Insider Only Steigerwald: Second Guess Kevin Colbert, not Mike Tomlin

Inside Pittsburgh Sports

Josh Scobee had to go.

He cost the Steelers the game with the Baltimore Ravens when he missed two field goals and that, combined with his 77% success rate last season, the fact that he was six for 10 in field goals this year and his mixed extra point against the 49ers made him radioactive.

Scobee was radioactive before he was released. Mike Tomlin made that clear when he never considered using him to kick a potential overtime game winner from 50 yards.

Tomlin owed it to his team to go for the first down and should not be second guessed on the decision.

If you want to second guess someone, try Kevin Colbert, who gave up a sixth round pick to get Scobee and his $3.425 contract from Jacksonville.

So, now the Steelers have a new kicker and there seems to be a lot of angst over the fact that Chris Boswell has never kicked in an NFL regular season game.

Does anybody remember Jeff Reed?

In case you’ve forgotten, he’s the Steelers second leading all time scorer behind Gary Anderson.

Back in 2002, Steelers kicker Todd Peterson got hurt. Bill Cowher brought a few guys to Heinz Field on a rainy Monday morning for a tryout and decided to go with Reed, who had been cut by the Saints.

Reed had never kicked in a regular season game and it worked out pretty well. He made 17 out of 19 in five games, with one of the misses coming from beyond 50 yards.

He hung around long enough to kick in two Super Bowl wins.

Back in 1982, Chuck Noll signed Anderson after he was cut by the Buffalo Bills. He had never kicked in a regular season game, either.

Anderson retired in 2004 as the leading scorer in NFL history.

Chris Boswell may not stick around until 2037 and he may end up being worse than Scobee, but nobody should be worried about his inexperience.

With all the Steelers’ offensive weapons, including Martavis Bryant, who comes back from suspension next Monday night in San Diego, you wouldn’t think that kicker would be a major issue.

You would only think that if you weren’t aware that the Steelers had the second most productive offense in the NFL last season and ranked 20th in scoring.

This team has been settling for field goals instead of touchdowns for way too long and, until it proves it can score touchdowns from the red zone, the kicker is as important as any offensive player.

So, Boswell doesn’t have to be Gary Anderson or Jeff Reed but, if he’s not better than Josh Scobee the Steelers are in big trouble.


mario-lemieux-pittsburgh-penguins-first-goal-celebration-autographed-photograph-3366856Mario Lemieux turned 50 today (October 5th).

Back in June of 1984, when I interviewed him as an 18-year old kid in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, I had Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

John Steigerwald

TIOPS Columnist

John Steigerwald, a life long Pittsburgher, has been covering PITTSBURGH sports since 1977 as a TV anchor/reporter, columnist radio reporter/commentator and talk show host. He is also the author of one of the best selling local books in Pittburgh history, "Just Watch The Game."

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