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Jeff Reed

Feb. 06, 2006
Feb. 06, 2006

Table of Contents
Feb. 6, 2006

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Jeff Reed

STEELERS KICKER

As told to Peter King

On the insecurity of a kicker's life

This is an article from the Feb. 6, 2006 issue Original Layout

I signed a five-year deal [in 2004], but the way I look at it, I'm here till next week. That's it. I live kick to kick.

On Seattle kicker Josh Brown

I've played against him, but I don't really know him. Seems friendly. We're a fraternity. I'm rooting for him to make 'em, except a game-winner.

On almost being the Seattle kicker today

After I got cut by the Saints in 2002, I went to seven tryouts, including two with Seattle. Rian Lindell [then Seattle's kicker] missed a couple of big kicks, and they told me if he missed another one, I might be in. Well, he had a big day, and it never happened. A couple of weeks later Pittsburgh called.

On kicking in Detroit

In some domes the ball flies better than in others. This is a good one. It's a kicker's dream for a Super Bowl--great surface, dome, ball flies well.

On how the journalism major at North Carolina views media coverage of the NFL

Too much negativity. Coach [Bill] Cowher says, "You're never as good as you think you are, and you're never as bad as they make you out to be." Sometimes when I get asked about a kick I missed I think, Man, you kick it.

On what he reads

USA Today and Sports Illustrated. You guys [at SI] dig deep. Sometimes you make me tear up a little.

On Pats kicker Adam Vinatieri

He's not human. He has an arrogance about kicking that isn't arrogance but extreme confidence. I love that. It's what you have to have.

On his desire to kick a Super Bowl game-winner--as Vinatieri did twice

It'd be nice to win by 30. Save me a little stress. But [a game-winner] is what kickers live for. If it came down to it, I'd do what I always do--warm up with a couple kicks into the net, tell myself: Keep your head down. Then go out and say to myself: Be a hero. That's what I say before every kick.

THE 5'11", 232-POUND REED, 26, HAS KICKED NINE STRAIGHT FIELD GOALS, INCLUDING TWO OF 40-PLUS YARDS IN THE AFC TITLE GAME. HE MADE 24 OF 29 IN THE REGULAR SEASON.

PHOTOPhotograph by Fred VuichPHOTOTRACY FRANKEL/WIREIMAGE.COM (ACTION)