Notebook: 'Psycho' wins award

PITTSBURGH – As Jeff Reed was kicking a 46-yard field goal to win Monday night's game in overtime, the referee blew the play dead because the Baltimore coach called a late timeout.

Undaunted, Reed waited through the timeout and kicked another 46-yarder for the game-winner. As he jogged off the field, his coach, Mike Tomlin, said, "You can't freeze a psychopath!"

It was the seventh game-winning field goal of Reed's career, a career that's becoming one of the greatest of any Steelers kicker. A perfect 7-for-7 this season, Reed has made 82.6 percent of his career kicks. If Reed makes his next two kicks, he'll pass Norm Johnson for first place on the Steelers' all-time accuracy list.

For his work Monday night, Reed was named the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Week. That's not too bad for a psychopath.

"Yeah, I guess he did say that," Reed said of his coach. "He just knows that I live for those opportunities, and as a kicker you should. How many times do you actually get to pull your team through something?"

What did Reed think of Baltimore's late timeout?

"The whistle blew as I was swinging through the ball," he said. "I don't agree with that. That's not icing the kicker. I don't even think they got the timeout in. But according to the rules they get the timeout and I have to kick it again. So I did."

FAMILIAR FACES RETURN

The Steelers announced the signings of once and former running backs Najeh Davenport and Gary Russell to replace guard Kendall Simmons and back Rashard Mendenhall, who were placed on injured reserve.

The two players will most likely act as reserves for Mewelde Moore, with Davenport a possibility for third-down action and Russell a possibility in short yardage.

CUSSED OUT

Ben Roethlisberger's halftime speech Monday may have turned the season around, according to some players. How exactly did it go down?

"He was cussing us out," said tackle Willie Colon. "He just told us how he felt. He just basically stood up and said we suck, and he said we had to do something about this. That's what it came down to. It's one thing to get your (butt) beat out there, but when a guy misses an assignment, that's when someone has to step up and say enough's enough.

"After looking at that film, he could've said a lot more. We just weren't on the same page with some things. Yeah, we were fighting hard, but they weren't doing anything we hadn't prepared for. They threw one blitz at us that threw us off guard, but it was little things that Coach (Larry) Zierlein talks about all the time."

BEAT UP

Wednesday's practice was missed by several players – including Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu – who expect to play Sunday night after a short week of work.

"I think we've got a lot more guys at this time of year banged up," said linebacker James Farrior, "but I don't think it's anything we can't overcome. I mean, we've got depth at all of our positions. Feels like we're light right now, but those other guys (Willie Parker, Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton) are coming back after the bye. We've got to hold the fort down until then, but so far so good."


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