The daily practice updates Geoff Hobson gives this time of year are mostly as interesting and useful as radio traffic reports once you're already stuck in a jam.
However, Tuesday's update brought forward a question that had been festering on the back burner of my two-burner brain about who will do the kicking for this team now that Shayne Graham has taken his choking act to Baltimore?
Dave Rayner and Sir Mike Nugent of Ohio State lore are the two options battling for the loneliest and most athletically awkward position on a football team. College awesomeness aside, Nugent has been a bust professionally and Dave Rayner sounds like protagonist in a failed SciFi channel pilot.
But Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons has developed a strategy of coaxing the cream to the top in this open competition by making Nugent and Rayner kick under the pressure of their teammates having to practice longer. You see half the team got to call it a day early if Rayner made his kicks, and the other half would join them if Nugent matched him.
"Yeah, I'm happy they hit them. I'd say 90 guys are happy," said specials teams coach Darrin Simmons. "Yeah, you like. It's a competition. ... This won't be the last one."
So Rayner and Nugent matched each other and the whole team got out of practice early and presumably hit up the two places I would in that situation, Skyline and Graeters . Except for Carson. He had to save room for John Morrell smoked sausage .
I think this is a brilliant, if not tad high school football-ish way of creating pressure situations for the battling kickers to compete.
So kudos to Mr. Simmons and here is to more creative ways of making the kickers sweat out the misses before the season starts.
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