Monday, November 15, 2010
Jeff Reed rips into Heinz Field turf
ESPN.com news services
The Pittsburgh Steelers are contemplating cutting Jeff Reed, who missed his seventh field goal of the season in Pittsburgh's 39-26 loss to New England on Sunday night, and will bring in kickers for workouts on Tuesday, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
After the loss, Reed called into question the quality of the turf at Heinz Field.
"I'm not one to make excuses," Reed was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'll take the credit for the miss. It was a great snap, a great hold, great protection. It's kind of hard when you plant your foot and the hole -- a piece of ground moves where the ball's under the holder. I almost missed the ball completely.
"I'm not going to make excuses. If you've played any kind of sports in your life, you realize that what we play on is not very good turf. It happens."
Reed's miss came at the end of a seven-play, 59-yard drive with the Steelers trailing 17-3. Reed has not missed seven field goals in a season since 2006, when he finished 20-of-27.
Fans greeted Reed with a mock cheer after the North Carolina alum made an extra point in the fourth quarter.
Reed said he didn't hear the cheer, but called out Pittsburgh fans.
"It doesn't surprise me," Reed told the Post-Gazette. "If you're not perfect in this city, man, then you're going to hear about it. It's been like that for nine years, and why would they stop now?"
Reed is 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.
While Reed struggled Sunday, wide receiver Hines Ward barely got to play.
Ward suffered a concussion at the end of the first quarter and missed the final three quarters against New England. His streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception ended. Ward says he expects to play Sunday against Oakland, but he must pass the medical tests that are given to players with concussions.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.