PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers kicker Jeff Reed said Thursday the NFL ordered him to undergo an evaluation after he became involved in an alcohol-related dispute with Pittsburgh police following a home game in October.
The evaluation apparently was similar to that recently completed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy. A Georgia college student accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in March, but he was not charged.
Reed made the disclosure while discussing Roethlisberger's problems. The Steelers declined to comment on his remarks.
"I've been to doctors, too, and psychologists and I take it seriously," Reed said. "Because if someone thinks it's that important to do something like that, then I treat it like that."
Reed did not reveal any details of the evaluation, which he said was ordered after he was charged with four offenses, including disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, on Oct. 18. Police said Reed became combative as they attempted to cite Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth for urinating in a parking lot near a tavern close to Heinz Field, a few hours after the Steelers beat the Browns 27-14.
Reed was cleared of all charges on April 12 after completing 40 hours of community service with the Salvation Army.
Earlier last year, Reed paid a fine of $543.50 after police near Pittsburgh accused him of damaging a paper towel dispenser and harassing employees at a Westmoreland County convenience store, a few weeks after the Steelers beat Arizona in the Super Bowl.
While Reed regretted the incidents, he believes he responded appropriately.
"Everybody in their lives no matter who you are, or what job you have or if you're a professional athlete or a Joe on the street, everybody's had their share of stuff they've got away with," Reed said. "And everybody's had their share of getting in trouble for what may seem not as prominent as people think it is. ... How you deal with it and how you respond like any adversity, whether it's on the field or off, is what kind of person you are."
Reed said it bothers him that fans only occasionally hear of the hours many athletes spend helping youngsters or taking part in community-related projects.
"I probably do two (team-related appearances) a week in season and out of season but you don't hear anything until I get in trouble," Reed said. "It's always 'What a bad guy' and stuff like that and that's what bothers me. You don't get attention for the positive things you do, but one little thing happens and it's huge."
Reed, 31, is the ninth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, making 189 of 227 attempts (83.3 percent) since being signed by the Steelers as undrafted rookie free agent midway through the 2002 season. He was 27 of 31 (87.1) percent each of the last two seasons.
Reed is attempting to negotiate a new contract before the season begins. The Steelers designated him as their franchise player, guaranteeing him a salary of at least $2,814,000.