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Reed getting his kicks into the end zone

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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010
 

Jeff Reed was the worst in the NFL a year ago when it came to touchbacks. Of his 81 kickoffs, Reed was credited with only three touchbacks.

Through the first two games of this season, Reed has kicked off 10 times, and two of the kicks have been touchbacks.

There is a pretty good reason for the extra power in Reed's right leg.

Two weeks ago, he decided to change his kickoff steps that have resulted in some discomfort but a lot more power.

"I am attacking the ball more," Reed said. "I still take the six-step approach, but I have scooted back a little bit with my initial starting point."

Reed never has been a standout kickoff specialist. Over his nine-year career, he has just 44 touchbacks in 118 games, or about an average of six a season. His high mark was in 2007, when he had 10, but Reed's well above that average this year.

"I am not quite comfortable, but I am getting there," he said. "I feel a little inconsistent with it. The kicks look good, but I don't quite feel right."

Despite the touchbacks, Reed's kicks are averaging about three yards short of the end zone.

"I am attacking the ball more, and what comes with that sometimes is that you try too hard and miss-hit a couple," Reed said. "I am capable of hitting a touchback. You have to hit the ball perfect. I am not a guy who if I miss-hit, it's going to go eight yards deep."

Quotable

"I like the heat. I welcome the heat. It keeps you warm. My quick-twitch muscles can function a little better. Maybe I won't pull nothing,"

Casey Hampton, the Steelers' 325-pound nose tackle, on the forecasted high heat for Tampa on Sunday.

Digits

21 : Quarterback hurries/pressures the Steelers have recorded in two games.

0 : Punts Daniel Sepulveda has placed inside the 20-yard line this year.

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