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Why Is Shaun Suisham Still In Pittsburgh?

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Sometimes it’s hard to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed to follow the greatest franchise in NFL history. I realize how lucky we are to watch a Super Bowl contender seemingly year in and year out. I do not for one second take our six Lombardi Trophies for granted. Even after the most heart-breaking of losses, I never for a moment question my allegiance.

There are still times when the Steeler Way can be immensely frustrating. While it works eight times out of ten, the two times it fails, it fails spectacularly. We all play armchair GM from time to time but I wouldn’t pretend I could do a better job than Kevin Colbert. At the same time, many of his player personnel decisions continue to puzzle me.

The last two and half minutes of the Steelers-Ravens game were an absolute mess. People rightly focus on the D’s epic bed-crapping in letting Joe F’N Flacco drive 92 yards on them for the game winning touchdown. Others focus on Ryan Clark and Gay, both of whom played miserably all night long. However, lost in the wash, was the comical Chinese Fire Drill on the Steelers final possession where they got the ball down to the Baltimore 30, called a time out to discuss their options, sent their field goal unit out but fooled around too long and got called for a delay of game which left them with no choice but to punt.

If Shaun Suisham hits that 47 yarder, the best Baltimore could have done was tie.

In Mike Tomlin‘s Tuesday lie-fest/press-conference, he revealed he never had any intention of attempting that kick. What? Why? Heinz Field is a hard place to kick but that’s not an impossible distance. Skippy Reed made those kicks more than half the time. The Pitt Panthers’ kicker made 42 and 52 yarders the previous night.

Are you seriously telling me the Panthers have a better kicker than the Steelers?

If you watch the above clip, Tomlin throws punter Jeremy Kapinos under the bus for the time snafu. Why is Kapinos on the roster? Oh, right, because Dreamy Daniel Sepulveda blew out his knee in practice. Never saw that one coming. /sarcasm

If you’ve been with me since the pre-season, you will probably recall the epic battle between Kapinos and the Dreamy One which I chronicled in breathless detail. Kapinos actually punted better but Colbert wasted a 4th round draft pick on Sepulveda so they kept him instead. Never mind the fact the kid ends up on the disabled list almost every year. Since joining the Steelers in 2007, he’s lasted an entire season only twice.

Even though he was a drunken herpes-infested loon, Skippy was the best kicker in Steeler history. How did they find him? Back in 2002, the Steelers were having trouble finding a kicker who could consistently make field goals in the swirling vortex of Heinz Field. They signed Todd Peterson but he absolutely sucked and by mid-season he was *wink-nudge* “injured.” Bill Cowher invited three free agent kickers to Heinz, lined them up, and said “Whoever puts the most balls between the pointy yellow sticks has a job.” Done and done.

If Tomlin has such little faith in Suisham, why is he still in Pittsburgh? Bring in three of the best free agents and pit them against each other in a Kick To The Death. Hell, find Skippy sleeping one off in some Seattle dive bar, hook him up to a Starbucks Expresso IV drip and see if he has learned his lesson. I realize that isn’t the Steeler Way but, between Suisham’s Miss of the Week and Tomlin waving the white flag, enough is enough.

4 thoughts on “Why Is Shaun Suisham Still In Pittsburgh?”

  1. With Suisham in my mind it wasn’t so much the fact that it was 47 yards. Hell isn’t there video of him nailing uncontested 70 yarders in practice back in college. It’s his accuracy. Forget the holder. Even with Sepulveda Suisham has missed from closer this year. I don’t buy the philosophy that if there was anybody anygood out there they would already be signed somewhere. Not good enough for some teams may still be a damn site better than what we have.
    Time for him to go

    1. Your 70 yarder comment reminded me of a great scene from “Friday Night Lights” (my all-time favorite show). This kid was being taught by his girlfriend how to be a kicker (I gotta find me a woman like that) after seeing him all proud for nailing a couple beautiful kicks she says, “Good. Now let’s see you do that with 11 big angry dudes coming after you.”

      I think most NFL kickers have the accuracy/power to hit 60 yarders. It’s just the mental toughness to do it consistency and under pressure. And Suisham has a history of folding like a cheap card table under pressure.

      I totally agree that there has to be a better alternative out there. The idea that the best 32 kickers in the country are employed is BS. As I point out in my post, Reed came in off the street. How many current kickers were drafted? A handful? You’re telling me there isn’t some kid playing ArenaBall or stocking shelves at Sheetz they can’t bring in for a try-out?

      I don’t buy it either. Its stubborness. Pure stubborness.

      1. Sorry Chris. I live in Nashville. We don’t have Sheetz here but there are problaby some folks stocking shelfs at Mapco Mart that could do it…

        1. I really don’t know that anyone has an idea of how or why Suisham has been such a putz. He’s made some great kicks, and then turns around and shanks chip shots. The best kickers in the NFL are the ones that you can rely on, not the ones that put their name in the record books then bounce one off of the west rotunda at 33 yards out.

          I totally agree with slighting the front office on this one, they make running a perennial contender look easy. But why on earth they don’t start stapling up kicker tryout flyers is beyond me. At the least it might scare a pair into Suisham. There is no reason for anyone to believe a better kicker is not available, somewhere.

          “Hey guys, line up, here’s 20 footballs, most made gets an NFL paycheck next week”… Bonus points to the guy that knocks over a tackling dummy without jumping out of the way.

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