Kicker Shaun Suisham goes 4-for-4, earns teammates' respect
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Shaun Suisham is now an official member of the Steelers.
Suisham was 4 for 4 kicking field goals Sunday, including the game-winning 41-yarder in the Steelers' 19-16 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills.
In his first pressure performance since replacing Jeff Reed a week ago, Suisham was at his best in a tight game in which the Steelers scored only one touchdown.
"How 'bout Shaun banging field goals for us?" coach Mike Tomlin said at his news conference. "He's now a Steeler -- Casey Hampton and others know his name now."
Running back Rashard Mendenhall, who gained a season-high 151 yards on 36 carries, said he knows who Suisham is.
"That was definitely clutch, a lot of pressure," said Mendenhall, who scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. "Four for four -- you'll take that every day, and it shows why he's here."
Mobbed by his teammates following the game-winner, Suisham was invited to speak with the media in the interview room after the game -- a practice normally reserved for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"It was a lot of fun," Suisham said. "It's amazing what can happen in a month. Start of the month, I lost my mother-in-law. I had been out of football this year. Two weeks ago I wasn't playing football, and now I'm part of the Pittsburgh Steelers and was fortunate to make a kick to win the game."
Suisham was a steadying influence all day.
When the offense bogged down at the Buffalo 27 early in the second quarter, Suisham booted a 45-yard goal to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead. It was his first field goal attempt after converting all five extra points last week against Oakland.
Suisham also boomed a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter, as the Steelers built a 13-0 lead. He drilled a 48-yarder in the fourth quarter that broke a 13-13 tie.
His final field goal try would determine how successful his day would be.
"Big field goal," Roethlisberger said. "He hit one later in the game, a long one to get us up three, and then that one at the end. Big hit. You know, (we had) confidence in him to come out and hit it."
Suisham said he didn't place undue pressure on himself after replacing the popular Reed, who was in his ninth season with the Steelers before being released.
"How could I• I mean, I'm not going to be any better for this football team if I am worried about it," said Suisham, who spent the 2005 training camp with Reed and the Steelers. "Jeff was great to me. I've always remembered that and certainly appreciate it. When you're with an organization as long as he has been, he's obviously done a lot of very good things. You just take the opportunities when you can get them.''
Steelers vs. Bills 1 1⁄28/10
The Steelers defeat the Buffalo Bills, 19-16 in overtime, Sunday November 28, 2010 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.
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