Steelers kicker Suisham remains perfect this season
Some kickers point to the goal posts with one hand, and others point with two.
Others swear by their life-long rituals before a kick, and others have a laundry list of helpers to make things go right and even a longer list when they don't.
Not Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham. He doesn't have a kicking coach — never did, never will.
He said he doesn't believe in psychologists or any “kicking guru” to help him out of slumps.
For Suisham, it's not much harder than: ‘See the ball, kick the ball.'
“Now don't get me wrong. There's an awful lot of preparation that goes into that mentality,” Suisham said. “Less is a lot more sometimes at my position. Over the years, it has evolved into that belief. I don't concern myself with a lot of things that don't help me be successful.”
Suisham's ability was questioned as little as four years ago.
He was an 80 percent accurate kicker with the Redskins over a four-year span before getting cut after missing a short game-winning field goal against the Saints in 2009. It was the second time in three games a missed field goal cost the Redskins a victory.
Suisham took the setback in stride.
“My job as a kicker in the NFL comes with that,” Suisham said. “It is the best job in the world when you are making your kicks, and when you miss a kick, you become vulnerable to a change.”
Luckily, Suisham hasn't been missing many lately. Suisham has yet to miss this year (14 of 14), including his second consecutive four-field goal game last week against the Ravens. His 42-yarder as time expired was his ninth career game-winner.
“He is definitely kicking the best I've ever seen,” long snapper Greg Warren said.
Dating to the 2010 regular-season finale, Suisham has made 46 of his last 49 field goals, which is a 94 percent clip.
“We try to focus on every kick, one kick at a time,” holder Zoltan Mesko said. “It is not like we are looking at the big picture. You can't rely on the past to do it in the present.”
The minimalist attitude is not just a gimmick, either.
“It's true,” Warren said. “He is able to worry just about the kick he is doing just himself, and he blocks out all the other external factors such as the snap, the hold, the protection, the wind, the field. He is able to focus on himself and his ability.”
Suisham already is the most accurate kicker in Steelers' history (82.5 percent) and has been an invaluable asset for the struggling red-zone offense. Suisham has accounted for 51 points this year while the rest of the offense has been responsible for 54.
“The problem is we maybe get too comfortable with it,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “We need to start thinking he's going to miss or something, even though we don't want him to because we need to score touchdowns.”
Suisham added: “I'd be more than happy just kicking extra points.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers QB Roethlisberger not targeting Oct. 25 return
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not worried about Jones’ lack of sacks
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell shrugs off Ravens WR’s comments
- New Steelers kicker Boswell ready for challenge at Heinz
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- Steelers notebook: Shazier practices, hopes to play Monday at Chargers
- New book credits Nunn for Steelers’ 1970s success
- Nothing normal about Steelers’ standard as backups fill vital roles
- Steelers scale back playbook to suit QB Vick’s style of play
- Four downs: Williams brothers on the rise
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell