Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith speaks with anguish in his voice when recalling his role in Shaun Suisham's unceremonious exit from the Washington Redskins nearly four years ago. Smith was the special teams coach for Washington and Suisham was in his fourth season kicking for the Redskins. Suisham made his first 13 field goals of the 2009 season but went through a late-season slump and missed a 23-yarder late in a game against the undefeated New Orleans Saints who came back to win in overtime. In the midst of a bad season that would eventually end with a 4-12 record coach Jim Zorn cut Suisham. "It was a bad situation" Smith said. "Those things happen. I wasn't proud of it or wanting to do it but I wasn't the head coach. It hurt bad and it hurt us bad because we struggled for a while to get another guy." Smith witnessed Suisham go through his darkest hour as a pro but now he is watching him flourish with the Steelers while becoming the most accurate kicker in franchise history since joining the team late in the 2010 season. Suisham has made 34 of his past 37 field-goal attempts including 6 for 6 this season. That hot streak pushed him past Norm Johnson in the Steelers record book. Johnson who kicked for the Steelers from 1995-98 held the team record for accuracy at 82.7 percent. Suisham has surpassed that and made 85.5 percent of his kicks in a Steelers uniform. "That's the quality that he is" Smith said. "He was able to overcome what happened in Washington. I always knew that he would. "To be honest with you I've always loved him. He's a great guy. He's a great kicker. He has a great demeanor about him. He has a lot of qualities that you look for in a kicker. "Things don't affect him. You can't rattle him. Nothing is too big for him and he works at his trade. I see the same things in him that I always have and I'm just fortunate to be back with him." Released nine times by six teams over the course of his first five NFL seasons Suisham appears to have found a home with the Steelers and at Heinz Field which has never been confused with a venue kickers cherish.
Steelers kicker Suisham draws praise, respect from teammates
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Oct 12