the Seahawks brought him to their headquarters for a workout this week. The 32-year-old Reed joins a roster that has featured inexperienced kickers Brandon Coutu and Wes Byrum to this point in camp.

Reed made nine of his 10 field goal attempts for the 49ers last season. He ranked 33rd out of 35 kickers in average kickoff distance among players with at least 20 kickoffs during the regular season. David Akers, the 49ers' kicker this season, and Olindo Mare averaged an additional 5 yards per kickoff.

Leg strength on kickoffs will not matter as much now that the NFL has moved kickoffs from the 30- to 35-yard line.