The 5 best kickers in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Still Curtain ranks the all-time best kickers in franchise history.
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had some memorable kickers throughout the years. One kicker wore the black and gold threads for over a decade, while another could soon tread down that path. Kickers sometimes get a bad rap. Missing a game-winning field goal is hard to shake off, and they need to be mentally tough.

However, there's no denying the importance of the position. A great kicker can elevate both the floor and ceiling of an offense. For some of these kickers throughout history, scoring three points seemed like a lock shortly after the Steelers' offense crossed mid-field.

Kickers can have long careers in the NFL thanks to the minimal wear and tear on their bodies. But that doesn't happen unless they prove to be one of the 32 best players in the world at their position. The five best kickers in Pittsburgh Steelers history deserve recognition for their accomplishments.

Criteria for selection

It seems like anyone can come up with kicker rankings simply by sorting all Steelers kickers by field goal percentage. While statistics and efficiency are factored into the criteria heavily, there's much more to the position than that.

Along with stats, I considered clutch kicks and memorable moments. I also weighed career longevity and consistency throughout.

Additionally, I factored the impact each kicker has had on the team's success over the years. The collection of these traits is what separates a starting NFL kicker from the best in Pittsburgh's history.

For a kicker to qualify, they must have spent a minimum of one full season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and attempted at least 20 field goals.

The top 5 kickers in Pittsburgh Steelers history

5. Norm Johnson

Norm Johnson began his career with the Seattle Seahawks in 1982 and didn't join the Steelers until his 14th season at the age of 35. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing. While 35 is ancient for some positions, not for a Pro Bowl kicker.

Johnson's 14 years of experience before coming to Pittsburgh allowed him more than enough time to iron out the kinks and inconsistencies in his game. After converting just 69.7 percent of his field goals in his first nine years in Seattle, Johnson showed significant improvement in Atlanta before signing with the Steelers.

Johnson played four years with the Steelers -- converting 105 of 127 field goals (82.7 percent) while drilling all 137 points after attempts. Johnson's consistency wavered when it came to converting long field goals, but he was money from inside 40 yards. He converted 71 of 77 field goals of 39 yards or fewer in his Steelers career.

4. Jeff Reed

The infamous Jeff Reed will forever be remembered for his off-field problems. In 2009, the long-time Steelers kicker of the 2000s was arrested for simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness in a scuffle with police officers outside of a bar of what was then called Heinz Field.

Reed's off-field antics were less than desirable. As a player, he was one of the better kickers in the NFL for nearly a decade. Though Reed never earned Pro Bowl honors, he converted some big kicks in crucial moments of the game -- including Pittsburgh's championship runs.

This led to a pair of Super Bowl rings for Reed. Though Reed would go on cold streaks from time to time, he also had the ability to drill 50+ yard field goals -- including a pair of 53-yarders late in his career. Reed's tenure in Pittsburgh lasted from 2002 until 2010. He converted 204 of 249 field goals and made 307 of 310 extra-point attempts.

3. Gary Anderson

The Steelers can forever be grateful that the Buffalo Bills cut Gary Anderson before his rookie season. Pittsburgh scooped him up and the rest was history.

Anderson converted 83.3 percent of his kicks as a rookie in 1982. In his second season in '83, his field goal percentage rose to 87.1 percent as he earned his first Pro Bowl. Anderson had a few down years mixed into his Steelers career that hurt his overall field goal percentage with the team. That didn't prevent him from being one of the best to ever kick for Pittsburgh.

Aderson played for the Steelers from age 23 to age 35 in 1994 and earned two Pro Bowls before playing with the Eagles, 49ers, Vikings, and Titans. His career spanned 23 years until his retirement in 2004 at the age of 45. Anderson knocked home 416 of 420 extra points during his career and was 206 of 233 on kicks inside of 40 yards.

2. Shaun Suisham

With an 87.9 percent field goal conversion, Shaun Suisham was one of the most accurate kickers to ever play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bowling green product kicked for Dallas and Washington from 2005 to 2009 before signing with the Steelers in 2010.

In seven games to close out the 2010 season, Suisham became an instant sensation -- converting 14 of 15 field goals (93.3 percent) and 19 of 19 extra points. Things took a dive in his second season with the team when his field goal percentage dropped to 74.2 percent on 31 attempts.

Fortunately, Suisham bounced back and proved why deserved to stick around. Over the next three seasons, the veteran kicker would convert his kicks at a rate upward of 90 percent in each season.

The long ball wasn't his game. With leg limitations, Suisham attempted just 8 field goals of 50-plus yards and converted only 3 of them. However, he was money from anywhere inside 50.

1. Chris Boswell

The only time a team would ever move on from a kicker who has converted over 90 percent of his field goals in three straight seasons is if they believe they have something even better on their roster. The Steelers were wise to supplant the 33-year Suisham with a 24-year Chris Boswell.

During his rookie season in 2015, Boswell drilled 90.6 percent of his field goals, and he continued this impressive run through his 2017 season when he earned Pro Bowl honors.

In 2018, Boswell hit a slump and was in his own head as he converted just 65.0 percent of his field goals on 20 attempts. Though there were talks of cutting him shortly after he earned his second contract, Boswell was able to bounce back with flying colors with two of the best seasons in his NFL career.

What separates Boswell from every other kicker in Steelers history is his ability to knock home 50-plus yard kicks with ease. In his first nine seasons, the remarkable kicker was 30 of 37 in kicks of at least 50 yards, and he has drilled 59-yard field goals in both 2020 and 2022.

Chris Boswell is still writing his own story, and at this rate, it's going to be a long time before another player can dethrone him as the greatest kicker in Steelers history.

The 5 best kickers in Pittsburgh Steelers history by field goal percentage (minimum 100 kicks)



Years With Team

Field Goal %


Shaun Suisham




Chris Boswell




Norm Johnson




Jeff Reed




Gary Anderson