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Notes: Simmons calls it one of Huber's top 5; Thad Lewis familiar with Bengals D

Posted Oct 8, 2013

Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons puts Kevin Huber's 57-yard moon shot through a car wash with 1:48 left in Sunday's 13-6 victory over the Patriots at Paul Brown Stadium as one the top five punts of Huber's five-year career.


Kevin Huber

Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons puts Kevin Huber's 57-yard moon shot through a car wash with 1:48 left in Sunday's 13-6 victory over the Patriots at Paul Brown Stadium as one the top five punts of Huber's five-year career.

And all he told Huber as he trotted out to the Bengals 2 and the rain coming down a little harder than before but not as hard as it would in the final 1:48 was "get it out."

The Bengals knew the Patriots return team, coached by Simmons's mentor Scott O'Brien, would apply some pressure.

"I'm too busy coaching 10 other guys during the game. I'm relying on him to coach himself," Simmons said. "Yes. In that situation, against that team at that time in the game, it was a heck of a punt."

Huber, the Cincinnati native who played at the University of Cincinnati, says he never punted in anything around town quite like those conditions. He played in something similar in the Dayton area in high school, but the worst mess he ever saw in Cincy came when he was a fan for the 2008 PBS opener as the last belches of Hurricane Ike pistol-whipped the Bengals and Titans at 40 miles per hour.

On Sunday when Huber dropped the towel to punt, it was that wind that may have been more of a factor at about 15 miles per hour and spraying his face mask.

"For the most part, the wind was pretty consistent toward their tunnel. So was our sideline toward the north end zone. So I knew it was going to be a little bit in my face, left to right," Huber said of the punt that came with his back to downtown. "I just decided to go right into it vs. trying to go across the wind. Go to the left, right into the wind. Going to the right, it would have been knocking the ball down.

"And we were on the left hash. It would have been closer to getting the ball out of bounds. I didn't really want to go left hash trying to get the ball out of bounds right. I just decided to go left."

A total of 57 yards later, Julian Edelman, who the week before had become, of all things, the league's all-time career leader with yards per return, was held to nine at his 35 when he got backed up and pinned on his right sideline.

Then the rain really came. Sideways.

"We punted just in time for them to get on offense and have all that rain. I couldn't imagine when I had to punt at the time - it was coming down pretty good," Huber said. "We didn't get out there and snap the ball right away. It came down a little bit heavier from when we were in the huddle, when we were standing out there it got a little bit heavier."

The Bengals wanted to slow down the operation because even though they had a pretty good idea what O'Brien was going to do from Simmons's five-year apprenticeship with him at the turn of the century, they had to take care of the look the Pats showed.

"They had eight guys in the box and they brought the left corner in, so first things first, make sure the right protection with eight guys in the box, make sure everybody knew what they were doing," Huber said. "If we're out there and there's one second left on the play clock, I'd rather have that than it was fast and we have it blocked.

"A lot of the stuff (Simmons) learned was under Coach O'Brien, so we knew everything they were going to do, they knew everything we were going to do. Maybe a few looks. But pretty consistent what those guys do."

Those four other top five punts? They may have all come in Pittsburgh. Three from last year's 13-10 victory alone could qualify. Take your pick.

There was the 64-yard punt to the Steelers 7 with 5:59 left in the first quarter that set up cornerback Leon Hall's interception return for a touchdown. Then in the second quarter there was a 54-yarder to the Steelers 2 that set up a field goal. Then with 52 seconds left in a 10-10 game he hung up a 37-yarder that the dangerous Antonio Brown had to fair catch at his own 11. That in turn set up the final three points when safety Reggie Nelson's interception seconds later turned into the winning field goal.

And in the 2009 game at Heinz Field in a game the Bengals led, 12-9, Huber drilled a 48-yarder standing on his 2 that put the Steelers at midfield late in the third quarter on the way to an 18-12 victory.

JONES ACQUITTED: On Tuesday a Hamilton County Municipal Court judge found Bengals cornerback Adam Jones not guilty of an assault charge stemming from an incident this summer in a downtown Cincinnati bar and restaurant.

MORE THAD: John Kryk, the NFL columnist for The Toronto Sun, put together an interesting list of 10 things to know about Thad Lewis, the Bills quarterback making his second NFL start of his career against the Bengals this Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Among the highlights are he said he's familiar with the Bengals defense because he was with Cleveland for a spell last year, he hasn't been in a hurry-up attack scheme since college at Duke, and he never ran read-option until he ended up with the Bills six weeks ago.

"I’m pretty familiar with them, from having been in Cleveland for two years. So I’ve studied them four times, actually. And you’ve got to go off what you see," Lewis told Kryk. "No guessing. Just make sure you see the right things and play, and you’ll be all right. They play as a unit, but the defensive line is something. They can disrupt you. So if we can do a good job of running the football and getting the ball out like we should be, we’ll be fine.”

 

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