Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Cincinnati's kicker conundrum
By Tim Kavanagh
Amongst the Cincinnati Bengals' biggest decisions of the offseason, securing themselves a placekicker may not rank as high on the list of priorities as deciding which of their impending free agents will get the franchise tag -- it's believed to be down to either RT Andre Smith or DE Michael Johnson -- or who else they'll be targeting in the market. But, it's an uncertain situation as of right now, and one that bears monitoring.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN's AFC North blog pulled up the free agent placekicker rankings over at Pro Football Focus, taking special note of where Mike Nugent -- who started the season as the Bengals' placekicker -- and Josh Brown -- who replaced him following an injury -- were ranked. Here's what Nathan Jahnke of PFF had to say on the former:
"Although his field goal percentage of 84.2 percent doesn't look great, he was perfect on kicks within 40 yards. While he is not one of the few kickers that is extremely accurate at long kicks, his average kickoff distance of 67.8 yards is the best of the free agent group, and that is a number that stays more consistent than field goal percentage. He is coming off an injury which might be a concern, but since the Bengals liked what they saw from Josh Brown, Nugent might be the most readily available good kicker."
We'll know soon just how much "the Bengals liked what they saw" from Brown, as it stands to reason that a decision between the two can be made prior to the start of free agency on March 12.