Jeff Reed has been the Steelers' regular kicker since signing with the team in November 2002 and been a model of consistency. He holds a team record for consecutive field goals made (22), and he has converted 38 attempts in a row from inside of 40 yards.
Reed excelled at soccer growing up and didn't play football until his senior year of high school. A walk on at the University of North Carolina, he had to bide his time in Chapel Hill but made the most of his opportunity when it did come.
Reed continues to take advantage of the chances he gets with the Steelers -- and continues a family tradition of athletic excellence.
Question: Are you even the best athlete in your own family?
Answer: It's tough to say. I'm the youngest one so I think I've got a lot left in me. My dad was a basketball player (Wichita State), played softball, baseball everything. My mom was a cheerleader (Wichita State) and my sister was a soccer player (UNC-Charlotte and for a year professionally), a basketball player and a softball player. She did everything but run track. It probably wouldn't be me.
Q: At what point did you think you might be able to make a career out of kicking?
A: After my first season of actually playing, because my first three years I really didn't do much kicking. Then, the fourth year I actually played the whole season, and I realized I had potential."
Q: What is the key to your consistency from 40 yards and in?
A: You just have to be consistent in everything you do because I have very limited opportunities during the game. So when I get out there, to keep my job, I have to perform."
Q: Is it harder to kick in Heinz Field than in other stadiums?
A: Yeah, you never know what you're going to get. The surface is at times bad (because of) the wind, the rain, the sleet, the snow. There's other places tough to kick too, and even in places that are warm, you can get a thunderstorm that can stir up the wind and stuff. It's not the hardest place to kick, but it's one of the toughest."
Q: What's it like walking back to the sidelines after missing a kick?
A: It's one of those things where I felt like I let the team down. For the most part, if there's some game left and we usually have close games, you know you're going to get another opportunity so you've just to get over it real quick."