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Insider Only NFL: Reed letting Fans, Media criticism affect his play?

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has made his own bed.
After receiving the franchise tag this off-season from the Steelers, a salary of $2.85 million for 2010, Jeff Reed has expressed his unhappiness about his contract several times since training camp.
If you’re going to complain about your contract in this town, you have to be ready to back it up with your play on the field, or you’re going to be a lightning rod for criticism.
Now off to his worst start of his career (15 of 23), struggling on kickoffs and missing key field goals at critical stages of games, the criticism towards Reed has been coming from all angles and he hasn’t been able to handle it.
Following Sunday’s 39-26 thrashing from the New England Patriots, in which Reed missed a 26 yard field, Reed looked like a player whose letting everything get to him.
After starting his press conference on Sunday, saying he’s “not one to make excuses”, Reed ended up making about 20 excuses during his almost seven minute press conference.
Among the key highlights included his criticism towards the fans, media and basically calling out ownership over the poor field conditions.

Reed on not making excuses: “I’m not one to make excuses,” Reed began. “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 on if he’s in a slump: “Not at all, man, “Reed said when asked by a media member.
“I’ve made some big kicks, and I’ve missed some important kicks. It’s sports. It’s not an excuse, but it’s life. You can’t sit here and say, man, you’ve been an 85 percent here and there and now you’re whatever percentage.
“I’ve lost track. It hurts me that I don’t help this team get points. But percentages are way overrated, and on a night like tonight when I felt great, kicked off well, did everything I was supposed to do and you miss a 20-something yard field goal, everyone wants to focus on that in a game like this.”
Reed on bashing from Fans: “I don’t really know what you’re talking about, but it doesn’t surprise me, ” Reed said. “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?
“Like I said there’s 95 percent of those fans that got my back totally and then 5 percent you always hear. They’re right by the kicking net, they were bashing me, but that’s life, man, you got to move on. The worst thing for me to do would be to fight back at them.
“They started before the game even started. You know, like I said, they buy tickets just to bash me and Dan and Greg. It’s more me because points come off my foot.”
Reed also took the time to point out his displeasure with the media saying a lot of unwarranted negativity is coming from them too.
Reed’s misses earlier in the year didn’t seem like a big concern but his “mindset” of being so worried about what might be said about him in the media or even by the fans is striking.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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