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View Full Version : Steelers seek solution for shaky special teams



Captcoolhand
08-13-2007, 12:00 AM
Tomlins doesn't look so good.....

http://img40.picoodle.com/img/img40/9/8/12/f_0811tomlinbm_a8a80af.jpg (http://www.picoodle.com/view.php?img=/9/8/12/f_0811tomlinbm_a8a80af.jpg&srv=img40)
It has taken two preseason games for the Steelers to expose and "compound" what coach Mike Tomlin has identified as a "glaring problem" in their kicking game.
Imagine where they might be had they not practiced special teams every day in training camp.
The intensity will be turned up yet another notch this week in the wake of kicker Jeff Reed having his only extra-point attempt blocked in Saturday night's 13-9 preseason loss to Green Bay.
The Steelers had a successful 29-yard Reed field goal negated by a holding penalty against tight end Jon Dekker, who lined up as one of the wings on the field goal/PAT team, in their 20-7 victory over New Orleans in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 5. Reed converted the 39-yard re-kick.
Reed was also pressured from the outside on a 42-yard attempt against the Saints, but said that didn't contribute to his miss.
Substandard field goal/PAT protection made "The News" that Tomlin delivered to his team following the New Orleans game.
"We showed a glaring weakness from that standpoint last week," Tomlin said Saturday night. "We talked about it last week that when you show signs of weakness like that in the kicking game people are going to come after you.
"The problem has been compounded. Great. We're going to have to respond to adversity. We're going to have to go back to work this week, and the secret is there is no secret. We're going to put our pads on. We're going to practice field goals and we're going to practice blocking field goals, and that's what I told the football team."
In addition to a daily emphasis on the kicking game during afternoon workouts at St. Vincent College, the Steelers have devoted a series of one-hour morning practices to special teams.
They have practiced just about everything imaginable, from returns and coverage to one-on-one techniques to various forms of special teams trickery.
They have worked with volleyballs, Nerf balls and orange hoops placed on the ground to identify rush lanes.
They have worked with footballs attached to sticks to simulate snaps. And they have worked with two special teams coaches, Bob Ligashesky and Amos Jones, for the first time in franchise history.
But there's at least one thing they haven't done.
"We haven't had any type of deals where we go full contact with that in practice," said defensive end Brett Keisel, one of the first-team wings on the field goal/PAT unit.
That changes this week, either today or, as Reed assumed, on Tuesday.
"It'll probably be in all week," Reed said. "Hopefully, nobody gets hurt, but I guess you have to do what you have to do to get ready for the season."
Reed was ready to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter against the Packers when Green Bay defensive end Michael Montgomery shot between long-snapper Greg Warren and right guard Chris Kemoeatu.
Reed saw only "a big dude right in my face."
"It was probably just a blown assignment," he said. "I know I got the ball up on that one; it felt good. It's one of those things. Whoever it was, he was probably three yards from me when he blocked it."
Players have grumbled about the Steelers' newfound obsession with special teams, publicly in the spring and privately in camp, and have suggested the efforts might be at least partially misdirected.
Now, they'll go live until Tomlin is satisfied.
"We shouldn't have a wrinkle in teams anywhere because we do spend more time than ever on it," Keisel said. "Right now our technique's not there. Guys gotta know they gotta get down lower or they're gonna get put on their back."
Keisel offered a potentially humorous solution.
"I think we should just go for two every time," he said. Man didn't Reed miss 1 last week also. :yesnod: I hope this doesn't become an every week thing.

AZ_Steeler
08-13-2007, 12:08 AM
Reed had this same problem last year... I think the dude just needs to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders to knock it through the uprights!

manofsteel
08-13-2007, 05:50 PM
Ive never really been all the way comfortable with Reed. But he dose make them when it counts. I just wish we had a kicker with a little more leg.

Mike Tomlin
08-13-2007, 06:34 PM
Ive never really been all the way comfortable with Reed. But he dose make them when it counts. I just wish we had a kicker with a little more leg.
What ever happened to Vanderjerk?

SteelerSteve
08-13-2007, 07:42 PM
Reed should be okay, he usually kicks well in bad weather and his leg isn't the strongest but its not that bad either. Vanderchoke has never been the same since that miss he had in the playoffs against us, I'm pretty sure hes looking for a job right now, and as far as I'm concerned he can keep on looking:lol:

DIESELMAN
08-13-2007, 07:59 PM
Substandard field goal/PAT protection made "The News" that Tomlin delivered to his team following the New Orleans game.

We showed a weakness in the kicking game in game 1, the Pack watched the game film and came after that weakness. If Tomlin wants to devote the whole practice to ST's then the players need to suck it up and realize there's a reason for it, its part of the game.