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Steelers Sign Former Saints K Garrett Hartley

Steelers Camp Football

The Pittsburgh Steelers have wasted little time in rectifying their placekicker dilemma following Shaun Suisham’s disastrous ACL tear during the Hall of Fame game.

The franchise has signed former Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns kicker Garrett Hartley.

Hartley’s perfect record of 8 kicks from 8 attempts in the postseason stands out from his less inspiring 82% success rate in the regular season. He has connected on 85 from 104 attempts, but spent six of his eight professional seasons inside the kicker-friendly Superdome. He does, however, carry a career long of 55 yards, one yard greater than Suisham’s less powerful leg.

Suisham, on the other hand, boasts an 84% career success rate from a much greater sample size, converting on 211 from 251 tries. He went 30-from-32 in 2013, setting a Steelers record in the unfriendly confines of Heinz Field, where windy conditions and open north and south ends of the stadium have villainized many a kicker in the past.   

The 29-year-old Hartley is best remembered for his six-year tenure with the Saints, during which he kicked the game winner in the NFC Championship Game to send New Orleans to Super Bowl XLIV.

Hartley went on to set a Super Bowl record two weeks later, becoming the first kicker to go a perfect three-for-three on attempts beyond forty yards, helping the Saints to their lone Lombardi trophy.

The Steelers will be hoping to avoid the Detroit Lions’ special teams misfortunes of 2014, in which Alex Henery’s poor form resulted in a couple of early-season heartbreakers, ultimately pushing Detroit into a winner-take-all affair for the division in week 17 and a controversial playoff exit one week later.

The early signing of Hartley should eradicate any fears on that front. The veteran will have four weeks to prove his worth and show he can adequately complement the Steelers’ juggernaut offense this season.

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